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J Neurochem. 1995 Dec;65(6):2796-9.

Memory consolidation induces a transient and time-dependent increase in the frequency of neural cell adhesion molecule polysialylated cells in the adult rat hippocampus.

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Department of Pharmacology, University College, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland.


Animals trained in a passive avoidance task exhibit a transient time-dependent increase in hippocampal neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) polysialylation at 12-24 h following the initial learning trial. Using immunocytochemical techniques with a monoclonal antibody that specifically recognises NCAM-polysialic acid homopolymers, a distinct population of granule-like cells, at the border of the granule cell layer and the hilus in the dentate gyrus of the adult rat hippocampus, has been demonstrated to exhibit time-dependent change in frequency at 10-12 h following the initial learning of a one-trial, step-through, passive avoidance response. These changes were paradigm specific as they failed to occur in those animals rendered amnesic with scopolamine. These polysialylated dentate neurons are not de novo granule cell precursors as administration of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine every 2 h from the point of learning to the 12-h posttraining time showed no significant difference between trained and passive animals in the small number of heterogeneously distributed, labelled cells. These findings directly identify a morphological substrate of memory, implied by previous correlative and interventive studies on NCAM function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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