[Neuroscience] Re: Long-term potentiation and depression
(by usenet02 from out-of-phase.de)
Thu Jun 12 09:24:29 EST 2008
you are understandably confused. Long-term plasticity is a vast field,
which has so far evaded any attempt to sort things. You might want to
have a look at the following papers for a humorous look at the field:
J. Sanes and J. Lichtmann. Can molecules explain long-term potentiation.
Nature Neuroscience, 2:597-604, 1999.
S. J. Lisman J, Lichtman JW. Ltp: perils and progress. Nature Reviews
Neuroscience, 4, 2003.
Now to your questions. LTP and LTD are expressed in both excitatory and
inhibitory synapses. While initial studies focused only on excitatory
synapses, inhibitory synapses are coming more and more into focus.
Researchers add bicuculline to the external solution as they want to be
able to stimulate excitatory inputs to the cell they are recording from,
without stimulating inhibitory inputs.
I think in general short-term plasticity refers to changes lasting
seconds and minutes, while long-term refers to changes lasting hours
(though 30 minutes is commonly considered to be long-enough-term for
experimental purposes ;)
Hope that helps for starters,
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