Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

Bliss Tim, Collingridge Graham and Morris Richard

in The Hippocampus Book

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195100273
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864133 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Neuroscience Series

Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

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The chapter opens with a brief historical account of the first two decades of research into about long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Section 10.2 discusses the various short-term forms of plasticity that hippocampal synapses share with most if not all synapses: paired-pulse facilitation and depression and post-tetanic potentiation. Sections, 10.3 and 10.4 focus on the mechanisms supporting the induction and expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent LTP. Section 10.5 discusses mossy fiber LTP. Section 10.6 surveys neuromodulatory systems that affect LTP, such as the cholinergic input, catecholamines, and neurotrophins. Section 10.7 explores the world of long-term depression, and the “depotentiation” of LTP. Section 10.8 examines the evidence for LTP and LTD at excitatory synapses onto interneurons and inhibitory synapses made by interneurons. Section 10.9 turns to synaptic plasticity in development, and in the aging animal, and discusses how LTP and LTD are affected in animal models of cognitive decline. Finally, section 10.10 surveys and assesses the evidence relating to the question: Why do hippocampal synapses display these striking forms of plasticity, and does the intact animal exploit them to acquire and store memories?

Keywords: long-term potentiation; long-term depression; hippocampal synapses; N-methyl-D-aspartate; plasticity; post-tetanic potentiation

Chapter.  113189 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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