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Brain Res. 2006 Jun 30;1097(1):11-8. Epub 2006 May 30.

Role of cellular prion protein on LTP expression in aged mice.

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  • 1Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Haya de la Torre y Medina Allende, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina.


Cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) has been associated with some physiological functions in the last few years. In a previous paper, we have demonstrated an increased hippocampal synaptic transmission in adult mice lacking this protein. In the present study, we investigate the impact of aging on the generation and maintenance of hippocampal long-term Potentiation (LTP) in 9-month-old mice devoid of PrP(c) protein (Prnp(0/0)). We observed a lower threshold for inducing LTP in 9-month-old Prnp(0/0) mice compared to wild-type ones at the same age. The maintenance of dentate gyrus LTP was more persistent in hippocampal slices from Prnp(0/0) mice. Furthermore, the expression of mRNA for NR2A and NR2B subunits of the NMDA glutamatergic receptor in hippocampus of aged Prnp(0/0) animals showed an increase compared to the wild type. We propose that increased hippocampal glutamatergic transmission in Prnp(0/0) mice is related to the enhanced plasticity and persistence of the dentate LTP.

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