Possible involvement of nitric oxide in long-term potentiation

Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Jul 9;199(3):379-81. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(91)90505-k.


Long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus is known to involve NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors. Since activation of NMDA receptors in the cerebellum results in the formation of nitric oxide (NO), we studied the possible involvement of this messenger in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We report here that the NO-synthase inhibitor, L-N omega-nitro-arginine, blocks LTP and that sodium nitroprusside, which releases NO, produces a long-lasting enhancement in synaptic efficacy which is not additive with tetanus-induced LTP.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitroarginine
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synapses / drug effects
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Nitroprusside
  • Nitroarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine