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Mol Ther. 2005 Jun;11(6):899-905.

In vivo inhibition of hippocampal Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II by RNA interference.

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Department of Psychology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA.


Hippocampal alpha-Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha-CaMKII) has been implicated in spatial learning, neuronal plasticity, epilepsy, and cerebral ischemia. In the present study, an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector was designed to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the CBA promoter and a small hairpin RNA targeting alpha-CaMKII (AAV-shCAM) driven from the U6 promoter. The AAV-shCAM or control vector was microinfused into the rat hippocampus and behavioral testing conducted 19-26 days following surgery. Expression of the marker gene and alpha-CaMKII was evaluated 31 days following AAV infusion. GFP expression was localized to the hippocampus and extended +/-2 mm rostral and caudal from the injection site. Hippocampal alpha-CaMKII was significantly reduced following AAV-shCAM treatment as demonstrated using immunohistochemical and Western analysis. This suppression of alpha-CaMKII was associated with changes in exploratory behavior (open field task) and impaired place learning (water maze task). These results demonstrate the efficacy of a viral-based delivered shRNA to produce gene suppression in a specific circuit of the brain.

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