The site of induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses in the hippocampus is unresolved, with data supporting both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. Here we report that mossy fiber LTP was reduced by perfusion of postsynaptic neurons with peptides and antibodies that interfere with binding of EphB receptor tyrosine kinases (EphRs) to the PDZ protein GRIP. Mossy fiber LTP was also reduced by extracellular application of soluble forms of B-ephrins, which are normally membrane-anchored presynaptic ligands for the EphB receptors. The application of soluble ligands for presynaptic ephrins increased basal excitatory transmission and occluded both tetanus and forskolin-induced synaptic potentiation. These findings suggest that PDZ interactions in the postsynaptic neuron and trans-synaptic interactions between postsynaptic EphB receptors and presynaptic B-ephrins are necessary for the induction of mossy fiber LTP.
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