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Neuroscience. 1995 Sep;68(2):387-94.

Opposing roles of type I and type II adrenal steroid receptors in hippocampal long-term potentiation.

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Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Studies were performed in vivo on the dentate gyrus to investigate the possible involvement of Type I and Type II adrenal steroid receptors in the mediation of reported adrenal steroid effects on long-term potentiation, through the use of specific Type I and Type II receptor agonists and antagonists. In adrenalectomized rats, administration of aldosterone, a specific Type I agonist, produced a marked enhancement in long-term potentiation, in comparison to either the adrenalectomized or sham adrenalectomized controls. Administration of RU 28318, a Type I antagonist, which by itself had minimal effects, blocked the aldosterone enhancement. In contrast, administration of the specific Type II agonist, RU 28362, produced a marked decrement in the induction of long-term potentiation. The RU 28362 effect was blocked by a prior injection of the Type II antagonist, RU 38486. Neither adrenalectomy nor administration of any of the steroid agonists or antagonists had noticeable effects on neuronal excitability (as determined by the field potentials), nor on post-tetanic potentiation. These findings are consistent with other studies that have shown a biphasic effect of increasing levels of corticosterone on long-term or prime burst potentiation. Taken together, these studies suggest that Type I receptors, with a high affinity for corticosterone, and Type II receptors, having a lower affinity for corticosterone, form a two-level recognition system to modulate induced synaptic plasticity in opposite directions in the dentate gyrus and possibly also in Ammon's horn.

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