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Science. 1988 Jun 17;240(4859):1667-9.

cAMP evokes long-term facilitation in Aplysia sensory neurons that requires new protein synthesis.

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  • 1Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, NY 10032.


Behavioral sensitization leads to both short- and long-term enhancement of synaptic transmission between the sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia. Serotonin (5-HT), a transmitter important for short-term sensitization, can evoke long-term enhancement of synaptic strength detected 1 day later. Because 5-HT mediates short-term facilitation through adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein phosphorylation, the role of cAMP in the long-term modulation of this identified synapse was examined. Like 5-HT, cAMP can also evoke long-term facilitation lasting 24 hours. Unlike the short-term change, the long-lasting change is blocked by anisomycin, a reversible inhibitor of protein synthesis, and therefore must involve the synthesis of gene products not required for the short-term change.

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