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J Physiol. 2003 Dec 15;553(Pt 3):843-56. Epub 2003 Oct 10.

A juvenile form of postsynaptic hippocampal long-term potentiation in mice deficient for the AMPA receptor subunit GluR-A.

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Department of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1103 Blindern, N0317 Oslo, Norway.


In adult mice, long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission at CA3-to-CA1 synapses induced by tetanic stimulation requires L-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) receptors containing GluR-A subunits. Here, we report a GluR-A-independent form of LTP, which is comparable in size to LTP in wild-type mice at postnatal day 14 (P14) but diminishes between P14 and P42 in brain slices of GluR-A-deficient mice. The GluR-A-independent form of LTP is sensitive to D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (D-AP5), but lacks short-term potentiation (STP) and can also be observed in the pairing induction protocol. As judged by unaltered paired-pulse facilitation, this LTP form is postsynaptically expressed despite depleted extrasynaptic AMPA receptor pools with reduced levels of GluR-B, which accumulates in somata and synapses of CA1 pyramidal neurons in GluR-A-deficient mice. Our results show that in the developing hippocampus synaptic plasticity can be expressed by AMPA receptors lacking the GluR-A subunit.

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