The acute and delayed effects of anoxia on synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) were examined in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices. Oxygen deprivation for 20 minutes completely but reversibly depressed excitatory postsynaptic potentials mediated by both N- methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) and non-NMDAR. Although LTP was reliably produced by a single tetanus delivered 30 minutes after reoxygenation, LTP could not be induced when a tetanus was delivered 70 to 100 minutes after reoxygenation. A tetanus delivered 100 minutes after reoxygenation produced lasting synaptic enhancement when 100 μmol/L D,L-amino-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), a competitive NMDAR antagonist, was administered during the period of oxygen deprivation. The delayed effects of oxygen deprivation were not blocked when APV was administered after oxygen deprivation. Similarly, the delayed effects on LTP induction were overcome by inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase when the nitric oxide synthase inhibitors were administered during anoxia, but not when administered after oxygen deprivation. These results suggest that untimely activation of NMDAR and nitric oxide release during anoxia produce delayed inhibition of LTP induction and may be involved in the memory defects that occur subsequent to cerebral hypoxia.
- Hippocampal slices
- Longterm potentiation
- N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors
- Nitric oxide