Competing for memory: hippocampal LTP under regimes of reduced protein synthesis

Neuron. 2004 Dec 16;44(6):1011-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.10.033.


The persistence of synaptic potentiation in the hippocampus is known to depend on transcription and protein synthesis. We report here that, under regimes of reduced protein synthesis, competition between synapses for the relevant intracellular proteins can be demonstrated. Under such circumstances, the induction of additional protein synthesis-dependent long-term potentiation for a given set of postsynaptic neurons occurs at the expense of the maintenance of prior potentiation on an independent pathway. This new phenomenon, which we call "competitive maintenance," has important functional consequences, and it may be explained in terms of dynamic interactions between synapses and "plasticity factors" over extended periods of time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Long-Term Potentiation / drug effects
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors