Chronic changes in activity can induce neurons to alter the strength of all their synapses in unison. Although the specific changes that occur appear to vary depending on the experimental preparation, their net effect is to counter the experimentally induced modification of activity. Such adaptive, cell-wide changes in synaptic strength serve to stabilize neuronal activity and are collectively referred to as homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have shed light on what triggers homeostatic synaptic plasticity, whether or not it is distinct from other forms of synaptic plasticity and whether or not it occurs in the intact brain.
Burrone, JuanMurthy, Venkatesh NResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.ReviewEnglandCurrent opinion in neurobiologyCurr Opin Neurobiol. 2003 Oct;13(5):560-7.