The fast and slow after hyperpolarizations are differentially modulated in hippocampal neurons by aging and learning

Elizabeth A. Matthews, John M. Linardakis, John F. Disterhoft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Normal aging is usually accompanied by increased difficulty learning new information. One contributor to aging-related cognitive decline is decreased intrinsic excitability in aged neurons, leading to more difficulty processing inputs and remodeling synapses to store new memories. Two measures of excitability known to be altered by learning are the slow after hyperpolarization (sAHP) after a burst of action potentials and the fast AHP (fAHP) after individual action potentials. Using rats trained in trace eyeblink conditioning, we examined how these two measures of excitability were modulated in CA1 hippocampal neurons from young (3-4 months) and aged (29-31 months) animals. Although both the sAHP and the fAHP were reduced by successful learning in both age groups, only the sAHP showed aging-related increases. The dichotomy of learning-related and aging-related effects on two very similar calcium-dependent potassium-driven hyperpolarizations suggests several interesting hypotheses for how cellular excitability is modulated by aging and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4750-4755
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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