Post-activation potentiation and depression in the neocortex of the rat: II. Chronic preparations
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Although long-term potentiation (LTP) has been demonstrated in a number of subcortical sites in chronic preparations, there have been no demonstrations of LTP in the neocortex of chronic preparations. Even neocortical slice and acute preparations often require a drug-induced suppression of inhibition before LTP effects can be reliably induced. We have attempted to induce LTP in neocortical sites in 7 different experiments using chronically prepared adult rats. We were unable to obtain any evidence, even a trend, for the induction of LTP. The following manipulations were tested: (1) standard stimulation train parameters that have been shown to be highly effective in subcortical and hippocampal sites; (2) a 10-fold increase in the intra-train pulse durations; (3) variations in train pulse frequency (1 Hz to 300 Hz) and train duration (100 ms to 15 min); (4) co-activation of multiple inputs by stimulation of combinations of cortical sites or cortical and thalamic sites; (5) reduction of inhibition by administration of picrotoxin; 5) Housing of animals in an enriched environment; (6) utilization of the neocortical stimulation trains as a cue in a learning task; (7) application of pilocarpine to co-activate cholinergic systems. Although none of these manipulations produced LTP, the application of pilocarpine did facilitate the induction of a long-lasting depression effect. These findings contrast with the results obtained from anesthetized rats and from studies using brain slices, where LTP can be reliably induced. These results are discussed in light of other recent findings with respect to LTP and LTD effects.
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