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J Neurosci Methods. 2003 Nov 30;130(1):19-32.

LTP in cultured hippocampal-entorhinal cortex slices from young adult (P25-30) rats.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Brenneckestr. 6, 39118 Magdeburg, Germany.


Cultured hippocampal neurons and immature organotypic slice cultures overcome temporal limitations of acute hippocampal slices and have been useful for investigating long-lasting plasticity. Difficulties with culturing adult neurons have restricted such studies to preparations from embryonic, perinatal, and juvenile tissue. By improving the methods for culturing and maintaining hippocampal-entorhinal cortex slices obtained from mature rats (P25-30), we show that their use in long-term electrophysiological investigations is feasible. Our cultured slices maintained an intact and functional trisynaptic cascade, normal synaptic function, and reliable long-term recording stability for at least 14 days in vitro. The electrophysiological properties and, in particular, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in our mature organotypic slices were highly sensitive to dissection and tissue culture techniques. We present data describing the extracellular stimulation requirements for LTP-induction and its long-lasting maintenance (>4 h) at the Schaffer-collateral-CA1 synapse, and show that such changes in synaptic efficiency are NMDA receptor dependent. Our hippocampal-entorhinal cortex cultures from mature tissue can retain the electrophysiological properties required for long-term plasticity for several weeks in vitro.

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