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J Neurosci. 2002 Jul 15;22(14):6121-8.

Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression mediated via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase is inhibited by previous high-frequency stimulation and activation of mGluRs and protein kinase C in the rat dentate gyrus in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The induction of synaptic plasticity is known to be influenced by the previous history of the synapse, a process termed metaplasticity. Here we demonstrate a novel metaplasticity in which group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission is regulated by previous mGluR activation. In these studies, the group I mGluR-dependent LTD induced by the selective agonist (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG-LTD) was inhibited by previous preconditioning brief high-frequency stimulation (HFS), regardless of whether the preconditioning HFS induced long-term potentiation. Blockade of NMDA receptors during the preconditioning HFS did not alter the inhibition of DHPG-LTD by the HFS. However, antagonism of mGluRs during the preconditioning HFS did prevent the inhibition of DHPG-LTD by the HFS. In addition, blocking PKC stimulation during the preconditioning HFS also prevented the inhibitory effect of HFS on DHPG-LTD. The DHPG-LTD itself was not inhibited by blocking PKC stimulation but was inhibited by blocking the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Thus, whereas the DHPG-LTD is mediated via activation of the p38 MAPK pathway, the inhibitory effects of preconditioning HFS on DHPG-LTD are mediated via stimulation of group I/II mGluRs, activation of PKC, and subsequent blocking of the functioning of group I mGluR.

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