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Acta Med Iran. 2014;52(4):246-55.

Cyclic AMP pathway modifies memory through neural cell adhesion molecule alterations in the rat hippocampus.

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Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Damghan University, Damghan
Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules (NCAMs) are known to influence memory by affecting neural cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix junctions. This study investigated the possible role of cAMP pathway in the expression of hippocampal NCAM and its polysialylated derivative (PSA-NCAM). The following pharmacological tools were employed for manipulation of cAMP pathway: a) forskolin; the activator of adenylyl cyclase (AC), b) 8-Br-cAMP; a protein kinase A (PKA) agonist, c) 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP; a selective enhancer of exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac) and d) Rp-cAMP; a PKA inhibitor. Memory acquisition was tested by passive avoidance paradigm after injecting the above compounds for three consecutive days into the CA1 region of dorsal hippocampus of rats. Forskolin and 8-Br-cAMP enhanced memory retrieval while Rp-cAMP significantly reduced memory and NCAM levels. 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP failed to alter memory performance or NCAM levels as compared to vehicle. We observed no significant changes in PSA-NCAM, however the expression of St8sia4 and St8sia2 (the polysialyltransferase isoforms) were altered. The mRNA levels of St8sia4 was down-regulated by 8-Br-cAMP, Rp-cAMP and 8-pCPT while forskolin led to almost 3 and 5 fold increase in mRNAs of St8sia2 and St8sia4, respectively. The current insight might endorse the predominant role of PKA as compared to Epac in cAMP pathway in expression of NCAM and memory function.

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