A transient, neuron-wide form of CREB-mediated long-term facilitation can be stabilized at specific synapses by local protein synthesis

Cell. 1999 Oct 15;99(2):221-37. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81653-0.


In a culture system where a bifurcated Aplysia sensory neuron makes synapses with two motor neurons, repeated application of serotonin (5-HT) to one synapse produces a CREB-mediated, synapse-specific, long-term facilitation, which can be captured at the opposite synapse by a single pulse of 5-HT. Repeated pulses of 5-HT applied to the cell body of the sensory neuron produce a CREB-dependent, cell-wide facilitation, which, unlike synapse-specific facilitation, is not associated with growth and does not persist beyond 48 hr. Persistent facilitation and synapse-specific growth can be induced by a single pulse of 5-HT applied to a peripheral synapse. Thus, the short-term process initiated by a single pulse of 5-HT serves not only to produce transient facilitation, but also to mark and stabilize any synapse of the neuron for long-term facilitation by means of a covalent mark and rapamycin-sensitive local protein synthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Long-Term Potentiation / drug effects
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / drug effects
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Serotonin / pharmacology*
  • Serotonin / physiology
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • Synapses / drug effects
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Dactinomycin
  • Serotonin
  • Sirolimus