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Learn Mem. 1996 Jul-Aug;3(1):1-24.

A biochemist's view of long-term potentiation.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


This review surveys the molecular mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP) from the point of view of a biochemist. On the basis of available data, LTP in area CA1 of the hippocampus is divided into three phases--initial, early, and late--and the mechanisms contributing to the induction and expression of each phase are examined. We focus on evidence for the involvement of various second messengers and their effectors as well as the biochemical strategies employed in each phase to convert a transient signal into a lasting change in the neuron. We also consider, from a biochemical perspective, the implications of a multiphase model for LTP.

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