Age-related memory deficits have recently been associated with the impaired expression of D-serine-dependent synaptic plasticity in neuronal networks of the hippocampal CA1 area. However, whether such functional alterations are common to the entire hippocampus during aging remains unknown. Here, we found that D-serine was also required for the induction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant path-granule cell synapses of the dentate gyrus. LTP as well as isolated NMDA-R synaptic potentials were impaired in slices from aged rats, but in contrast to the CA1, this defect was not reversed by exogenous D-serine. The lower activation of the glycine-binding site by the endogenous co-agonist does not therefore appear to be a critical mechanism underlying age-related deficits in NMDA-R activation in the dentate gyrus. Instead, our data highlight the role of changes in presynaptic inputs as illustrated by the weaker responsiveness of afferent glutamatergic fibers, as well as changes in postsynaptic NMDA-R density. Thus, our study indicates that although NMDA-R-dependent mechanisms driving synaptic plasticity are quite similar between hippocampal circuits, they show regional differences in their susceptibility to aging, which could hamper the development of effective therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing cognitive aging.

Circuit-specific changes in D-serine-dependent activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in the aging hippocampus.

POLLEGIONI, LOREDANO;
2014

Abstract

Age-related memory deficits have recently been associated with the impaired expression of D-serine-dependent synaptic plasticity in neuronal networks of the hippocampal CA1 area. However, whether such functional alterations are common to the entire hippocampus during aging remains unknown. Here, we found that D-serine was also required for the induction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant path-granule cell synapses of the dentate gyrus. LTP as well as isolated NMDA-R synaptic potentials were impaired in slices from aged rats, but in contrast to the CA1, this defect was not reversed by exogenous D-serine. The lower activation of the glycine-binding site by the endogenous co-agonist does not therefore appear to be a critical mechanism underlying age-related deficits in NMDA-R activation in the dentate gyrus. Instead, our data highlight the role of changes in presynaptic inputs as illustrated by the weaker responsiveness of afferent glutamatergic fibers, as well as changes in postsynaptic NMDA-R density. Thus, our study indicates that although NMDA-R-dependent mechanisms driving synaptic plasticity are quite similar between hippocampal circuits, they show regional differences in their susceptibility to aging, which could hamper the development of effective therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing cognitive aging.
AGE
Dentate gyrus; Synaptic plasticity; LTP; NMDA receptors; Glycine-binding site; Learning and memory
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1958322
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