Ethanol modulation of NMDA receptors and NMDAr-dependent long-term depression in the developing juvenile dentate gyrus




Sawchuk, Scott D.

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Long-term depression (LTD) induced by low frequency stimulation (LFS; 900x1Hz) at medial perforant path (MPP) synapses in the rat dentate gyrus (DG) has been described as both developmentally regulated and N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) independent, yet sufficient evidence suggest that the processes is not entirely independent of NMDAr activity. In the present study, in vitro DG-LTD LFS was induced in hippocampal slices prepared from rats at postnatal day (PND) 14, 21 and 28 to investigate how the sensitivity of DG-LTD~LFS to the NMDAr antagonist amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (AP5; 50µM) changes throughout the juvenile developmental period (jDP; PNDs 12-29) that occurs immediately after the period of peak neurogenesis. We further examined the acute effects of the partial NMDAr antagonist ethanol (EtOH) on DG-LTD LFS and NMDAr excitatory post synaptic currents (NMDAr-EPSCs) in dentate granule cells (DGCs) using 50 and 100mM concentrations (50mM ~0.2%BAC) of EtOH. The magnitude of LTD induced at all three time points was not statistically different between age groups, but the probability of successfully inducing LTD did decrease with age. We found that AP5 was insufficient to inhibit DG-LTD LFS at PND14, but significantly inhibited DG-LTD LFS at PND21 and PND28. We also found that 50mM EtOH, but not 100mM EtOH, significantly attenuated the mag-nitude of DG-LTD LFS induced at each time point. Acute effects of 50mM EtOH had relatively little effect on NMDAr-EPSCs at PND14, and showed a slight potentiation of the response at PND21. 50mM EtOH at PND28, and 100mM EtOH at all three developmental time points showed inhibition of the NMDAr-EPSC. These findings provide insight on how developmental changes to the DG network and dentate gran-ule cells (DGCs) influences mechanisms and processes involved in the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity in the DG.



Ethanol, NMDA receptor, Long-term depression, Synaptic plasticity, Learning and Memory