In the temporal lobe, multiple synaptic pathways reciprocally link different structures. These multiple pathways play an important role in the integrity of the function of the temporal lobe and malfunction in this network has been suggested to underlie some neurological disorders such as epilepsy. To test whether the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in one temporal lobe structure would modulate functional synaptic plasticity in other structures of this network, tetanic stimulation was applied to the white matter of the perirhinal cortex, Schaffer collaterals of the hippocampus, or the external capsule in combined rat amygdala-hippocampus-cortex slices. This tetanic stimulation was accompanied by enhancement of the evoked field potential slope in the third layer of perirhinal cortex, hippocampal CA1 area, and the lateral amygdala. Induction of LTP in each of these structures was concomitant with increased evoked field potentials in the neighboring structures. Surgical disconnection of anatomical pathways between these structures inhibited this concomitant enhancement of the evoked field potential slope. Both NMDA and AMPA glutamate sub-receptors were involved in changes of synaptic plasticity elicited by induction of LTP in the neighboring structures. The present data indicate a reciprocal control among the perirhinal cortex, the amygdala, and the hippocampus plasticity. This could be important for the formation and retention of the medial temporal lobe-dependent memory and may play a role in the involvement of all different regions of the temporal lobe in pathological conditions such as epilepsy that affect this brain structure.
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