|Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) appears to be an important mediator of the early, protein synthesis-independent phase of LTP. Plus, it looks really cool.|
In neuroscience, long-term potentiation (LTP) is a long-lasting enhancement in signal transmission between two neurons that results from stimulating them synchronously. It is one of several phenomena underlying synaptic plasticity, the ability of chemical synapses to change their strength. As memories are thought to be encoded by modification of synaptic strength, LTP is widely considered one of the major cellular mechanisms that underlies learning and memory.
LTP was discovered in the rabbit hippocampus by Terje Lømo in 1966 and has remained a popular subject of research since. Many modern LTP studies seek to better understand its basic biology, while others aim to draw a causal link between LTP and behavioral learning. Still others try to develop methods, pharmacologic or otherwise, of enhancing LTP to improve learning and memory. LTP is also a subject of clinical research, for example, in the areas of Alzheimer's disease and addiction medicine.