Adrenergic Modulation of Sharp Wave-Ripple Activity in Rat Hippocampal Slices

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Norepinephrine (NE) has been shown to facilitate learning and memory by modulating synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus in vivo. During memory consolidation, transiently stored information is transferred from the hippocampus into the cortical mantle. This process is believed to depend on the generation of sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-Rs), during which previously stored information might be replayed. Here, we used rat hippocampal slices to investigate neuromodulatory effects of NE on SPW-Rs, induced by a standard long-term potentiation (LTP) protocol, in the CA3 and CA1. NE (10–50 μM) dose-dependently and reversibly suppressed the generation of SPW-Rs via activation of α1 adrenoreceptors, as indicated by the similar effects of phenylephrine (100 μM). In contrast, the unspecific β adrenoreceptor agonist isoproterenol (2 μM) significantly increased the incidence of SPW-Rs. Furthermore, β adrenoreceptor activation significantly facilitated induction of both LTP and SPW-Rs within the CA3 network. Suppression of SPW-Rs by NE was associated with a moderate hyperpolarization in the majority of CA3 pyramidal cells and with a reduction of presynaptic Ca2+ uptake in the stratum radiatum. This was indicated by activity-dependent changes in [Ca2+]o and Ca2+fluorescence signals, by changes in the paired pulse ratio of evoked EPSPs and by analysis of the coefficient of variance. In the presence of NE, repeated high frequency stimulation (high-frequency stimulation (HFS)) failed to induce SPW-Rs, although SPW-Rs appeared following washout of NE. Together, our data indicate that the NE-mediated suppression of hippocampal SPW-Rs depends on α1 adrenoreceptor activation, while their expression and activity-dependent induction is facilitated via β1-adrenoreceptors.

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