Hippocampal lateralization and synaptic plasticity in the intact rat: no left-right asymmetry in electrically induced CA3-CA1 long-term potentiation

Stephen J. Martin (Lead / Corresponding author), Kate L. Shires, Bruno M. da Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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The hippocampus is not a unitary, homogeneous brain area. Anatomical and functional specialization is evident along the septotemporal axis of the structure, and between the left and right hemispheres. In the mouse brain, a left-right asymmetry has been discovered in the plasticity of CA3-CA1 projections originating in the left versus right hippocampus. Presynaptic afferents originating in the left hemisphere-including both uncrossed Schaffer collaterals, and crossed commissural projections to the contralateral CA1-form small, plastic synapses, whereas afferents originating in right CA3 contact larger, less plastic, synapses. Studies using optogenetic techniques to selectively activate fibers originating from one hemisphere in ex vivo slices have revealed that projections originating from left CA3 exhibit a far greater capacity for long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength than those originating on the right. However, corresponding data from rats are currently unavailable, leaving open the question of species differences in hippocampal symmetry. In the current study, we reanalyzed data from our previous in vivo LTP work to address this issue. We analyzed plasticity in independent Schaffer collateral and commissural projections to CA1 originating from left and right CA3 in male Lister-hooded rats. However, we found no differences in the magnitude and duration of LTP induced in either crossed or uncrossed pathways following high-frequency tetanization of left versus right CA3. This contrast with previous findings may stem from methodological differences between in vivo electrical and ex vivo optogenetic approaches, but may reflect a genuine species difference in the organization and laterality of the rodent CA3-CA1 system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
Early online date2 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • hippocampus
  • LTP
  • synaptic plasticity
  • Schaffer collateral
  • commissural
  • in vivo


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