Profound molecular changes following hippocampal slice preparation: Loss of AMPA receptor subunits and uncoupled mRNA/protein expression

Stephen M. Taubenfeld, Kimberly A. Stevens, Gabriella Pollonini, Jason Ruggiero, Cristina M. Alberini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The acute hippocampal slice preparation is a convenient, in vitro model widely used to study the biological basis of synaptic plasticity. Although slices may preserve their electrophysiological properties for several hours, profound molecular changes in response to the injury caused by the slicing procedure are likely to occur. To determine the magnitude and duration of these changes we examined the post-slicing expression kinetics of three classes of genes known to be implicated in long-term synaptic plasticity: glutamate AMPA receptors (GluR), transcription factors and neurotrophins. Slicing resulted in a striking loss of GluR1 and GluR3, but not of GluR2 proteins suggesting that rapid changes in the composition of major neurotransmitter receptors may occur. Slicing caused a significant induction of the transcription factors c-fos, zif268, CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) β and δ mRNAs and of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurothophic factor (BDNF) mRNA. In contrast, there was no augmentation, and sometimes a decline, in the levels of the corresponding proteins. These data reveal thal significant discrepancies exist between the slice preparation and the intact hippocampus in terms of the metabolism of molecular components known to be involved in synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1348-1360
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 5 2002



  • Glutamate receptor
  • Hippocampus
  • Neurotrophin
  • Slice
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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