We have previously shown that repetitive induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) by glutamate (100 μM, 3 min, three times at 24-hr intervals) provoked long-lasting synaptic enhancement accompanied by synaptogenesis in rat hippocampal slice cultures, a phenomenon termed RISE (repetitive LTP-induced synaptic enhancement). Here, we examined the role of Ca2+-permeable (CP) AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in the establishment of RISE. We first found a component sensitive to the Joro-spider toxin (JSTX), a blocker of CP-AMPARs, in a field EPSP recorded from CA3-CA1 synapses at 2–3 days after stimulation, but this component was not found for 9–10 days. We also observed that rectification of AMPAR-mediated current appeared only 2–3 days after stimulation, using a whole-cell patch clamp recording from CA1 pyramidal neurons. These findings indicate that CP-AMPAR is transiently expressed in the developing phase of RISE. The blockade of CP-AMPARs by JSTX for 24 hr at this developing phase inhibited RISE establishment, accompanied by the loss of small synapses at the ultrastructural level. These results suggest that transiently induced CP-AMPARs play a critical role in synaptogenesis in the developing phase of long-lasting hippocampal synaptic plasticity, RISE.
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