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Influence of an extracellular acidosis on excitatory synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices

K S Hsu, Y C Liang, C C Huang
Journal of Neuroscience Research 2000 November 1, 62 (3): 403-15
The effects of extracellular acidification on the synaptic function and neuronal excitability were investigated on the hippocampal CA1 neurons. A decrease of extracellular pH from 7.4 to 6.7 did not alter either the resting membrane potential or the neuronal membrane input resistance. Extracellularly recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and population spikes (PSs) were significantly reduced by acidosis. Additionally, the amplitude of presynaptic fiber volley was also reduced. The sensitivity of postsynaptic neurons to N-methyl-D-aspartate, but not to alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid, was depressed by acidosis. Lowering of extracellular pH did not significantly affect the magnitude of paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of synaptic transmission. Acidosis also reversibly limited the sustained repetitive firing (RF) of Na(+)-dependent action potentials elicited by injection of depolarizing current pulses into the pyramidal cells. The limitation of RF by extracellular acidification was accompanied by the reduction of the maximal rate of rise (;V(max)) of the action potentials and the amplitude of afterhyperpolarization. Neither the Na (+)/H (+) antiporter blocker 5-(N -ethyl -N -isopropyl)-amiloride nor the selective adenosine A (1) receptor antagonist 1,3-dipropyl -8-cyclopentylxanthine, however, affected the acidosis -induced synaptic depression. It was also found that acidosis did not affect either the induction r maintenance of long -term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral -CA 1 synapses. These results suggest that the extracellular acidosis -induced synaptic depression is likely to result from an inhibition of presynaptic Na (+) conductance, thereby decreasing the amplitude of action potentials in individual afferent fibers or the number of afferent fiber activation to stimuli and then indirectly affecting the signaling processes contributing to trigger neurotransmitter release.


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