Lack of AMPA receptor desensitization during basal synaptic transmission in the hippocampal slice

J Neurophysiol. 1999 Jun;81(6):3096-9. doi: 10.1152/jn.1999.81.6.3096.


Excitatory postsynaptic currents in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices are mediated primarily by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors in response to synaptically released glutamate. Outside-out patches from pyramidal cells in this region have shown that AMPA receptors are desensitized by short (1 ms) pulses of glutamate. We have taken a number of approaches to ask whether synaptic receptors desensitize in response to synaptically released glutamate in the slice. Recordings with paired pulses and minimal stimulation conditions that are presumably activating only a single release site do not show evidence for desensitization. Furthermore, cyclothiazide, a drug that blocks desensitization, does not alter paired-pulse ratios even under conditions of high probability of release, which should maximize desensitization. These results suggest that synaptic receptors do not desensitize in response to synaptically released glutamate during basal synaptic transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzothiadiazines / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / physiology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iontophoresis
  • Microelectrodes
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, AMPA / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Benzothiadiazines
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Glutamic Acid
  • cyclothiazide