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Expression mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation: a postsynaptic view, 10 years on


This review focuses on the research that has occurred over the past decade which has solidified a postsynaptic expression mechanism for long-term potentiation (LTP). However, experiments that have suggested a presynaptic component are also summarized. It is argued that the pairing of glutamate uncaging onto single spines with postsynaptic depolarization provides the final and most elegant demonstration of a postsynaptic expression mechanism for NMDA receptor-dependent LTP. The fact that the magnitude of this LTP is similar to that evoked by pairing synaptic stimulation and depolarization leaves little room for a substantial presynaptic component. Finally, recent data also require a revision in our thinking about the way AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are recruited to the postsynaptic density during LTP. This recruitment is independent of subunit type, but does require an adequate reserve pool of extrasynaptic receptors.

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