Synaptic Plasticity (and the Lack Thereof) in Hippocampal CA2 Neurons

M. Zhao, Y.-S. Choi, K. Obrietan, S. M. Dudek
2007 Journal of Neuroscience  
The hippocampus is critical for some forms of memory and spatial navigation, but previous research has mostly neglected the CA2, a unique region situated between CA3 and CA1. Here, we show that CA2 pyramidal neurons have distinctive physiological characteristics that include an unprecedented synaptic stability. Although basal synaptic currents in CA1 and CA2 are quite similar, synaptic plasticity including long-term potentiation and long-term depression is absent or less likely to be induced
more » ... ly to be induced with conventional methods of stimulation in CA2. We also find that CA2 neurons have larger leak currents and more negative resting membrane potentials than CA1 neurons, and consequently, more current is required for action potential generation in CA2 neurons. These data suggest that the molecular "conspiracy against plasticity" in CA2 makes it functionally distinct from the other hippocampal CA regions. This work provides critical insight into hippocampal function and may lead to an understanding of the resistance of CA2 to damage from disease, trauma, and hypoxia.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.4094-07.2007 pmid:17978044 pmcid:PMC6673350 fatcat:o7wdh4bdx5akfnlnvkemts42ze