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Neuron. 2009 Sep 10;63(5):643-56. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.08.014.

NCS-1 in the dentate gyrus promotes exploration, synaptic plasticity, and rapid acquisition of spatial memory.

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  • 1Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X5, Canada. saab@lunenfeld.ca

Abstract

The molecular underpinnings of exploration and its link to learning and memory remain poorly understood. Here we show that inducible, modest overexpression of neuronal calcium sensor 1 (Ncs1) selectively in the adult murine dentate gyrus (DG) promotes a specific form of exploratory behavior. The mice also display a selective facilitation of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the medial perforant path and a selective enhancement in rapid-acquisition spatial memory, phenotypes that are reversed by direct application of a cell-permeant peptide (DNIP) designed to interfere with NCS-1 binding to the dopamine type-2 receptor (D2R). Moreover, the DNIP and the D2R-selective antagonist L-741,626 attenuated exploratory behavior, DG LTP, and spatial memory in control mice. These data demonstrate a role for NCS-1 and D2R in DG plasticity and provide insight for understanding how the DG contributes to the origin of exploration and spatial memory acquisition.

PMID:
19755107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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