State-dependent mechanisms of LTP expression revealed by optical quantal analysis.
Ward B., McGuinness L., Akerman CJ., Fine A., Bliss TVP., Emptage NJ.
The expression mechanism of long-term potentiation (LTP) remains controversial. Here we combine electrophysiology and Ca(2+) imaging to examine the role of silent synapses in LTP expression. Induction of LTP fails to change p(r) at these synapses but instead mediates an unmasking process that is sensitive to the inhibition of postsynaptic membrane fusion. Once unmasked, however, further potentiation of formerly silent synapses leads to an increase in p(r). The state of the synapse thus determines how LTP is expressed.