All-or-none potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses

The molecular mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation in the hippocampus have received much attention because of the likely functional importance of synaptic plasticity for information storage and the development of neuronal connectivity. Surprisingly, it remains unclear whether activity modifies the strength of individual synapses in a digital (all-or-none) or analog (graded) manner. Here we characterize step-like all-or-none transitions from baseline synaptic transmission to potentiated states following protocols for inducing potentiation at putative single CA3-CA1 synaptic connections. Individual synapses appear to have all-or-none potentiation indicative of highly cooperative processes but different thresholds for undergoing potentiation. These results raise the possibility that some forms of synaptic memory may be stored in a digital manner in the brain.

Published in:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 95, 8, 4732-7
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, The University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.

 Record created 2007-12-18, last modified 2018-01-28

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