ErbB4 is a suppressor of long-term potentiation in the adult hippocampus

Graham M. Pitcher, Simon Beggs, Ran Sook Woo, Lin Mei, Michael W. Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


ErbB4 has emerged as a leading susceptibility gene for schizophrenia but the function of the ErbB4 receptor in the adult brain is unknown. Here, we show in the adult hippocampus that long-term potentiation (LTP) of transmission at Schaffer collateral CA1 synapses was markedly enhanced in mutant mice lacking ErbB4. Concordantly, LTP was enhanced by acutely blocking ErbB4 in wild-type animals, indicating that ErbB4 activity constitutively suppresses LTP. Moreover, increasing ErbB4 signaling further suppressed LTP. By contrast, altering ErbB4 activity did not affect basal synaptic transmission or short-term facilitation. Our findings suggest that cognitive deficits in schizophrenia may be a consequence of hyperfunction of ErbB4 signaling leading to suppressed glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, thus opening new approaches for the treatment of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ErbB4
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Neuregulin
  • Paired-pulse facilitation
  • Schaffer collateral CA1 synapses
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Theta burst stimulation
  • Transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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