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J Neurophysiol. 1988 Feb;59(2):667-87.

Noradrenergic enhancement of long-term potentiation at mossy fiber synapses in the hippocampus.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


1. We tested several hypotheses related to the modulation of long-term potentiation (LTP) by norepinephrine (NE) at the mossy fiber synapses in the rat hippocampal slice preparation using extracellular and intracellular recording techniques. 2. NE exerted frequency-dependent effects on mossy fiber synaptic transmission. It had little effect on extracellular population excitatory postsynaptic potentials (pEPSPs) sampled during low-frequency stimulation, whereas it had marked effects on the duration, magnitude, and probability of induction of LTP at these synapses. 3. The beta-adrenoceptor agonist isoproterenol mimicked all of the effects of NE, whereas the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists propranolol and timolol reversibly blocked the induction of LTP, suggesting the effects of NE are mediated by a beta-adrenoceptor and that beta-adrenoceptor activation may be an important constituent for the expression of LTP at these synapses. 4. Frequency-dependent effects of NE and isoproterenol on mossy fiber pEPSPs were also observed in the presence of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonist, picrotoxin, suggesting that NE can enhance LTP by a mechanism that does not depend on intact inhibition. However, propranolol did not block LTP in these disinhibited slices and did not affect LTP magnitude. 5. The adenylate cyclase activator forskolin augmented pEPSPs sampled during low-frequency stimulation in disinhibited slices and significantly enhanced LTP. Forskolin, however, did not produce LTP in the absence of tetanic stimulation. This supports the hypothesis that NE and isoproterenol augment features of LTP by stimulating adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) production and that cAMP plays a modulatory role in the induction of LTP. 6. The postsynaptic injection of the cAMP analogue 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-bromo-cAMP) significantly increased the probability of induction of LTP measured intracellularly under voltage-clamp conditions with intact inhibition. An analysis of the inhibitory synaptic slope conductance during these experiments indicated that changes in this measure could neither account for the increase in mossy fiber synaptic slope conductance in those cells that displayed it nor account for the group differences in this variable. 7. The amplitude and duration of the postsynaptic depolarization during tetanic stimulation in the cells that displayed LTP in the 8-bromo-cAMP-injected group were significantly greater than in the cells that did not display LTP in the adenosine 5'-monophosphate-injected group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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