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J Neurophysiol. 2004 Dec;92(6):3221-32.

Synaptic enhancement induced through callosal pathways in cat association cortex.

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Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec G1K 7P4, Canada.


The corpus callosum plays a major role in synchronizing neocortical activities in the two hemispheres. We investigated the changes in callosally elicited excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) of neurons from cortical association areas 5 and 7 of cats under barbiturate or ketamine-xylazine anesthesia. Single pulses to callosal pathway evoked control EPSPs; pulse-trains were subsequently applied at different frequencies to homotopic sites in the contralateral cortex, as conditioning stimulation; thereafter, the single pulses were applied again to test changes in synaptic responsiveness by comparing the amplitudes of control and conditioned EPSPs. In 41 of 42 neurons recorded under barbiturate anesthesia, all frequencies of conditioning callosal stimuli induced short-term (5-30 min) enhancement of test EPSPs elicited by single stimuli. Neurons tested with successive conditioning pulse-trains at different frequencies displayed stronger enhancement with high-frequency (40-100 Hz) than with low-frequency (10-20 Hz) rhythmic pulse-trains; >100 Hz, the potentiation saturated. In a neuronal sample, microdialysis of an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blocker in barbiturate-treated cats suppressed this potentiation, and potentiation of callosally evoked EPSPs was not detected in neurons recorded under ketamine-xylazine anesthesia, thus indicating that EPSPs' potentiation implicates, at least partially, NMDA receptors. These data suggest that callosal activities occurring within low-frequency and fast-frequency oscillations play a role in cortical synaptic plasticity.

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