Regulation of hippocampal transmitter release during development and long-term potentiation

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Science  22 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5231, pp. 1730-1734
DOI: 10.1126/science.7569903


Developmental changes in rat hippocampal transmitter release and synaptic plasticity were investigated. Recordings from pairs of pyramidal neurons in slices showed that an action potential in a CA3 neuron released only a single quantum of transmitter onto a CA1 neuron. Failures of synaptic transmission reflected probabilistic transmitter release. The probability of release (Pr) was 0.9 in 4- to 8-day-old rats and decreased to less than 0.5 at 2 to 3 weeks. Long-term potentiation (LTP) in 2- to 3-week-old rats was associated with an increase in Pr from a single synaptic site. The high initial Pr in 4- to 8-day-old rats normally occludes the expression of LTP at this stage.

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