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Rev Neurosci. 2015;26(5):507-46. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2014-0072.

Temporal phases of long-term potentiation (LTP): myth or fact?

Abstract

Long-term potentiation (LTP) remains the most widely accepted model for learning and memory. In accordance with this belief, the temporal differentiation of LTP into early and late phases is accepted as reflecting the differentiation of short-term and long-term memory. Moreover, during the past 30 years, protein synthesis inhibitors have been used to separate the early, protein synthesis-independent (E-LTP) phase and the late, protein synthesis-dependent (L-LTP) phase. However, the role of these proteins has not been formally identified. Additionally, several reports failed to show an effect of protein synthesis inhibitors on LTP. In this review, a detailed analysis of extensive behavioral and electrophysiological data reveals that the presumed correspondence of LTP temporal phases to memory phases is neither experimentally nor theoretically consistent. Moreover, an overview of the time courses of E-LTP in hippocampal slices reveals a wide variability ranging from <1 h to more than 5 h. The existence of all these conflictual findings should lead to a new vision of LTP. We believe that the E-LTP vs. L-LTP distinction, established with protein synthesis inhibitor studies, reflects a false dichotomy. We suggest that the duration of LTP and its dependency on protein synthesis are related to the availability of a set of proteins at synapses and not to the de novo synthesis of plasticity-related proteins. This availability is determined by protein turnover kinetics, which is regulated by previous and ongoing electrical activities and by energy store availability.

PMID:
25992512
DOI:
10.1515/revneuro-2014-0072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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