Rab3A is essential for mossy fibre long-term potentiation in the hippocampus

Nature. 1997 Aug 7;388(6642):590-3. doi: 10.1038/41574.


Repetitive activation of excitatory synapses in the central nervous system results in a long-lasting increase in synaptic transmission called long-term potentiation (LTP). It is generally believed that this synaptic plasticity may underlie certain forms of learning and memory. LTP at most synapses involves the activation of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) subtype of glutamate receptor, but LTP at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses is independent of NMDA receptors and has a component that is induced and expressed presynaptically. It appears to be triggered by a rise in presynaptic Ca2+, and requires the activation of protein kinase A, which leads to an increased release of glutamate. A great deal is known about the biochemical steps involved in the vesicular release of transmitter, but none of these steps has been directly implicated in long-term synaptic plasticity. Here we show that, although a variety of short-term plasticities are normal, LTP at mossy fibre synapses is abolished in mice lacking the synaptic vesicle protein Rab3A.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology
  • rab3 GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rab3 GTP-Binding Proteins