Membrane Recycling--Memory's Key?

Science's STKE  28 Sep 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 252, pp. tw349
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2522004tw349

During long-term potentiation (LTP), the neurophysiological correlate of memory, synaptic efficacy is enhanced by the physical insertion of AMPA receptors at the postsynaptic membrane. Park et al. show that recycling endosomes are the source of AMPA receptors for LTP. Transport through recycling endosomes maintains AMPA receptors at excitatory synapses and is required to "awaken" silent synapses. Blocking transport out of recycling endosomes traps AMPA receptors in neuronal dendrites, prevents stimulus-dependent AMPA receptor insertion, and completely abolishes LTP at CA1 hippocampal synapses. Moreover, stimuli that trigger LTP accelerate the recycling of AMPA receptors and also general endocytic recycling in hippocampal neurons.

M. Park, E. C. Penick, J. G. Edwards, J. A. Kauer, M. D. Ehlers, Recycling endosomes supply AMPA receptors for LTP. Science 305, 1972-1975 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]