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Neuropharmacology. 2012 Nov;63(6):1085-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.06.050. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

NGF promotes long-term memory formation by activating poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase-1.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Key Laboratory of Neurological Disease of Education Ministry of China, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a critical secreted protein that plays an important role in development, survival, and function of the mammalian nervous system. Previously reports suggest that endogenous NGF is essential for the hippocampal plasticity/memory and NGF deprivation induces the impairment of hippocampus-related memory and synaptic plasticity. However, whether exogenous supplement of NGF could promote the hippocampus-dependent synaptic plasticity/memory and the possible underlying mechanisms are not clear. In this study we found that NGF administration facilitates the hippocampus-dependent long-term memory and synaptic plasticity by increasing the activity of PARP-1, a polymerase mediating the PolyADP-ribosylation and important for the memory formation. Co-application of 3-Aminobenzamide (3-AB), a specific inhibitor of PARP-1, distinctly blocked the boosting effect of NGF on memory and synaptic plasticity, and the activation of downstream PKA-CREB signal pathway. Our data provide the first evidence that NGF supplement facilitates synaptic plasticity and the memory ability through PARP-1-mediated protein polyADP-ribosylation and activation of PKA-CREB pathway.

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