Modulation of long-term potentiation in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons by zinc
Excitatory amino acid receptors
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The phenomenon of long-term potentiation is frequently promulgated as an example of learning and memory mechanisms at the synaptic level in the mammalian central nervous system. In the CA3 region of the hippocampus there is an abundance of zinc, which is located in presynaptic mossy fibre nerve terminals. Stimulation of these fibres can cause the release of zinc, which interacts with excitatory amino acid receptors and may therefore modulate long-term potentiation. We now demonstrate in CA1 and CA3 neurons that zinc (100–300 μM) enhances non-N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor-mediated responses whilst reducing excitatory synaptic transmission and inhibiting long-term potentiation. However, by using zinc-chelating agents, endogenously released zinc following high-frequency stimulation in the stratum lucidum does not appear to have any modulatory role in excitatory synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. These results indicate that an increase in the level of extracellular zinc can limit excitatory synaptic transmission in the CA1 or CA3 region and further suggests that pathologies that can be related to excessive levels of endogenous zinc may have implications for synaptic plasticity in CA3 neurons.
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