Locally Distributed Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus

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The long-lasting increase in synaptic strength known as long-term potentiation has been advanced as a potential physiological mechanism for many forms of both developmental and adult neuronal plasticity. In many models of plasticity, intercellular communication has been proposed to account for observations in which simultaneously active neurons are strengthened together. The data presented here indicate that long-term potentiation can be communicated between synapses on neighboring neurons by means of a diffusible messenger. This distributed potentiation provides a mechanism for the cooperative strengthening of proximal synapses and may underlie a variety of plastic processes in the nervous system.

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