Hippocampal receptor complexes paralleling LTP reinforcement in the spatial memory holeboard test in the rat

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The current study was designed to examine learning-induced transformation of early-LTP into late-LTP. Recording electrodes were implanted into the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in male rats and early-LTP was induced by weak tetanic stimulation of the medial perforant path. Dorsal right hippocampi were removed, membrane proteins were extracted, separated by blue-native gel electrophoresis with subsequent immunoblotting using brain receptor antibodies. Spatial training resulted into reinforcement of LTP and the reinforced LTP was persistent for 6 h. Receptor complex levels containing GluN1 and GluN2A of NMDARs, GluA1 and GluA2 of AMPARs, nAchα7R and the D(1A) dopamine receptor were significantly-elevated in rat hippocampi of animals underwent spatial learning, whilst levels of GluA3 and 5-HT1A receptor containing complexes were significantly reduced. Evidence for complex formation between GluN1 and D(1A) dopamine receptor was provided by antibody shift assay, co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometric analysis.

Thus our results propose that behavioural stimuli like spatial learning reinforce early LTP into late LTP and this reinforced LTP is accompanied by changes in certain receptor levels in the membrane fraction of the rat hippocampus.

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