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Nat Neurosci. 2003 Oct;6(10):1058-63. Epub 2003 Aug 31.

Presynaptic kainate receptors impart an associative property to hippocampal mossy fiber long-term potentiation.

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  • 1Neuroscience Research Center, Charité, Humboldt-University Berlin, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Hippocampal mossy fiber synapses show an unusual form of long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDA receptor activation and is expressed presynaptically. Using receptor antagonists, as well as receptor knockout mice, we found that presynaptic kainate receptors facilitate the induction of mossy fiber long-term potentiation (LTP), although they are not required for this form of LTP. Most importantly, these receptors impart an associativity to mossy fiber LTP such that activity in neighboring mossy fiber synapses, or even associational/commissural synapses, influences the threshold for inducing mossy fiber LTP. Such a mechanism greatly increases the computational power of this form of plasticity.

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