Protein synthesis-dependent long-term functional plasticity: methods and techniques

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Oct;15(5):607-13. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2005.08.009.


There is growing interest in late-LTP and late-LTD, that is, distinct forms of functional plasticity that require somatic functions such as protein synthesis in addition to the transient synaptic processes that are required for short lasting forms. Interestingly, to date only these forms of lasting plastic events could be detected in healthy, freely moving animals and thus, they are considered as physiological cellular models of learning and memory formation. Late-LTP and -LTD are characterized by 'synaptic tagging' or 'capture' and 'synaptic cross-tagging', but there are only a few laboratories that can currently perform experiments studying these properties. In brain slice work, there are many different approaches to investigate these processes using different methodological variations: some allow slices to rest for long periods before the experiment starts, others do not; some run their experiments at near to physiological temperatures, others at lower temperatures; some stimulate frequently, others do not.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Synaptic Depression / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results