Long-term depression in identified stellate neurons of juvenile rat entorhinal cortex

Pan Yue Deng, Saobo Lei

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45 Scopus citations


The entorhinal cortex (EC) serves as a gateway to the hippocampus and plays a pivotal role in memory processing in the brain. Superficial layers of the EC convey the cortical input projections to the hippocampus, whereas deep layers of the EC relay hippocampal output projections back to the superficial layers of the EC or to other cortical regions. Whereas the EC expresses long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms have not been determined. Because the axons of the stellate neurons in layer II of the EC form the perforant path that innervates the dentate gyrus granule cells of the hippocampus, we studied the mechanisms underlying the long-term plasticity in identified stellate neurons. Application of high-frequency stimulation (100 Hz for 1 s, repeated 3 times at an interval of 10 s) or forskolin (50 μM) failed to induce significant changes in synaptic strength, whereas application of pairing (presynaptic stimulation at 0.33 Hz paired with postsynaptic depolarization from -60 to -10 mV for 5 min) or low-frequency stimulation (LFS, 1 Hz for 15 min) paradigm-induced LTD. Pairing- or LFS-induced LTDs were N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent and occluded each other suggesting that they have the similar cellular mechanism. Pairing-induced LTD required the activity of calcineurin and involved AMPA receptor endocytosis that required the function of ubiquitin-proteasome system. Our study provides a cellular mechanism that might in part explain the role of the EC in memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-737
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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