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Neuron. 1999 Nov;24(3):715-26.

ERK plays a regulatory role in induction of LTP by theta frequency stimulation and its modulation by beta-adrenergic receptors.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032, USA.


MAP kinase (ERK) translates cell surface signals into alterations in transcription. We have found that ERK also regulates hippocampal neuronal excitability during 5 Hz stimulation and thereby regulates forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) that do not require macromolecular synthesis. Moreover, ERK-mediated changes in excitability are selectively required for some forms of LTP but not others. ERK is required for the early phase of LTP elicited by brief 5 Hz stimulation, as well as for LTP elicited by more prolonged 5 Hz stimulation when paired with beta1-adrenergic receptor activation. By contrast, ERK plays no role in LTP elicited by a single 1 s 100 Hz train. Consistent with these results, we find that ERK is activated by beta-adrenergic receptors in CA1 pyramidal cell somas and dendrites.

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