N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation increases cAMP levels and voltage-gated Ca2+ channel activity in area CA1 of hippocampus

D. M. Chetkovich, R. Gray, D. Johnston, J. D. Sweatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


Tetanic stimulation of the Schaffer collateral inputs into area CA1 of the hippocampus causes N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation, an effect that contributes to the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in this region. The present studies demonstrate that LTP-inducing tetanic stimulation in rat hippocampal area CA1 elicited increased levels of cAMP. The elevation of cAMP was blocked by the NMDA receptor antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). Bath application of NMDA also resulted in an increase in cAMP in CAl, an effect that was blocked by both APV and removal of extracellular Ca2+. These findings suggest that activation of NMDA receptors elicits a Ca2+-dependent increase in cAMP, and taken together with the data from tetanic stimulation, suggest that NMDA-receptor-mediated increases in cAMP could play a role in the induction of LTP in area CA1. One role for cAMP may be to increase Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, as it was observed that application of either 8-bromo-cAMP or NMDA increased the fractional open time of high-threshold Ca2+ channels in CA1 pyramidal cells. Our results raise the possibility that a positive-feedback loop for Ca2+ influx in area CA1 exists. In this model, NMDA receptor-mediated Ca2+ influx leads to an enhancement of further Ca2+ influx via intermediate steps of increased cAMP and subsequent increased voltage-gated Ca2+ channel activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6467-6471
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1991


  • Adenylyl cyclase
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Modulation
  • Schaffer collateral
  • Second messengers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation increases cAMP levels and voltage-gated Ca<sup>2+</sup> channel activity in area CA1 of hippocampus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this