Striking variations in corticosteroid modulation of long-term potentiation along the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus

Nicola Maggio, Menahem Segal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to express long-term potentiation (LTP) of reactivity to afferent stimulation along the septotemporal axis was explored in transverse rat hippocampal slices. The ventral pole of the hippocampus (VH) was found to be much impaired in ability to express LTP compared with the rest of the hippocampus. An exposure to acute stress before the rat was killed reversed this trend, and slices from VH now expressed a large LTP, whereas in the rest of the hippocampus, it was much suppressed. The enhanced LTP in VH was mediated by activation of a mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), whereas the suppressed LTP was mediated by activation of a glucocorticoid receptor, and indeed selective agonists of the respective steroid receptors mimicked the effects of stress, whereas selective antagonists blocked them. The MR-enhanced LTP in VH was not mediated by activation of the NMDA receptor but by enhancement of voltage-gated calcium channels. Because the VH has an unique efferent system to the hypothalamus, these results indicate that stress may activate this system while suppressing the ability of the rest of the hippocampus to express plastic properties under stressful conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5757-5765
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 May 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Corticosteroids
  • Hippocampus
  • LTP
  • Slices
  • Stress

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