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J Neurochem. 2012 Aug;122(3):582-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2012.07815.x. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

MPTP modulates hippocampal synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity via dopamine receptors.

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  • 1Institutes of Brain Science and State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms and cognitive deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Since cognitive abilities, including memory formations rely also on hippocampus, we set out to clarify the effects of MPTP on hippocampal physiology. We show that bath-application of MPTP (25 μM) to acute hippocampal slices enhanced AMPA receptor-mediated field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (AMPAr-fEPSPs) transiently, whereas N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated fEPSPs (NMDAr-fEPSPs) were facilitated persistently. The MPTP-mediated transient AMPAr-fEPSP facilitation was antagonized by the dopamine D2-like receptor antagonists, eticlopride (1 μM) and sulpiride (1 and 40 μM). In contrast, the persistent enhancement of NMDAr-fEPSPs was prevented by the dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist SCH23390 (10 μM). In addition, we show that MPTP decreased paired-pulse facilitation of fEPSPs and mEPSCs frequency. Regarding activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, 25 μM MPTP transformed short-term potentiation (STP) into a long-term potentiation (LTP) and caused a slow onset potentiation of a non-tetanized synaptic input after induction of LTP in a second synaptic input. This heterosynaptic slow onset potentiation required activation of dopamine D1-like and NMDA-receptors. We conclude that acute MPTP application affects basal synaptic transmission by modulation of presynaptic vesicle release and facilitates NMDAr-fEPSPs as well as activity-dependent homo- and heterosynaptic plasticity under participation of dopamine receptors.

© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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