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Although there is evidence from in vitro studies to suggest that NO synthesis may be involved in the induction of hippocampal LTP, other in vitro studies and experiments conducted in vivo have provided conflicting results. In agreement with previous work conducted in this laboratory using an i.p. route of administration, this paper reports that i.c.v. injections of the NO synthase inhibitor, N omego-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), at a dose sufficient to inhibit hippocampal NO synthase by 90-95%, failed to block the induction of LTP in the dentate gyrus in vivo (as measured by the change in the slope of the early rising phase of the field EPSP). The failure to block LTP occurred following both a strong and a weak tetanus. L-NAME injections did, however, result in a small but transient increase in the baseline slope of the field EPSP, a more prolonged enhancement of the baseline population spike, and a significant attenuation of spike potentiation induced by a strong tetanus. These results offer no support for the hypothesis that NO synthase is required for the induction of the synaptic component of LTP, but do suggest a role for NO in the control of cell excitability in the hippocampus.


Journal article



Publication Date





1387 - 1397


Amino Acid Oxidoreductases, Animals, Arginine, Electrophysiology, Evoked Potentials, Hippocampus, Injections, Intraventricular, Long-Term Potentiation, Male, NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester, Nitric Oxide, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Rats