Neural Networks and Synaptic Transmission in Immature Hippocampus

  • John W. Swann
  • Karen L. Smith
  • Robert J. Brady
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 268)


During the last decade numerous reports have described a previously unappreciated but nonetheless common process of central nervous system development: the transient overproduction of axonal projections early in postnatal life. Several groups have shown that during maturation terminal axonal branches are pruned and long axonal collaterals degenerate (for review see Cowan et al., 1984; Easter et al., 1985; Stanfield, 1984). With axon elimination, associated synapses would also be lost. Consistent with this are results of ultrastructural studies that have shown that the density of synapses in cortex early in postnatal life is higher than in the adult (Huttenlocher et al., 1982; Huttenlocher, 1984; Rakic et al., 1986). Elimination of functional synapses has been shown to occur at both the neuromuscular junction and in autonomic ganglion during maturation (Purves and Lichturan, 1980). One example of functional synapse regression in the central nervous system is the transient multiple innervation of Purkinje cells by climbing fibers (Crepel, 1982).


NMDA Receptor Kynurenic Acid Synaptic Potential NMDA Response GABAergic Synaptic Transmission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ben-Ari, Y., Krnjevic, K, and Reinhardt, W., 1979, Hippocampal seizures and failure of inhibition, Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol, 57: 1462–1466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ben-Ari, Y., Cherubini, E., and Krnjevic, K., 1988, Changes in voltage dependence of NMDA currents during development, Neurosci. Letts, 94: 88–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brady, R.J. and Swann, J.W., 1984, Postsynaptic actions of baclofen associated with its antagonism of bicuculline-induced epileptogenesis in hippocampus, Cell. Mol. Neurobiol, 4: 403–408.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brady, R.J. and Swann, J.W., 1986, Ketamine selectively suppresses synchronized afterdischarges in immature hippocampus, Neurosci. Letts, 69: 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brady, R.J. and Swann, J.W., 1988, Suppression of ictal-like activity by kynurenic acid does not correlate with its efficacy as an NMDA receptor antagonist, Epilepsy Res, 2: 232–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brady, R.J. and Swann, J.W., 1988, The effects of extracellular calcium on the epileptiform activity and NMDA responses are different in mature and immature hippocampal slices, Neurosci. Abstr, 14: 239.Google Scholar
  7. Cline, H.T., Debski, E.A., and Constantine-Paton, M., 1987, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist desegregates eye-specific stripes, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 84: 4342–4345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cowan, W.M., Fawcett, J.W., O’Leary, D.D.M., and Stanfield, B.B., 1984, Regressive events in neurogenesis, Science, 225: 1258–1265.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crepel, F., 1982, Regression of functional synapses in the immature mammalian cerebellum, TINS, 5: 266–269.Google Scholar
  10. Cotman, C.W., Bridges, R.J., Taube, J.S., Clark, A.S., Geddes, J.W., and Monaghan, D.T., 1989, The role of the NMDA receptor in central nervous system plasticity and pathology, J. NIH Res, 1: 65–74.Google Scholar
  11. Easter, S.S.Jr., Purves, D., Rakic, P., and Spitzer, N.C., 1985, The changing view of neural specificity, Science, 230: 507–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ganong, A.H., Lanthorn, T.H. and Cotman, C.W., 1983, Kynurenic add inhibits synaptic and acidic amino add-induced responses in the rat hippocampus and spinal cord, Brain Res, 272: 170–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grenningloh, G., Rienitz, A., Schmitt, B., Methfessel, C., Zensen, M., Beyreuther, K., Gundelfinger, E.D., Betz, H., 1987, The strychnine-binding subunit of the glycine receptor shows homology with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, Nature, 328: 215–220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Haberly, L.B. and Bower, J.M., 1989, Olfactory cortex: model circuit for study of associative memory?, TINS, 12: 258–264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Huttenlocher, P.R., de Courten, C., Garey, L.J., and van der Loos, H., 1982, Synaptogenesis in human visual cortex–evidence for synapse elimmination during normal development, Neurosci. Letts, 33: 247–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huttenlocher, P.R., 1984, Synapse elimination and plasticity in developing human cerebral cortex, Amer. J. Mental Defic, 5: 488–496.Google Scholar
