Differential modulation of long-term depression by acute stress in the rat dorsal and ventral hippocampus

Nicola Maggio*, Menahem Segal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ventral hippocampus (VH) was recently shown to express lower-magnitude long-term potentiation (LTP) than the dorsal hippocampus (DH). An exposure to acute stress reversed this difference, and VH slices from stressed rats expressed larger LTP than controls, whereas LTP in the DH was suppressed by stress. We have now used long-term depression (LTD)-generating trains of stimulation to examine whether this differential LTP reflects a genuine difference in synaptic modifiability between the two sectors of the hippocampus. Surprisingly, slices of DH and VH express similar magnitudes of LTD. However, while prior stress enhanced LTD in the DH, it actually converted LTD to slow-onset, robust LTP in the VH. These two effects of stress on LTD were blocked by glucocorticosterone receptor (GR) and mineralocorticosterone receptor (MR) antagonists, respectively. Acute exposure of slices to a GR agonist dexamethasone facilitated LTD in slices of both DH and VH, while activation of MRs by aldosterone converted LTD to LTP in both regions. Thus, differential activation of the two species of corticosterone receptors determines the ability of the two sectors of the hippocampus to undergo plastic changes in response to LTD-inducing stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8633-8638
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number27
StatePublished - 8 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


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