Synaptic refractory period provides a measure of probability of release in the hippocampus

Neuron. 1997 Dec;19(6):1309-18. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80421-3.


Despite extensive research, much controversy remains regarding the locus of expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) in area CA1 of the hippocampus, specifically, whether LTP is accompanied by an increase in the probability of release (p(r)) of synaptic vesicles. We have developed a novel method for assaying p(r), which utilizes the synaptic refractory period--a brief 5-6 ms period following release during which the synapse is incapable of transmission (Stevens and Wang, 1995). We show that this assay is sensitive to a battery of manipulations that affect p(r) but find no change following either NMDA receptor-dependent LTP or long-term depression (LTD).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Probability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / physiology*