Role of Transforming Growth Factor-β in Long-Term Synaptic Facilitation in Aplysia

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Science  28 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5304, pp. 1318-1320
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5304.1318

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The role of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) in long-term synaptic facilitation was examined in isolated Aplysia ganglia. Treatment with TGF-β1 induced long-term facilitation (24 and 48 hours), but not short-term (5 to 15 minutes) or intermediate-term (2 to 4 hours) facilitation. The long-term effects of TGF-β1 were not additive with those of serotonin. Moreover, serotonin-induced facilitation was blocked by an inhibitor of TGF-β. Thus, activation of TGF-β may be part of the cascade of events underlying long-term sensitization, consistent with the hypothesis that signaling molecules that participate in development also have roles in adult neuronal plasticity.

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