Send to

Choose Destination
Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2000 Sep;74(2):161-78.

Hippocampal expression of the orphan nuclear receptor gene hzf-3/nurr1 during spatial discrimination learning.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3360, USA.


The immediate-early gene hzf-3, also known as nurr1, is a member of the inducible orphan nuclear receptor family and is one candidate in the search for genes associated with learning and memory processes. Here we report that acquisition of a spatial food search task is accompanied by elevated levels of hzf-3 mRNA in the hippocampus. Adult male Long-Evans rats were handled, food-restricted, and allowed to habituate to the maze prior to training. During acquisition, rats were given one training session per day for 5 days. Each training session consisted of five trials in which animals searched the maze for food located in 4 of 16 holes in the floor of the maze. Training resulted in spatial acquisition of the task. Northern blot analysis showed significant increases in hippocampal hzf-3 mRNA 3 h after training in the maze. Next, brains were obtained from Naive, Habituated, Day 1, Day 3, and Day 5 animals and processed for in situ hybridization. The results showed significant increases of hzf-3 mRNA in CA1 and CA3 subregions of the dorsal hippocampus during acquisition of the task. We conclude that expression of the hzf-3 gene in the brain is associated with long-term spatial memory processes. The present results are the first to implicate an orphan nuclear receptor in long-term information storage in the hippocampus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center