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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 23;8(4):e62520. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062520. Print 2013.

Reduced threshold for induction of LTP by activation of dopamine D1/D5 receptors at hippocampal CA1-subiculum synapses.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charite, Universit├Ątsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The phasic release of dopamine in the hippocampal formation has been shown to facilitate the encoding of novel information. There is evidence that the subiculum operates as a detector and distributor of sensory information, which incorporates the novelty and relevance of signals received from CA1. The subiculum acts as the final hippocampal relay station for outgoing information. Subicular pyramidal cells have been classified as regular- and burst-spiking neurons. The goal of the present study was to study the effect of dopamine D1/D5 receptor activation on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the subicular regular-spiking neurons of 4-6 week old Wistar rats. We demonstrate that prior activation of D1/D5 receptors reduces the threshold for the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in subicular regular-spiking neurons. Our results indicate that D1/D5 receptor activation facilitates a postsynaptic form of LTP in subicular regular-spiking cells that is NMDA receptor-dependent, relies on postsynaptic Ca(2+) signaling, and requires the activation of protein kinase A. The enhanced propensity of subicular regular-spiking cells to express postsynaptic LTP after activation of D1/D5 receptors provides an intriguing mechanism for the encoding of hippocampal output information.

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