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Brain Res Bull. 1994;33(1):17-24.

Opioid receptor-dependent long-term potentiation at the lateral perforant path-CA3 synapse in rat hippocampus.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The involvement of opioid receptors in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was investigated in the lateral and medial perforant path projections to area CA3 of the hippocampus in anesthetized rats. The opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (10 nmol), applied to the hippocampal CA3 region 10 min prior to tetanization, blocked the induction lateral perforant path-CA3 LTP induced by high-frequency stimulation. By contrast, LTP induction in medial perforant path-CA3 was not attenuated by a 10 nmol quantity of naloxone. (+)-Naloxone (10 nmol), the inactive stereoisomer of naloxone, was without effect on the induction of lateral perforant path-CA3 LTP. Naloxone applied 1 h following LTP induction did not reverse established lateral perforant path-CA3 LTP, indicating that opioid receptors are involved in the induction but not the maintenance of LTP in this pathway. LTP of medial perforant path responses developed immediately, while LTP of lateral perforant path responses was slow to develop. The latter pattern is similar to the time course of the development of LTP observed at the mossy fiber-CA3 synapse and suggests that lateral and medial perforant path synapses may use distinct mechanisms of both induction and expression of LTP. These data extend previous findings demonstrating opioid receptor-dependent mechanisms of LTP induction at both the mossy fiber-CA3 synapse and the lateral perforant path-dentate gyrus synapse. We suggest that lateral perforant path and mossy fiber synapses may utilize similar, opioid receptor-dependent, mechanisms of LTP induction and expression.

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