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Hippocampus. 1992 Jan;2(1):49-57.

Receptor changes and LTP: an analysis using aniracetam, a drug that reversibly modifies glutamate (AMPA) receptors.

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Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Queb├ęc.


The hypothesis that long-term potentiation (LTP) involves receptor modifications was tested with aniracetam, a nootropic drug that selectively increases currents mediated by the AMPA subclass of glutamate receptors. Aniracetam had different effects on the waveform of synaptic potentials in hippocampus before and after induction of LTP: (1) the drug caused a slight reduction (or delay) of the initial segment of the response after LTP; and (2) the facilitatory effects of aniracetam occurred at a later time point in the response after LTP than before. The interactions between LTP and aniracetam were still present when synaptic responses were greatly reduced by partial blockade of postsynaptic receptors and were not reproduced by increasing release or the number of stimulated synapses. A mathematical treatment of synaptic currents produced the following results: (1) if aniracetam facilitates AMPA receptor currents simply by reducing desensitization, then its complex interaction with LTP emerges when potentiation changes the kinetic and conductance properties of receptor channels; (2) if aniracetam also significantly increases conductance, then the experimental data can be reproduced by modeling LTP as an increase in channel conductance alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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