Long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal area CA1 is generally dependent on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), including superoxide, are produced in response to NMDA receptor activation in a number of brain regions, including the hipppocampus. In this study, two cell-permeable manganese porphyrin compounds that mimic superoxide dismutase (SOD) were used to determine whether production of superoxide is required for the induction of LTP in area CA1 of rat hippocampal slices. Incubation of hippocampal slices with either Mn(III) tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin (MnTBAP) or Mn(III) tetrakis (1-methyl- 4-pyridyl) porphyrin (MnTMPyP) prevented the induction of LTP. Incubation of slices with either light-inactivated MnTBAP or light-inactivated MnTMPyP had no effect on induction of LTP. Neither MnTBAP nor MnTMPyP was able to reverse preestablished LTP. These observations suggest that production of superoxide occurs in response to LTP-inducing stimulation and that superoxide is necessary for the induction of LTP.
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