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Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 4;8(68):112401-112416. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.19918. eCollection 2017 Dec 22.

Activity strengths of cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons are correlated with transgenerational inheritance of learning ability.

Author information

1
Department of Pathophysiology, Bengbu Medical College, Anhui 233000, China.
2
Qingdao University, School of Pharmacy, Shandong 266021, China.
3
Institute of Biophysics and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60091, USA.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

The capabilities of learning and memory in parents are presumably transmitted to their offsprings, in which genetic codes and epigenetic regulations are thought as molecular bases. As neural plasticity occurs during memory formation as cellular mechanism, we aim to examine the correlation of activity strengths at cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to the transgenerational inheritance of learning ability. In a mouse model of associative learning, paired whisker and odor stimulations led to odorant-induced whisker motion, whose onset appeared fast (high learning efficiency, HLE) or slow (low learning efficiency, LLE). HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice were cross-mated to have their first generation of offsprings, filials (F1). The onset of odorant-induced whisker motion appeared a sequence of high-to-low efficiency in three groups of F1 mice that were from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Activities related to glutamatergic neurons in barrel cortices appeared a sequence of high-to-low strength in these F1 mice from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Activities related to GABAergic neurons in barrel cortices appeared a sequence of low-to-high strength in these F1 mice from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Neuronal activity strength was linearly correlated to learning efficiency among three groups. Thus, the coordinated activities at glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons may constitute the cellular basis for the transgenerational inheritance of learning ability.

KEYWORDS:

GABA; glutamate; learning; memory; neuron

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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