Postsynaptic Membrane Fusion and Long-Term Potentiation

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Science  16 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5349, pp. 399-403
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5349.399

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The possibility that membrane fusion events in the postsynaptic cell may be required for the change in synaptic strength resulting from long-term potentiation (LTP) was examined. Introducing substances into the postsynaptic cell that block membrane fusion at a number of different steps reduced LTP. Introducing SNAP, a protein that promotes membrane fusion, into cells enhanced synaptic transmission, and this enhancement was significantly less when generated in synapses that expressed LTP. Thus, postsynaptic fusion events, which could be involved either in retrograde signaling or in regulating postsynaptic receptor function or both, contribute to LTP.

  • * Present address: CNRS, Institut A. Fessard, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: nicoll{at}

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