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J Neurosci. 2018 Jan 24;38(4):1030-1041. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2234-17.2017. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

FK506-Binding Protein 12.6/1b, a Negative Regulator of [Ca2+], Rescues Memory and Restores Genomic Regulation in the Hippocampus of Aging Rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, and.
Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294.
Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, and


Hippocampal overexpression of FK506-binding protein 12.6/1b (FKBP1b), a negative regulator of ryanodine receptor Ca2+ release, reverses aging-induced memory impairment and neuronal Ca2+ dysregulation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that FKBP1b also can protect downstream transcriptional networks from aging-induced dysregulation. We gave hippocampal microinjections of FKBP1b-expressing viral vector to male rats at either 13 months of age (long-term, LT) or 19 months of age (short-term, ST) and tested memory performance in the Morris water maze at 21 months of age. Aged rats treated ST or LT with FKBP1b substantially outperformed age-matched vector controls and performed similarly to each other and young controls (YCs). Transcriptional profiling in the same animals identified 2342 genes with hippocampal expression that was upregulated/downregulated in aged controls (ACs) compared with YCs (the aging effect). Of these aging-dependent genes, 876 (37%) also showed altered expression in aged FKBP1b-treated rats compared with ACs, with FKBP1b restoring expression of essentially all such genes (872/876, 99.5%) in the direction opposite the aging effect and closer to levels in YCs. This inverse relationship between the aging and FKBP1b effects suggests that the aging effects arise from FKBP1b deficiency. Functional category analysis revealed that genes downregulated with aging and restored by FKBP1b were associated predominantly with diverse brain structure categories, including cytoskeleton, membrane channels, and extracellular region. Conversely, genes upregulated with aging but not restored by FKBP1b associated primarily with glial-neuroinflammatory, ribosomal, and lysosomal categories. Immunohistochemistry confirmed aging-induced rarefaction and FKBP1b-mediated restoration of neuronal microtubular structure. Therefore, a previously unrecognized genomic network modulating diverse brain structural processes is dysregulated by aging and restored by FKBP1b overexpression.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Previously, we found that hippocampal overexpression of FK506-binding protein 12.6/1b (FKBP1b), a negative regulator of intracellular Ca2+ responses, reverses both aging-related Ca2+ dysregulation and cognitive impairment. Here, we tested whether hippocampal FKBP1b overexpression also counteracts aging changes in gene transcriptional networks. In addition to reducing memory deficits in aged rats, FKBP1b selectively counteracted aging-induced expression changes in 37% of aging-dependent genes, with cytoskeletal and extracellular structure categories highly associated with the FKBP1b-rescued genes. Our results indicate that, in parallel with cognitive processes, a novel transcriptional network coordinating brain structural organization is dysregulated with aging and restored by FKBP1b.


FKBP12.6; aging; calcium; cytoskeleton; microarray; ryanodine receptor

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