Tumor necrosis factor alters synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal slices

Neurosci Lett. 1992 Nov 9;146(2):176-8. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(92)90071-e.


The effects of human recombinant tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) on the synaptic transmission were studied in rat hippocampal slices by using extracellular field potential recordings. Population spikes and/or excitatory postsynaptic potentials were extracellularly recorded in hippocampus CA1 region from stratum pyramidale and stratum radiatum, respectively, and synaptic transmission was examined in the Schaffer collateral/commissural-CA1 pathway. Basal neurotransmission slightly and promptly increased in slices acutely exposed to TNF-alpha (1-100 nM). Examination of the long-term potentiation (LTP) revealed that a brief treatment with the cytokine did not influence LTP, while a long-lasting application of TNF-alpha (50 min or more) inhibited LTP in a dose-dependent way in the range of 1-100 nM. A role for TNF-alpha as a peptide of immunological significance belonging to the family of brain neuromodulators is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synapses / drug effects*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Protein Kinase C