Role of intercellular interactions in heterosynaptic long-term depression

Nature. 1996 Apr 4;380(6573):446-50. doi: 10.1038/380446a0.


Bidirectional control of synaptic strength is thought to be important for the development of neuronal circuits and information storage. The demonstration of homosynaptic long-term depression greatly enhances the usefulness of the synapse as a mnemonic device, but theoreticians have also seen the need for heterosynaptic decreases in synaptic efficacy, both in neuronal development and information storage. Indeed, induction of long-term potentiation in one population of synapses can be associated with a modest depression at neighbouring inactive synapses in the same population of cells. Here we report that in the CA1 region of the hippocampus this heterosynaptic long-term depression has the property that its sites of induction and expression occur in different populations of cells and thus requires the spread of a signal between neurons. Such a mechanism ensures a widespread distribution of this form of plasticity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Egtazic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Calcium Channels
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Egtazic Acid
  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid