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J Neurophysiol. 2002 Jul;88(1):249-55.

Different calcium sources are narrowly tuned to the induction of different forms of LTP.

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Division of Neuroscience, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. clarke/


The essential role of calcium in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) has been well established. In particular, calcium influx via the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) is important for LTP induction in many pathways. However, the specific roles of other calcium sources in hippocampal LTP are less clear. The aim of the present study was to determine the appropriate conditions and extent to which non-NMDAR Ca(2+) sources contribute to the induction of different forms of LTP in area CA1 of hippocampal slices. Increasing numbers of theta-burst trains (1, 4, and 8 TBS) induced LTP of increasing magnitude and persistence. Inhibition of ryanodine receptors caused inhibition of weak LTP induced by 1 TBS, but had no effect on more robust forms of LTP. Inhibition of IP3 receptors inhibited moderate LTP induced by 4 TBS, but had no effect when 1 TBS or 8 TBS were used. Inhibition of L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels inhibited strong LTP induced by 8 TBS, but had no effect on weaker forms of LTP. These results show that different Ca(2+) sources have different thresholds for activation by TBS trains. Furthermore, each Ca(2+) source appears to be tuned to the induction of a different form of LTP. Such tuning could reflect an important link between different LTP induction and maintenance mechanisms.

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