Long-term synaptic potentiation in the superior cervical ganglion

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Science  12 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4538, pp. 1411-1413
DOI: 10.1126/science.6278593

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Brief tetanic stimulation of the preganglionic nerves to the superior cervical ganglion enhances the postganglionic response to single preganglionic stimuli for 1 to 3 hours. This long-term potentiation of transmission through the ganglion is apparently not attributable to a persistent muscarinic action of the preganglionic neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, since neither the magnitude nor the time course of the phenomenon is reduced by atropine. The decay of long-term potentiation can be described by a first-order kinetic process with a mean time constant of 80 minutes. We conclude that long-term potentiation, once considered a unique property of the hippocampus, is in fact a more general feature of synaptic function. This form of synaptic memory may significantly influence information processing and control in other regions of the nervous system, including autonomic ganglia.