A persistent postsynaptic modification mediates long-term potentiation in the hippocampus

Neuron. 1988 Dec;1(10):911-7. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(88)90148-1.


Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission that can be induced by brief repetitive stimulation of excitatory pathways in the hippocampus. One of the most controversial points is whether the process underlying the enhanced synaptic transmission occurs pre- or postsynaptically. To examine this question, we have taken advantage of the novel physiological properties of excitatory synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Synaptically released glutamate activates both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors on pyramidal cells, resulting in an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) with two distinct components. A selective increase in the non-NMDA component of the EPSP was observed with LTP. This result suggests that the enhancement of synaptic transmission during LTP is caused by an increased sensitivity of the postsynaptic neuron to synaptically released glutamate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Glutamates / metabolism
  • Glutamates / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / ultrastructure
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Glutamates
  • Quinoxalines
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione