Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Linking LTP with Learning and Memory

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Science's STKE  29 Aug 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 350, pp. tw297
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3502006tw297

The phenomenon of synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) was discovered more than 30 years ago in the hippocampus. Although it is commonly thought that hippocampal LTP is induced by learning, there has not been a direct demonstration (see the Perspective by Bliss et al.). Whitlock et al. recorded field potentials from multiple sites in hippocampal area CA1 before and after single-trial inhibitory avoidance learning. Field potentials increased on a subset of the electrodes, and these could be specifically related to the learning event. Pastalkova et al. reversed hippocampal LTP in freely moving animals using a cell-permeable inhibitor of a protein kinase. Reversal was accompanied by a complete disruption of previously acquired long-term memory in a place avoidance task, even when the kinase inhibitor was infused only during the consolidation interval. This result suggests that LTP was necessary for storing spatial information.

J. R. Whitlock, A. J. Heynen, M. G. Shuler, M. F. Bear, Learning induces long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. Science 313, 1093-1097 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

T. V. P. Bliss, G. L. Collingridge, S. Laroche, ZAP and ZIP, a story to forget. Science 313, 1058-1059 (2006). [Summary] [Full Text]

E. Pastalkova, P. Serrano, D. Pinkhasova, E. Wallace, A. A. Fenton, T. C. Sacktor, Storage of spatial information by the maintenance mechanism of LTP. Science 313, 1141-1144 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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