[Progress on Metaplasticity and Its Role in Learning and Memory]

Sheng Li Xue Bao. 2016 Aug 25;68(4):475-82.
[Article in Chinese]


Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are two major forms of synaptic plasticity that are widely considered as important cellular models of learning and memory. Metaplasticity is defined as the plasticity of synaptic plasticity and thus is an advanced form of plasticity. The history of synaptic activity can affect the subsequent synaptic plasticity induction. Therefore, it is important to study metaplasticity to explore new mechanisms underlying various brain functions including learning and memory. Since the concept of metaplasticity was proposed, it has aroused widespread concerns and attracted numerous researchers to dig more details on this topic. These new-found experimental phenomena and cellular mechanisms have established the basis of theoretical studies on metaplasticity. In recent years, researchers have found that metaplasticity can not only affect the synaptic plasticity, but also regulate the neural network to encode specific content and enhance the learning and memory. These findings have greatly enriched our knowledge on plasticity and opened a new route to study the mechanism of learning and memory. In this review, we discuss the recent progress on metaplasticity on following three aspects: (1) the molecular mechanisms of metaplasticity; (2) the role of metaplasticity in learning and memory; and (3) the outlook of future study on metaplasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Learning*
  • Memory*
  • Neuronal Plasticity*