  17. Kleinschmidt, A., Bear, M.F., and Singer, W., 1987, Blockade of NMDA receptors disrupts experience-dependent plasticity of kitten striate cortex, Science, 238: 355–358.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lynch, G., “Synapses, Circuits, and the Beginnings of Memory,” M.S. Gazzaniga, ed., The MIT Press, Cambridge (1986).Google Scholar
  19. McCarren, M., and Alger, B.E., 1985, Use-dependent depression of ipsps in rat hippocampal pyramidal cells in vitro, J. Neurophysiol, 53: 557–571.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Miles, R. and Wong, R.K.S., 1983, Single neurones can initiate synchronized population discharge in the hippocampus, Nature, 306: 371–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miles, R. and Wong, R.K.S., 1986, Excitatory synaptic interactions between CA3 neurons in the guinea-pig hippocampus, J. Physiol, 373: 397–418.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Miles, R. and Wong, R.K.S., 1987(a), Latent synaptic pathways revealed after tetanic stimulation in the hippocampus, Nature, 329: 724–726.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Miles, R. and Wong, R.K.S., 1987(b), Inhibitory control of local excitatory circuits in the guinea-pig hippocampus, J. Physiol, 388: 611–629.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Mishina, M., Takai, T., Imoto, K., Noda, M., Takahashi, T., Numa, S., Methfessel, C., and Sakmann, B., 1986, Molecular distinction between fetal and adult forms of muscle acetylcholine receptor, Nature, 321: 406–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Purpura, D.P., Prelevic, S., and Santini, M., 1968, Postsynaptic potential and spike variation in the feline hippocampus during postnatal ontogenesis, Exp. Neurol, 22: 408–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Purves, D. and Lichtman, J.W., 1980, Elimination of synapses in the developing nervous system, Science, 210: 153–157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rakic, P., Bourgeois, J.-P., Eckenhoff, M.F., Zecevic, N., Goldman-Rakic, P.S., 1986, Concurrent overproduction of synapses in diverse regions of the primate cerebral cortex, Science, 232: 232–235.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schneiderman, J.H., 1986, Low concentrations of penicillin reveal rhythmic, synchronous synaptic potentials in hippocampal slice, Brain Res, 398: 231–241.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schofield, P.R., Darlison, M.G., Fujita, N., Burt, D.R., Stephenson, F.A., Rodriguez, H., Rhee, L.M., Ramachandran, J., Reale, A.V., Glencourse, T.A., Seeburg, P.H., and Barnard, E.A., 1987, Sequence and functional expression of the GABAA receptor shows a ligand-gated receptor super-family, Nature, 328: 221–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schwartzkroin, P.A., 1982, Development of rabbit hippocampus: physiology, Dev. Brain Res, 2: 469–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schwartzkroin, P.A. and Haglund, M.M., 1986, Spontaneous rhythmic synchronous activity in epileptic human and normal monkey temporal lobe, Epilepsia, 27: 523–533.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stanfield, B.B., 1984, Postnatal reorganization of cortical projections: the role of collateral elimination, TINS, 7: 37–41.Google Scholar
  33. Smith, K.L., Turner, J. and Swann, J.W., 1988, Paired intracellular recordings reveal mono-and polysynatpic excitatory interactions in immature hippocampus, Neurosci. Abstr, 14: 883.Google Scholar
  34. Swann, J.W. and Brady R.J., 1984, Penicillin-induced epileptogenesis in immature rat CA3 hippocampal pyramidal cells, Des,. Brain Res, 12: 243–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Swann, J.W., Brady, R.J., and Martin, D.L., 1989, Postnatal development of GAGA-mediated synaptic inhibition in rat hippocampus, Neuroscience, 28: 551–561.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Traub, R.D., Miles, R., and Wong, R.K.S., 1989, Model of the origin of rhythmic population oscillations in the hippocampal slice, Science, 243: 1319–1325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Swann
    • 1
  • Karen L. Smith
    • 1
  • Robert J. Brady
    • 1
  1. 1.Wadsworth Center for Laboratories & ResearchNew York State Department of HealthAlbanyUSA

Personalised recommendations