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Neuron. 1995 Aug;15(2):443-52.

Postsynaptic injection of CA2+/CaM induces synaptic potentiation requiring CaMKII and PKC activity.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas, Houston 77225, USA.


CA2+-regulated protein kinases play critical roles in long-term potentiation (LTP). To understand the role of Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM) signaling pathways in synaptic transmission better, Ca2+/CaM was injected into hippocampal CA1 neurons. Ca2+/CaM induced significant potentiation of excitatory synaptic responses, which was blocked by coinjection of a CaM-binding peptide and was not induced by injections of Ca2+ or CaM alone. Reciprocal experiments demonstrated that Ca2+/CaM-induced synaptic potentiation and tetanus-induced LTP occluded one another. Pseudosubstrate inhibitors or high-affinity substrates of CaMKII or PKC blocked Ca2/CaM-induced potentiation, indicating the requirement of CaMKII and PKC activities in synaptic potentiation. We suggest that postsynaptic levels of free Ca2+/CaM is a rate limiting factor and that functional cross-talk between Ca2+/CaM and PKC pathways occurs during the induction of LTP.

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