Mechanisms of selective long-term potentiation of excitatory synapses in stratum oriens/alveus interneurons of rat hippocampal slices

J Neurophysiol. 1995 Feb;73(2):810-9. doi: 10.1152/jn.1995.73.2.810.


1. We investigated long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in different populations of interneurons in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices using whole cell recordings. We elicited excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in interneurons located in stratum oriens near the alveus (O/A) or in stratum lacunosum-moleculare near the stratum radiatum border (L-M) by electrical stimulation of nearby axons in stratum oriens and radiatum, respectively. 2. High-frequency stimulation (100 Hz, 1 s) of axons in conjunction with postsynaptic depolarization (to -20 mV) increased the peak amplitude of test EPSCs elicited at -80 mV in O/A interneurons. The mean peak amplitude of EPSCs was significantly potentiated relative to the control period at 10 min (39 +/- 7% increase, mean +/- SE; n = 11 cells) and 30 min (30 +/- 1% increase; n = 5 cells) after tetanization. Similar stimulation did not produce potentiation of EPSCs in L-M interneurons (n = 7 cells). 3. This selective LTP in O/A interneurons was reversibly blocked by the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist (+/-)2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5). Tetanization in the presence of 25 microM AP-5 did not increase the amplitude of EPSCs (8 cells). After washout of AP-5 (4 cells), a second tetanization resulted in long-term potentiation of EPSCs. 4. LTP was dependent on the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. The peak amplitude of EPSCs was not increased 5-10 or 15-20 min after tetanization during bath application of the metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist (RS)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (500 microM) (n = 5 cells). 5. Inclusion of the Ca2+ chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA; 25 mM) in the patch pipette blocked LTP in O/A interneurons. In five cells recorded with BAPTA-containing electrodes, the mean peak amplitude was not significantly increased after tetanization. Thus a rise in postsynaptic intracellular Ca2+ appeared necessary for the induction of LTP in these interneurons. 6. Incubation of slices with the inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 microM) before and throughout the recording session also blocked the increase in EPSC amplitude at 5-10 min (5 cells) and 15-20 min (3 cells) after tetanization. NO synthesis may therefore be necessary for LTP in O/A interneurons. 7. These results suggest that LTP of excitatory synapses is selectively produced in O/A but not L-M interneurons, and that this LTP shares similar characteristics with LTP in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Receptors, Glutamate