ERK plays a regulatory role in induction of LTP by theta frequency stimulation and its modulation by beta-adrenergic receptors

Neuron. 1999 Nov;24(3):715-26. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)81124-1.


MAP kinase (ERK) translates cell surface signals into alterations in transcription. We have found that ERK also regulates hippocampal neuronal excitability during 5 Hz stimulation and thereby regulates forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) that do not require macromolecular synthesis. Moreover, ERK-mediated changes in excitability are selectively required for some forms of LTP but not others. ERK is required for the early phase of LTP elicited by brief 5 Hz stimulation, as well as for LTP elicited by more prolonged 5 Hz stimulation when paired with beta1-adrenergic receptor activation. By contrast, ERK plays no role in LTP elicited by a single 1 s 100 Hz train. Consistent with these results, we find that ERK is activated by beta-adrenergic receptors in CA1 pyramidal cell somas and dendrites.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Dendrites / enzymology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoproterenol / pharmacology
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pyramidal Cells / enzymology
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Theta Rhythm*


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Isoproterenol