Activation of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) glutamate receptors (NMDARs) is required for long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal CA1 synapses, the proposed cellular mechanisms of learning and memory. We demonstrate here that a brief bath co-application of a low concentration of NMDA, an agonist of NMDARs, and the selective antagonist of NR2B-containing NMDARs, (α R, β S)-α-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-β-methyl-4-(phenylmethyl)-1-piperidinepropanol (Ro25-6981), to hippocampal slices from young adult rats produced a slowly developing LTP persisting at least for 6 h following a transient depression of synaptic transmission in CA1 synapses. The LTP was likely to occur at postsynaptic site and was initiated by activation of NMDARs, and its development was mediated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activation and protein synthesis. This chemically induced LTP and the tetanus-induced late phase of LTP (L-LTP) were mutually occluding, suggesting a common expression mechanism. Thus, we have demonstrated that a brief bath co-application of NMDA with Ro25-6981 to a slice offers an alternative to electrical stimulation as a stimulation method to induce L-LTP. The chemically induced LTP did not require the low-frequency test stimulation typically used to monitor the strength of synapses during and after drug application. Thus, the LTP may occur at a large fraction of synapses in the slice and not to be confined to a small fraction of the synapses where electrical stimulation can reach and induce LTP. Therefore, this chemically induced LTP may be useful for assessing the biochemical and morphological correlates and the molecular aspects of the expression mechanism for L-LTP that has been proven to correlate to hippocampal long-term memory.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2009 Mar 3|
- NR2B antagonist
- chemically-induced late phase of LTP
- protein kinase A
- protein synthesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas