The hormone leptin crosses the blood brain barrier and regulates numerous neuronal functions, including hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Here we show that application of leptin resulted in the reversal of long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal CA1 synapses. The ability of leptin to depotentiate CA1 synapses was concentration-dependent and it displayed a distinct temporal profile. Leptin-induced depotentiation was not associated with any change in the paired pulse facilitation ratio or the coefficient of variance, indicating a post-synaptic locus of expression. Moreover, the synaptic activation of NMDA receptors was required for leptin-induced depotentiation as the effects of leptin were blocked by the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, D-aminophosphovaleric acid (D-AP5). The signaling mechanisms underlying leptin-induced depotentiation involved activation of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin, but were independent of c-jun NH2 terminal kinase. Furthermore, leptin-induced depotentiation was accompanied by a reduction in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) receptor rectification indicating that loss of glutamate receptor 2 (GluR2)-lacking AMPA receptors underlies this process. These data indicate that leptin reverses hippocampal LTP via a process involving calcineurin-dependent internalization of GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors which further highlights the key role for this hormone in regulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity and neuronal development.
- α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate receptor
- Synaptic plasticity