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Neuron. 2003 Jan 9;37(1):135-47.

Activity-dependent presynaptic facilitation and hebbian LTP are both required and interact during classical conditioning in Aplysia.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Using a simplified preparation of the Aplysia siphon-withdrawal reflex, we previously found that associative plasticity at synapses between sensory neurons and motor neurons contributes importantly to classical conditioning of the reflex. We have now tested the roles in that plasticity of two associative cellular mechanisms: activity-dependent enhancement of presynaptic facilitation and postsynaptically induced long-term potentiation. By perturbing molecular signaling pathways in individual neurons, we have provided the most direct evidence to date that each of these mechanisms contributes to behavioral learning. In addition, our results suggest that the two mechanisms are not independent but rather interact through retrograde signaling.

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