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J Neurophysiol. 2000 Sep;84(3):1422-9.

Regional and postnatal heterogeneity of activity-dependent long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in the dorsal striatum.

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Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-0615, USA.


High-frequency activation of excitatory striatal synapses produces lasting changes in synaptic efficacy that may contribute to motor and cognitive functions. While some of the mechanisms responsible for the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synaptic responses at striatal synapses have been characterized, much less is known about the factors that govern the direction of synaptic plasticity in this brain region. Here we report heterogeneous activity-dependent changes in the direction of synaptic strength in subregions of the developing rat striatum. Neurons in the dorsolateral region of the anterior striatum tended to express LTD after high-frequency afferent stimulation (HFS) in slices from animals aged P15-P34. However, HFS in dorsolateral striatum from P12-P14 elicited an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent form of LTP. Synapses in the dorsomedial anterior striatum exhibited a propensity to express an NMDA-receptor dependent form of LTP across the entire developmental time period examined. The NMDA receptor antagonist (+/-)-2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid (APV) inhibited evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in striatum obtained from P12-P15 rats but had little effect in striatum from older animals. The expression of multiple forms of synaptic plasticity in the striatum suggests mechanisms by which this brain region plays pivotal roles in the acquisition or encoding of some forms of motor sequencing and stereotypical behaviors.

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