State-dependent disruption of short-term facilitation due to overexpression of the apPDE4 supershort form in Aplysia

Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) play important roles in synaptic plasticity by regulating cAMP signaling in various organisms. The supershort, short, and long forms of Aplysia PDE4 (apPDE4) have been cloned, and the long form has been shown to play a crucial role in 5- hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-induced synaptic plasticity in Aplysia. To address the role of the supershort form in 5-HT-induced synaptic plasticity in Aplysia, we overexpressed the apPDE4 supershort form in Aplysia sensory neurons. Consequently, 5-HT-induced hyperexcitability and short-term facilitation in nondepressed synapses were blocked. However, the supershort form did not inhibit 5-HT-induced short-term facilitation in highly depressed synapses. These results show that the supershort form plays an important role in 5-HT-induced synaptic plasticity and disrupts it mainly by impairing cAMP signaling in Aplysia.