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Neurobiol Dis. 2007 Apr;26(1):14-26. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Impaired spatial learning and defective theta burst induced LTP in mice lacking fibroblast growth factor 14.

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Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Spinocerebellar ataxia 27 (SCA27) is a recently described syndrome characterized by impaired cognitive abilities and a slowly progressive ataxia. SCA27 is caused by an autosomal dominant missense mutation in Fibroblast Growth Factor 14 (FGF14). Mice lacking FGF14 (Fgf14(-/-) mice) have impaired sensorimotor functions, ataxia and paroxysmal dyskinesia, a phenotype that led to the discovery of the human mutation. Here we extend the similarities between Fgf14(-/-) mice and FGF14(F145S) humans by showing that Fgf14(-/-) mice exhibit reliable acquisition (place learning) deficits in the Morris water maze. This cognitive deficit appears to be independent of sensorimotor disturbances and relatively selective since Fgf14(-/-) mice performed similarly to wild type littermates during cued water maze trials and on conditioned fear and passive avoidance tests. Impaired theta burst initiated long-term synaptic potentiation was also found in hippocampal slices from Fgf14(-/-) mice. These results suggest a role for FGF14 in certain spatial learning functions and synaptic plasticity.

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