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Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Dec;11(12):4476-80.

Cyclical changes in endogenous levels of oestrogen modulate the induction of LTD and LTP in the hippocampal CA1 region.

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School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK.


The present study investigated the effects of naturally fluctuating endogenous levels of oestrogen on the induction and maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Using an anaesthetized in vivo preparation, the results showed that the induction of LTP was augmented during the pro-oestrous stage of the oestrous cycle. In contrast to LTP, however, the induction of paired-pulse LTD was severely attenuated during pro-oestrous, but was clearly manifested by rats during met/dioestrous and oestrous stages of the cycle. These findings are discussed with reference to: (i) the modulatory effects of oestrogen on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission in the hippocampus; and (ii) the functional implications that such cyclical changes in synaptic plasticity have for learning and memory processes supported by the hippocampus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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