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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Aug 6;93(16):8699-704.

Mice lacking the gene encoding tissue-type plasminogen activator show a selective interference with late-phase long-term potentiation in both Schaffer collateral and mossy fiber pathways.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, USA.


The gene encoding tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) is an immediate response gene, downstream from CREB-1 and other constitutively expressed transcription factors, which is induced in the hippocampus during the late phase of long-term potentiation (L-LTP). Mice in which the t-PA gene has been ablated (t-PA-/-) showed no gross anatomical, electrophysiological, sensory, or motor abnormalities but manifest a selective reduction in L-LTP in hippocampal slices in both the Schaffer collateral-CA1 and mossy fiber-CA3 pathways. t-PA-/- mice also exhibit reduced potentiation by cAMP analogs and D1/D5 agonists. By contrast, hippocampal-dependent learning and memory were not affected in these mice, whereas performance was impaired on two-way active avoidance, a striatum-dependent task. These results provide genetic evidence that t-PA is a downstream effector gene important for L-LTP and show that modest impairment of L-LTP in CA1 and CA3 does not result in hippocampus-dependent behavioral phenotypes.

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