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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Jul;22(5):514-20. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

AMPA receptor regulation during synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and neocortex.

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Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States.


Discovery of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus of the rabbit hippocampus by Bliss and Lømo opened up a whole new field to study activity-dependent long-term synaptic modifications in the brain. Since then hippocampal synapses have been a key model system to study the mechanisms of different forms of synaptic plasticity. At least for the postsynaptic forms of LTP and long-term depression (LTD), regulation of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) has emerged as a key mechanism. While many of the synaptic plasticity mechanisms uncovered in at the hippocampal synapses apply to synapses across diverse brain regions, there are differences in the mechanisms that often reveal the specific functional requirements of the brain area under study. Here we will review AMPAR regulation underlying synaptic plasticity in hippocampus and neocortex. The main focus of this review will be placed on postsynaptic forms of synaptic plasticity that impinge on the regulation of AMPARs using hippocampal CA1 and primary sensory cortices as examples. And through the comparison, we will highlight the key similarities and functional differences between the two synapses.

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