The postnatal development of post-activation potentiation in the rat neocortex.
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The postnatal development of short-term potentiation (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) of the transcallosal response (TCR) was examined in anesthetized rats, aged 7 days (PN7) to adult (greater than or equal to PN180). Stimulation of callosal fibers produced a biphasic, positive-negative TCR recorded at the surface of the anterior neocortex in all age groups. The TCR showed a decrease in threshold, latency and halfwidth, and an increase in peak amplitude with age. High frequency callosal stimulation produced marked STP and LTP of the mature TCR. STP in young animals, however, could not be reliably detected until after PN16. LTP was not detected until PN18. STP and LTP approached adult levels rapidly after their initial appearance. The correlations between STP/LTP onset and development and known structural developments such as initial synaptogenesis, spine formation and myelinogenesis were not particularly strong. The implications of these results for specific hypotheses of STP/LTP mechanisms were discussed.
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