Identification of compartment- and process-specific molecules required for "synaptic tagging" during long-term potentiation and long-term depression in hippocampal CA1

Sreedharan Sajikumar, Sheeja Navakkode, Julietta U. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations


Protein synthesis-dependent forms of hippocampal long-term potentiation (late LTP) and long-term depression (late LTD) are prominent cellular mechanisms underlying memory formation. Recent data support the hypothesis that neurons store relevant information in dendritic functional compartments during late LTP and late LTD rather than in single synapses. It has been suggested that processes of "synaptic tagging" are restricted to such functional compartments. Here, we show that in addition to apical CA1 dendrites, synaptic tagging also takes place within basal CA1 dendritic compartments after LTP induction. We present data that tagging in the basal dendrites is restricted to these compartments. Plasticity-related proteins, partially nonspecific to the locally induced process, are synthesized in dendritic compartments and then captured by local, process-specific synaptic tags. We support these findings in two ways: (1) late LTP/LTD, locally induced in apical or basal (late LTP) dendrites of hippocampal CA1 neurons, does not spread to the basal or apical compartment, respectively; (2) the specificity of the synaptic plasticity event is achieved by the activation of process- and compartment-specific synaptic tag molecules. We have identified calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II as the first LTP-specific and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 as LTD-specific tag molecules in apical dendritic CA1 compartments, whereas either protein kinase A or protein kinase Mζ mediates LTP-specific tags in basal dendrites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5068-5080
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 9 2007



  • Early LTP
  • Hippocampus
  • Late LTP
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Synaptic cross-tagging
  • Synaptic tagging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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