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Learn Mem. 2012 Nov 16;19(12):588-92. doi: 10.1101/lm.026385.112.

Differential roles for Nr4a1 and Nr4a2 in object location vs. object recognition long-term memory.

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Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California 92697-3800, USA.


Nr4a1 and Nr4a2 are transcription factors and immediate early genes belonging to the nuclear receptor Nr4a family. In this study, we examine their role in long-term memory formation for object location and object recognition. Using siRNA to block expression of either Nr4a1 or Nr4a2, we found that Nr4a2 is necessary for both long-term memory for object location and object recognition. In contrast, Nr4a1 appears to be necessary only for object location. Indeed, their roles in these different types of long-term memory may be dependent on their expression in the brain, as NR4A2 was found to be expressed in hippocampal neurons (associated with object location memory) as well as in the insular and perirhinal cortex (associated with object recognition memory), whereas NR4A1 showed minimal neuronal expression in these cortical areas. These results begin to elucidate how NR4A1 and NR4A2 differentially contribute to object location versus object recognition memory.

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