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Prog Brain Res. 1998;118:155-72.

Nitric oxide as a retrograde messenger during long-term potentiation in hippocampus.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) is widespread in the nervous system and is thought to play a role in a variety of different neuronal functions, including learning and memory (see other chapters, this volume). A number of behavioral studies have indicated that NO is involved in several types of learning such as motor learning (Yanagihara and Kondo, 1996), avoidance learning (Barati and Kopf, 1996; Myslivecek et al., 1996), olfactory learning (Okere et. al., 1996; Kendrick et al., 1997), and spatial learning (Holscher et al., 1995; Yamada et al., 1996) (for review of earlier papers see Hawkins, 1996). Moreover, NO is thought to be involved in neuronal plasticity contributing to these different types of learning in different brain areas including the cerebellum (chapter by R. Tsien, this volume) and hippocampus. In this chapter we review evidence on the role of NO in long-term potentiation (LTP), a type of synaptic plasticity in hippocampus that is believed to contribute to declarative forms of learning such as spatial learning.

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