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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2007, Article ID 93202, 6 pages
Review Article

LTP after Stress: Up or Down?

SILS-CNS, University of Amsterdam, SM Amsterdam 1098, The Netherlands

Received 4 September 2006; Revised 4 January 2007; Accepted 6 January 2007

Academic Editor: Benno Roozendaal

Copyright © 2007 Marian Joëls and Harm J. Krugers. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


When an organism is exposed to a stressful situation, corticosteroid levels in the brain rise. This rise has consequences for behavioral performance, including memory formation. Over the past decades, it has become clear that a rise in corticosteroid level is also accompanied by a reduction in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Recent studies, however, indicate that stress does not lead to a universal suppression of LTP. Many factors, including the type of stress, the phase of the stress response, the area of investigation, type of LTP, and the life history of the organism determine in which direction LTP will be changed.