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Neurobiol Aging. 2008 Feb;29(2):231-40. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Impairment of spatial learning and memory in ELKL Motif Kinase1 (EMK1/MARK2) knockout mice.

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1
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, CNRS UMR 5106, Université de Bordeaux 1, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence Cedex, France. l.segu@lnc.u-bordeaux1.fr

Abstract

The hyperphosphorylation of tau protein is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and of the associated cognitive decline. EMK1 (MARK2) is a serine/threonine kinase which phosphorylates tau and MAP2. An involvement of this kinase in memory functions is not established. We used a behavioral approach to study the phenotype of EMK1-null mice (EMK1-KO) as a possible model of MAP2/tau altered phophorylation. Compared to wild type mice, EMK1-KO mice did not differ in non-cognitive aspects of behavior, such as locomotion in activity cages, or anxiety in the elevated plus maze. However, they exhibited lower performance in the first stage of acquisition of a hippocampal-dependent spatial learning, as assessed in a radial water maze, although, they acquired the task with repeated training. They were again found to be impaired on re-learning a new platform position. In addition, they exhibited poor long-term retention performance. These data underline the importance on both early memory processes and long-term retrieval, of the dynamic instability of microtubules generated by the phosphorylation of MAPs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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