At many glutamatergic synapses in the brain, brief episodes of strong synaptic activity can lead to an enduring enhancement of synaptic strength, a property known as long-term potentiation (LTP). This chapter presents a concise overview of the cellular mechanisms responsible for LTP and of the role of LTP in learning and memory. Glutamate receptors of the NMDA subtype control the induction of LTP at many synapses, and both presynaptic and postsynaptic changes are involved in its maintenance. Recent studies employing optogenetic techniques have thrown light on how long-term synaptic changes are exploited to encode memories at the network level.
KeywordsAs-PaRac1 Channelrhodopsin GluA1 Immediate early genes Long-term potentiation (LTP) Associativity and cooperativity Hippocampal pathways Human hippocampus Interneurons Induction rules Learning and memory Mossy fibers Optogenetic approach Outside hippocampus Postsynaptic mechanisms Presynaptic mechanisms Retrograde messengers Synaptic tag hypothesis Metaplasticity Mossy fiber LTP NMDA receptor Presynaptic mechanisms Retrograde messengers Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) Stimulus-selective response potentiation Synaptic learning and memory (SPM) hypothesis Synaptic tag hypothesis Transmagnetic stimulation (TMS) Zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP)
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