Phorbol ester promotes growth of synaptic plasticity

Aryeh Routtenberg*, Patricia Colley, David Linden, David Lovinger, Kentaro Murakami, Fwu Shan Sheu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Iontophoretic application of the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to the intact rat hippocampus enhances potential produced by subsequent high frequency stimulation of the perforant path. The decay of the enhanced population spike amplitude recorded in the hilar dentate gyrus was prevented in animals receiving ejections of TPA, as compared to controls which decayed to baseline values within 2 h following high frequency stimulation. In fact, growth of the potentiated response was observed beginning at 45 min. Similar results were observed with the population excitatory postsynaptic potential slope, a measure of the synaptic response. Since tumour-promoting phorbol esters are known to translocate and activate protein kinase C (PKC) and PKC is translocated to the membrane following hippocampal potentiation, a role for membrane-associated PKC in the regulation of synaptic plasticity is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 23 1986


  • memory
  • phorbol ester
  • protein kinase C
  • synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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