Short-term changes in synaptic gain support information processing throughout the CNS, yet we know little about the developmental regulation of such plasticity. Here we report that auditory experience is necessary for the normal maturation of synaptic inhibitory short-term plasticity (iSTP) in the auditory cortex, and that presynaptic GABAB receptors regulate this development. Moderate or severe hearing loss was induced in gerbils, and iSTP was characterized by measuring inhibitory synaptic current amplitudes in response to repetitive stimuli. We reveal a profound developmental shift of iSTP from depressing to facilitating after the onset of hearing. Even moderate hearing loss prevented this shift. This iSTP change was mediated by a specific class of inhibitory interneurons, the lowthreshold spiking cells. Further, using paired recordings, we reveal that presynaptic GABAB receptors at interneuron-pyramidal connections regulate iSTP in an experience-dependent manner. This novel synaptic mechanism may support the emergence of mature temporal processing in the auditory cortex.
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