Neurochemical mechanisms responsible for depotentiation of synaptic transmission

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It was established in experiments on murine hippocampal slices that low-frequency (1 sec-1, 15 min) stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals applied 45 to 60 min after their high-frequency repetitive stimulation (60 sec-1, 0.5 sec) results, in 2/3 of the slices, in reduction of the amplitude of population EPSP recorded from pyramidal neurons of the CA1 area, almost to its level before high-frequency stimulation. Depotentiation was practically completely prevented by application of a non-competitive blocker of NMDA glutamate receptors (GR), ketamine (100 μM), was weakened by a blocker of voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ channels, nifedipine (10 μM), and remained significant after a competitive blocker of the AMPA/kainate receptors, CNQX (10 μM), had been applied to the slices. Depotentiation was significantly reduced by 10 μM of a calmodulin inhibitor, trifluoroperazine, by an increase in the intracellular cAMP concentration caused by activation of A2-adenosine receptors and D5-dopamine receptors, but was resistant to the action of 50 μM of a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, polymixin B. Nootropic compounds possessing anti-amnestic activity enhanced the depotentiation. It is suggested that depotentiation is due to an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, activation of protein phosphatases, and dephosphorylation of pre- and post-synaptic substrates involved in the expression of long-term post-tetanic potentiation of synaptic transmission, which result from cooperative activation of NMDA GR and metabotropic GR.

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