Direct current stimulation modulates LTP and protein expression in rat hippocampus.

Federico Ranieri, Giovanni Frisullo, Elisa Riccardi, Michele Dileone, Bruna Cuccurazzu, Claudio Grassi, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegno


Introduction: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can produce a lasting polarity-specific modulation of cortical excitability in the brain and it is increasingly used in experimental and clinical settings. A large amount of evidence supports the view that the after-effects of tDCS are mediated by the interaction with molecular mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The level of this interaction is unknown. Some immediate early genes, such as c-fos and zif268, are rapidly induced following neuronal activation and may act as regulators of downstream target genes in coupling short-term events with long-term functional modifications of synaptic function. Objectives: (1) To assess the effect of DCS on the induction of one of the most studied NMDA receptor-dependent forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic activity; (2) to shed light on the molecular basis of DCS after-effects. Methods: We investigated the effect of anodal and cathodal DCS, applied to rat brain slices, on LTP induction at CA3-CA1 hippocampal synapses (Shaffer collateral pathway). In the same experimental model, we also explored by immunohistochemistry the effect of DCS on the expression of c-fos and zif268 proteins in CA and DG regions of the hippocampus. Results: DCS determined a bidirectional modulation of LTP, that was increased by anodal and reduced by cathodal DCS. Moreover, we found that both polarities of DCS produce a marked and consistent increase in the expression of zif268 in the CA region of the hippocampus, while the same protocols of stimulation produce a less pronounced increase in c-fos expression, that was observed in both the CA and DG regions. Conclusions: The present data confirm the interaction of DCS with the molecular pathways underlying activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The modulation of this processes might become of use in neurological diseases to help enhancing the adaptive and suppress the maladaptive forms of brain plasticity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)S34-S34
Numero di pagine1
RivistaClinical Neurophysiology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
Evento14th European Congress in Clinical Neurophysiology - Roma
Durata: 21 giu 201124 giu 2011


  • Hippocampus
  • Long-term potentation
  • Synaptic plasticity


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