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J Physiol. 2005 Dec 1;569(Pt 2):643-53. Epub 2005 Sep 22.

Ca2+/calmodulin protein kinase II and memory: learning-related changes in a localized region of the domestic chick brain.

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Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.


The role of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in the recognition memory of visual imprinting was investigated. Domestic chicks were exposed to a training stimulus and learning strength measured. Trained chicks, together with untrained chicks, were killed either 1 h or 24 h after training. The intermediate and medial hyperstriatum ventrale/mesopallium (IMHV/IMM), a forebrain memory storage site, was removed together with a control brain region, the posterior pole of the neostriatum/nidopallium (PPN). Amounts of membrane total alphaCaMKII (tCaMKII) and Thr286-autophosphorylated alphaCaMKII (apCAMKII) were measured. For the IMHV/IMM 1 h group, apCaMKII amount and apCAMKII/tCaMKII increased as chicks learned. The magnitude of the molecular changes were positively correlated with learning strength. No learning-related effects were observed in PPN, or in either region at 24 h. These results suggest that CaMKII is involved in the formation of memory but not in its maintenance.

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