Nitric Oxide Signaling Contributes to Late-Phase LTP and CREB Phosphorylation in the Hippocampus
Journal of Neuroscience
Long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus has an early phase (E-LTP) that can be induced by one-or two-train tetanization, lasts ϳ1 hr, and is cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and protein synthesis independent and a late phase (L-LTP) that can be induced by three-or four-train tetanization, lasts Ͼ3 hr, and is reduced by inhibitors of PKA and of protein or RNA synthesis. Nitric oxide (NO) is thought to be involved in E-LTP, but until now there has been no information about the role of
... he NO-signaling pathway in L-LTP. We examined this question at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses in slices of mouse hippocampus. An inhibitor of NO synthase blocked L-LTP induced by three-train tetanization and reduced L-LTP induced by four-train tetanization, whereas an inhibitor of PKA was more effective in blocking four-train L-LTP than three-train L-LTP. Three-train L-LTP was also blocked by inhibitors of guanylyl cyclase or cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Conversely, either NO or cGMP analogs paired with one-train tetanization produced late-phase potentiation, and the cGMPinduced potentiation was blocked by inhibitors of protein or RNA synthesis and an inhibitor of PKG, but not by an inhibitor of PKA. To test a possible downstream target of PKG, we examined changes in phospho-CRE-binding protein (phospho-CREB) immunofluorescence in the CA1 cell body area and obtained results similar to those of the electrophysiology experiments. These results suggest that NO contributes to L-LTP by stimulating guanylyl cyclase and cGMP-dependent protein kinase, which acts in parallel with PKA to increase phosphorylation of the transcription factor CREB.