Presynaptic component of long-term potentiation visualized at individual hippocampal synapses

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Science  16 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5217, pp. 1624-1628
DOI: 10.1126/science.7777862


Long-term potentiation has previously been studied with electrophysiological techniques that do not readily separate presynaptic and postsynaptic contributions. Changes in exocytotic-endocytotic cycling have now been monitored at synapses between cultured rat hippocampal neurons by measuring the differential uptake of antibodies that recognize the intraluminal domain of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin. Vesicular cycling increased markedly during glutamate-induced long-term potentiation. The degree of potentiation was heterogeneous, appearing greater at synapses at which the initial extent of vesicular turnover was low. Thus, changes in presynaptic activity were visualized directly and the spatial distribution of potentiation could be determined at the level of single synaptic boutons.

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