Sutor, Bernd; Hablitz, John H.
Long-term potentiation in frontal cortex: Role of NMDA-modulated polysynaptic excitatory pathways.
In: Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 97, Nr. 1-2: S. 111-117
The present study examined the role of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors in synaptic plasticity in regular-spiking cells of rat frontal cortex. Intracortical stimulation, at levels subthreshold for elicitation of action potentials, evoked a late excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in layer II III neurons that was sensitive to the selective NMDA antagonist -2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). This late EPSP showed marked short-term frequency-dependent depression, suggesting that it is polysynaptic in origin. Polysynaptic late EPSPs were selectively enhanced following high-frequency stimulation. This sustained increase in synaptic efficacy, or long-term potentiation, was expressed in regular spiking cells and appeared to result from activation of NMDA receptors on excitatory interneurons. These data demonstrate the existence of an NMDA-modulated polysynaptic circuit in the neocortex which displays several types of use-dependent plasticity.