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Hippocampus. 1994 Feb;4(1):71-7.

Protein kinase C activity in the hippocampus following spatial learning tasks in mice.

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Laboratoire de Neurosciences Comportementales et Cognitives, URA CNRS 339, Université de Bordeaux I, Talence, France.


Protein kinase C (PKC) is highly concentrated in the hippocampus and is thus a possible neural substrate of learning and memory. This study was designed to determine whether partial acquisition (i.e., the minimal amount of training leading to above-chance performance) of a spatial discrimination in an eight-arm radial maze alters hippocampal PKC activity. Mice were sacrificed at different times (5 minutes, 1 hour, 24 hours) after the second learning session, and PKC activity was measured in both cytosolic and membrane fractions of the hippocampus. In order to determine which component of the task was involved in the alterations in enzymatic activity, hippocampal PKC activity was also measured in a group of mice that was allowed to explore the maze freely. Significantly less PKC activity was found in the cytosolic fraction from the trained animals than from the quiet or active control groups. No differences were observed between the quiet and active controls. In contrast, there were no significant between-groups differences in membrane-bound PKC activity, although a negative correlation between the membrane-bound PKC activity and learning scores (accuracy) was noted. These results suggest that hippocampal PKC activity is involved essentially in the associative component of the task. The lack of learning-induced alterations in membrane-bound PKC activity and the negative correlation between this enzymatic activity and learning accuracy are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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