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Neuron. 2006 Apr 6;50(1):127-43.

A role in learning for SRF: deletion in the adult forebrain disrupts LTD and the formation of an immediate memory of a novel context.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University Medical Center, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Whereas significant insight exists as to how LTP-related changes can contribute to the formation of long-term memory, little is known about the role of hippocampal LTD-like changes in learning and memory storage. We describe a mouse lacking the transcription factor SRF in the adult forebrain. This mouse could not acquire a hippocampus-based immediate memory for a novel context even across a few minute timespan, which led to a profound but selective deficit in explicit spatial memory. These animals were also impaired in the induction of LTD, including LTD triggered by a cholinergic agonist. Moreover, genes regulating two processes essential for LTD-calcium release from intracellular stores and phosphatase activation-were abnormally expressed in knockouts. These findings suggest that for the hippocampus to form associative spatial memories through LTP-like processes, it must first undergo learning of the context per se through exploration and the learning of familiarity, which requires LTD-like processes.

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