Brief seizure episodes induce long-term potentiation and mossy fibre sprouting in the hippocampus

Trends Neurosci. 1990 Aug;13(8):312-8. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(90)90135-w.


Much of our present understanding of the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory derives from studies on the hippocampus in which long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is produced by a train of high-frequency electrical stimulation or by potassium channel blockers. The hippocampus is also a seizure-prone region and recent studies have revealed that brief seizure episodes produce remarkably long-lasting changes which are reminiscent of 'classical' LTP. A brief seizure episode also sets in motion a cascade of events that includes changes in gene expression, sprouting of fibres and the establishment of new synaptic contacts. This paper reviews this use-dependent structural rearrangement of the neuronal network and discusses its possible role in epilepsy and as a model of plasticity in the adult nervous system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Granulocytes / physiology
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • N-Methylaspartate / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors


  • N-Methylaspartate