Long-term potentiation induced by θ frequency stimulation is regulated by a protein phosphatase-1-operated gate

G. P. Brown, R. D. Blitzer, J. H. Connor, T. Wong, S. Shenolikar, R. Iyengar, E. M. Landau

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Long-term potentiation (LTP) can be induced in the Schaffer collateral→CA1 synapse of hippocampus by stimulation in the θ frequency range (5-12 Hz), an effect that depends on activation of the cAMP pathway. We investigated the mechanisms of the cAMP contribution to this form of LTP in the rat hippocampal slice preparation. θ pulse stimulation (TPS; 150 stimuli at 10 Hz) by itself did not induce LTP, but the addition of either the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol or the cAMP analog 8-bromo-cAMP (8-Br-cAMP) enabled TPS-induced LTP. The isoproterenol effect was blocked by postsynaptic inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Several lines of evidence indicated that cAMP enabled LTP by blocking postsynaptic protein phosphatase-1 (PP1). Activators of the cAMP pathway reduced PP1 activity in the CA1 region and increased the active form of inhibitor-1, an endogenous inhibitor of PP1. Postsynaptic injection of activated inhibitor-1 mimicked the LTP-enabling effect of cAMP pathway stimulation. TPS evoked complex spiking when isoproterenol was present. However, complex spiking was not sufficient to enable TPS-induced LTP, which additionally required the inhibition of postsynaptic PP1. PP1 inhibition seems to promote the activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII), because (1) a CaMKII inhibitor blocked the induction of LTP by TPS paired with either isoproterenol or activated inhibitor-1 and (2) CaMKII in area CA1 was activated by the combination of TPS and 8-Br-cAMP but not by either stimulus alone. These results indicate that the cAMP pathway enables TPS-induced LTP by inhibiting PP1, thereby enhancing Ca2+-independent CaMKII activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7880-7887
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2000


  • Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase
  • Complex spikes
  • Gating
  • Inhibitor-1
  • LTP induction
  • Protein phosphatase-1
  • cAMP-dependent protein kinase


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