Modulation of synaptic efficacy in field CA1 of the rat hippocampus by forskolin

Brain Res. 1992 Mar 6;574(1-2):85-92. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(92)90803-h.


Activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (kinase A) has recently been shown to enhance responses evoked by stimulation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) receptors in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Here we report results of experiments designed to determine if activation of the cAMP cascade potentiates synaptic strength in field CA1 of rat hippocampal slices. We find that bath application of the direct adenylate cyclase activator forskolin (50 microM) enhances the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) slope and population spike amplitude evoked by stimulation of Schaffer/commissural afferents. This effect is potentiated by the phosphodiesterase inhibitor and adenosine receptor antagonist 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). The enhancement produced by forskolin is suppressed in the presence of adenylate cyclase inhibitors and is not mimicked by the inactive forskolin analogue 1,9-dideoxyforskolin, indicating that, indeed, activation of adenylate cyclase mediates the effects of forskolin in field CA1. Our observations support the idea that changes in intracellular cAMP levels can modulate synaptic efficacy of excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the mammalian hippocampus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine / pharmacology
  • Adenylyl Cyclase Inhibitors
  • Animals
  • Colforsin / pharmacology*
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Protein Kinases / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synapses / drug effects*


  • Adenylyl Cyclase Inhibitors
  • Colforsin
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Protein Kinases
  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine