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The mechanisms by which long-term potentiation (LTP) is expressed are controversial, with evidence for both presynaptic and postsynaptic involvement. We have used confocal microscopy and Ca(2+)-sensitive dyes to study LTP at individual visualized synapses. Synaptically evoked Ca(2+) transients were imaged in distal dendritic spines of pyramidal cells in cultured hippocampal slices, before and after the induction of LTP. At most synapses, from as early as 10 min to at least 60 min after induction, LTP was associated with an increase in the probability of a single stimulus evoking a postsynaptic Ca(2+) response. These observations provide compelling evidence of a presynaptic component to the expression of early LTP at Schaffer-associational synapses. In most cases, the store-dependent evoked Ca(2+) transient in the spine was also increased after induction, a novel postsynaptic aspect of LTP.


Journal article



Publication Date





797 - 804


Animals, Animals, Newborn, Automatic Data Processing, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Dendrites, Electric Stimulation, Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists, Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials, Fluorescent Dyes, Hippocampus, Long-Term Potentiation, Magnesium Deficiency, Male, Microscopy, Confocal, Neurotransmitter Agents, Organ Culture Techniques, Presynaptic Terminals, Pyramidal Cells, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Synaptic Transmission, Synaptic Vesicles