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Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Jul;24(2):547-54.

Early life modulators and predictors of adult synaptic plasticity.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 87131, USA.

Abstract

Early life experience can induce long-lasting changes in brain and behaviour that are opposite in direction, such as enhancement or impairment in regulation of stress response, structural and functional integrity of the hippocampus, and learning and memory. To explore how multiple early life events jointly determine developmental outcome, we investigated the combined effects of neonatal trauma (anoxia on postnatal day 1, P1) and neonatal novelty exposure (P2-21) on adult social recognition memory (3 months of age) and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 of the rat hippocampus (4.5-8 months of age). While neonatal anoxia selectively reduced post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), neonatal novel exposure selectively increased long-term potentiation (LTP). No interaction between anoxia and novelty exposure was found on either PTP or LTP. These findings suggest that the two contrasting neonatal events have selective and distinct effects on two different forms of synaptic plasticity. At the level of behaviour, the effect of novelty exposure on LTP was associated with increased social memory, and the effect of anoxia on PTP was not accompanied by changes in social memory. Such a finding suggests a bias toward the involvement of LTP over PTP in social memory. Finally, we report a surprising finding that an early behavioural measure of emotional response to a novel environment obtained at 25 days of age can predict adult LTP measured several months later. Therefore, individual differences in emotional responses present during the juvenile stage may contribute to adult individual differences in cellular mechanisms that underlie learning and memory.

PMID:
16903856
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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