NMDA-receptor-independent long-term potentiation

Annu Rev Physiol. 1992:54:489-505. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ph.54.030192.002421.


Although NMDA-R-dep LTP in the hippocampus has received much attention, it is clear that many types of LTP do not involve NMDA receptors. While early studies of NMDA-R-indep LTP were done in invertebrates, an NMDA-R-indep LTP is also seen in at least three excitatory pathways of the hippocampus. There would appear to be quite diverse mechanisms of induction of NMDA-R-indep LTP, although in most cases there is evidence, or at least a suggestion, that Ca2+ is involved. At the hippocampal CA3 MF synapse, activation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels has been proposed as a trigger for LTP induction, and this may also be the case for certain types of LTP at the SC synapse in CA1 (25, 40). The modulation of both MF LTP and Ca2+ channels by beta-adrenoreceptor and muscarinic agonists suggests that specifically the L-type channel is critical for MF LTP induction. L-type Ca2+ channels may also be involved in NMDA-R-indep LTP at SC synapses (6, 40). Clearly more work is needed to test these possibilities. In addition, it will be interesting to discover whether voltage-gated Ca2+ channels play a role in LTP in other areas of the brain such as the cerebral cortex and amygdala (24).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Ganglia / metabolism
  • Invertebrates / metabolism
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vertebrates / metabolism


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate