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Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Dec;30(12):2318-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.07022.x. Epub 2009 Dec 10.

Genome-wide gene expression profiling in GluR1 knockout mice: key role of the calcium signaling pathway in glutamatergically mediated hippocampal transmission.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors (AMPARs) convey fast synaptic transmission in the CNS and mediate various forms of hippocampal plasticity. Disruption of glutamate receptor type 1 (GluR1), a member of the AMPAR family, causes synaptic alterations and learning/memory deficits in mice. To gain mechanistic insight into the synaptic and behavioral changes associated with GluR1 deletion, hippocampal genome-wide expression profiling was conducted using groups of GluR1 knockout (KO) mice and their wild-type littermates. Regulation of 38 genes was found to be altered more than 30% (P < 0.01, n = 8), and seven of these genes were studied with additional quantitative experiments. A large portion of the altered genes encoded molecules involved in calcium signaling, including calcium channel components, calcium-binding proteins and calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II subunits. At the protein level, we further evaluated some genes in the calcium pathway that were altered in GluR1 KO mice. Protein levels of two key molecules in the calcium pathway - GluR, ionotropic, N-methyl-d-aspartate-1 and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha - showed similar changes to those observed in mRNA levels. These findings raise the possibility that calcium signaling and other plasticity molecules may contribute to the hippocampal plasticity and behavioral deficits observed in GluR1 KO mice.

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