Presynaptic enhancement shown by whole-cell recordings of long-term potentiation in hippocampal slices

Malinow, R., Tsien, R. W. (July 1990) Presynaptic enhancement shown by whole-cell recordings of long-term potentiation in hippocampal slices. Nature, 346 (6280). pp. 177-80. ISSN 0028-0836 (Print)0028-0836 (Linking)

DOI: 10.1038/346177a0


Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus is a widely studied model system for understanding the cellular mechanisms of memory. In region CA1, LTP is triggered postsynaptically by Ca2(+)-dependent activation of protein kinases, but the locus of persistent modification remains controversial. Statistical analysis of synaptic variability has been proposed as a means of settling this debate, although a major obstacle has been the poor signal-to-noise ratio of conventional intracellular recordings. We have applied the whole-cell voltage clamp technique to study synaptic transmission in conventional hippocampal slices (compare refs 28-30). Here we report that robust LTP can be recorded with much improved signal resolution and biochemical access to the postsynaptic cell. Prolonged dialysis of the postsynaptic cell blocks the triggering of LTP, with no effect on expression of LTP. The improved signal resolution unmasks a large trial-to-trial variability, reflecting the probabilistic nature of transmitter release. Changes in the synaptic variability, and a decrease in the proportion of synaptic failures during LTP, suggest that transmitter release is significantly enhanced.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Electric Stimulation Electrophysiology/methods Evoked Potentials Hippocampus/*physiology In Vitro Techniques Memory/*physiology Rats Synapses/physiology Synaptic Transmission/*physiology Time Factors
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > Long term potentiation
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > hippocampus
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > synaptic plasticity
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Malinow lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 12 July 1990
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2016 15:01
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2016 15:01
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