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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Kainate receptors containing GluR5 subunits contribute to synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus Tse, Maric Tsz Lung.


It has recently been shown that presynaptic kainate receptors can play a role in synaptic plasticity in the CA3 region of the hippocampus (Bortolotto et al., 1999); however, a role for these receptors in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in other regions of the brain has been difficult to establish. In the present experiments we show that kainate receptors can contribute significantly to synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, and that furthermore, they appear to play a role in synaptic plasticity in this region. Kainate receptors in the DG appear to be located post-synaptically at excitatory synapses where they can influence synaptic plasticity by alleviating the M g 2+ blockade of NMD A receptors. These results demonstrate that kainate receptors in the DG play a vital post-synaptic role at excitatory synapses, and may contribute to learning and memory processes in this region.

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