The effects of ethanol on bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus




Shin, James

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The effects of ethanol on the brain are far reaching. However, the effect of ethanol on synaptic plasticity has not yet been fully explored. Although it has been established that ethanol inhibits long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 of the hippocampus, before our study, it was unclear whether long-term depression (LTD) was attenuated or enhanced by ethanol. We found that different concentrations of ethanol attenuated LTD in the CA1 (CA1-LTD) at younger ages. At more mature ages, CA1-LTD was completely blocked by ethanol. In contrast to this, LTD in the dentate gyrus (DG-LTD) was not significantly affected by ethanol concentrations up to 100 mM at any age group tested. These results suggest there are mechanistic differences in LTD induction in the DG and CA1, using the same induction protocol and that CA1-LTD is ethanol sensitive but DG-LTD is not.



Hippocampus, Brain, Ethanol, Alcohol