A change in the efficiency of synaptic communication between neurons is thought to underlie learning. Consistent with recent studies of such changes, we find that long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission between cultured hippocampal neurons is accompanied by an increase in the number of clusters of postsynaptic glutamate receptors containing the subunit GluR1. In addition, potentiation is accompanied by a rapid and long-lasting increase in the number of clusters of the presynaptic protein synaptophysin and the number of sites at which synaptophysin and GluR1 are colocalized. These results suggest that potentiation involves rapid coordinate changes in the distribution of proteins in the presynaptic neuron as well as the postsynaptic neuron.
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