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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2005 Nov;30(3):465-75. Epub 2005 Sep 22.

Cortistatin overexpression in transgenic mice produces deficits in synaptic plasticity and learning.

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Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel University, University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Cortistatin-14 (CST) is a neuropeptide expressed in cortical and hippocampal interneurons that shares 11 of 14 residues with somatostatin. In contrast to somatostatin, infusion of CST decreases locomotor activity and selectively enhances slow wave sleep. Here, we show that transgenic mice that overexpress cortistatin under the control of neuron-specific enolase promoter do not express long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus. This blockade of dentate LTP correlates with profound impairment of hippocampal-dependent spatial learning. Exogenously applied CST to slices of wild-type mice also blocked induction of LTP in the dentate gyrus. Our findings implicate cortistatin in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Thus, increases in hippocampal cortistatin expression during aging could have an impact on age-related cognitive deficits.

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