Caffeine Increases Hippocampal Sharp Waves in Vitro

Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(7):1111-1115. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b17-00101.


Caffeine promotes memory consolidation. Memory consolidation is thought to depend at least in part on hippocampal sharp waves (SWs). In the present study, we investigated the effect of bath-application of caffeine in spontaneously occurring SWs in mouse acute hippocampal slices. Caffeine induced an about 100% increase in the event frequency of SWs at concentrations of 60 and 200 µM. The effect of caffeine was reversible after washout of caffeine and was mimicked by an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, but not by an A2A receptor antagonist. Caffeine increased SWs even in dentate-CA3 mini-slices without the CA2 regions, in which adenosine A1 receptors are abundantly expressed in the hippocampus. Thus, caffeine facilitates SWs by inhibiting adenosine A1 receptors in the hippocampal CA3 region or the dentate gyrus.

Keywords: adenosine; hippocampus; learning; memory; ripple; slice.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / drug effects*
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / physiology
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / drug effects
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice


  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Caffeine