Impaired Spatial Learning after Saturation of Long-Term Potentiation

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 2038-2042
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.2038

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If information is stored as activity-driven increases in synaptic weights in the hippocampal formation, saturation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) should impair learning. Here, rats in which one hippocampus had been lesioned were implanted with a multielectrode stimulating array across and into the angular bundle afferent to the other hippocampus. Repeated cross-bundle tetanization caused cumulative potentiation. Residual synaptic plasticity was assessed by tetanizing a naı̈ve test electrode in the center of the bundle. Spatial learning was disrupted in animals with no residual LTP (<10 percent) but not in animals that were capable of further potentiation. Thus, saturation of hippocampal LTP impairs spatial learning.

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