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INSTITUTE OF PHYSIOLOGY CAS

Cutting-edge science for health

Cellular and molecular basis of memory


Recently, experimental work has focused on understanding molecular and cellular basis of memory. Results show that memory is associated with long-term changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission at glutamatergic synapses.

Memory is the ability of the central nervous system to store and use information gained previously. Recently, experimental work has focused on understanding molecular and cellular basis of memory. Results show that memory is associated with long-term changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission at glutamatergic synapses. At these synapses, presynaptically stored glutamate is released to activate postsynaptically located ion channels named after selective agonists - AMPA, NMDA and kainate receptors. Repeated synapse stimulation leads to an increase in synaptic efficacy (also called long-term potentiation, LTP) that is due to the increased density of AMPA receptors in synapses. Originally, the induction of LTP was been shown to be dependent on NMDA receptor activation (so­called NMDA­dependent LTP). Our results, however, show that another form of LTP exists, that is dependent on the activation of kainate receptors.

These results help us understand molecular events that take place at synapses during memory acquisition and in addition may help in the development of strategies to prevent cognitive defects that are often associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

Petrovic Milos, Viana da Silva Silvia, Clement P. James, Vyklicky Ladislav, Mulle Christophe, González-González M. Inmaculada a Henley M. Jeremy. Metabotropic action of postsynaptic kainate receptors triggers hippocampal LTP Nature Neuroscience (2017).  ISSN 1097-6256.