The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Beta-adrenergic receptor activation facilitates induction of a protein synthesis-dependent late phase of long-term potentiation.

PMID 15800184


Long-term potentiation (LTP) is activity-dependent enhancement of synaptic strength that can critically regulate long-term memory storage. Like memory, LTP exhibits at least two mechanistically distinct temporal phases. Early LTP (E-LTP) does not require protein synthesis, whereas the late phase of LTP (L-LTP), like long-term memory, requires protein synthesis. Hippocampal beta-adrenergic receptors can regulate expression of both E-LTP and long-term memory. Although beta-adrenergic receptor activation enhances the ability of subthreshold stimuli to induce E-LTP, it is unclear whether such activation can facilitate induction of L-LTP. Here, we use electrophysiological recording methods on mouse hippocampal slices to show that when synaptic stimulation that is subthreshold for inducing L-LTP is paired with beta-adrenergic receptor activation, the resulting LTP persists for over 6 h in area CA1. Like L-LTP induced by multiple trains of high-frequency electrical stimulation, this LTP requires protein synthesis. Unlike tetanus-induced L-LTP, however, L-LTP induced by beta-adrenergic receptor activation during subthreshold stimulation appears to involve dendritic protein synthesis but not somatic transcription. Maintenance of this LTP also requires activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs). Thus, beta-adrenergic receptor activation elicits a type of L-LTP that requires translation and ERK activation but not transcription. This form of L-LTP may be a cellular mechanism for facilitation of behavioral long-term memory during periods of heightened emotional arousal that engage the noradrenergic modulatory system.

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(−)-Isoproterenol (+)-bitartrate salt, powder
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