Ten days after bilateral adrenalectomy (ADX), neural transmission between the perforant path and hippocampal dentate granule cells was severely impaired in the anaesthetized rat, in that the slope of the stimulus-response curve was reduced to less than half the value in sham controls, the stimulation current necessary to elicit a standard population spike (PS) field potential was increased approximately threefold, the amplitude of PS and its ratio to the slope of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) were reduced, and high-frequency tetanization (TET) of the perforant path resulted in potentiated PS with smaller amplitude and higher onset latency in ADX rats than in sham controls. However, the fractional increase of PS amplitude and its decay following TET were similar in 10 day-ADX and sham groups, from which it is inferred that long-term ADX entails a general decrease of dentate granule cell excitability, particularly at somatic membrane level, without specifically affecting the mechanism of long-term potentiation. None of the above changes occurred 24 h after ADX. © 1993.
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