LONG TERM POTENTIATION INCREASES DENDRITIC EXCITABILITY
Frick and his colleagues (Frick A. et al. LTP is accompanied by an enhanced local excitability of piramidal neuron dendrites. Nature Neuroscience 7, 126-135, 2004) propose a molecular mechanism for the link between long term potentiation (LTP) and dendritic excitability in pyramidal neuron. The authors found that the attenuation of the back propagating action potential by an outward K+ was reduced around potentiated synapses resulting an increased dendritic excitability. It has been suggested that this effect might prime the post-synaptic cell to undergo subsequent plasticity, a phenomenon known under the name of “metaplasticity”.
Over the time it is becoming clear that the two main mechanisms in memory storage, i.e. changes in conductivity and plasticity at the synapse, are highly complex processes.
BM&L- April 2004