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Neurochem Int. 1997 Sep;31(3):459-75.

Putative roles for the inducible transcription factor c-fos in the central nervous system: studies with antisense oligonucleotides.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Although immediate-early genes such as c-fos are widely believed to play an important role in neuroplasticity, there is limited evidence to support involvement in the initiation of molecular events leading to medium- and long-term changes in brain function following a stimulus. Results using techniques such as transgenic knockout of the gene are often difficult to interpret. Antisense oligonucleotide technology offers an alternative. Infusion of antisense oligonucleotide to modify the expression of c-fos in the brain results in dramatic changes in rotation behaviour in animals challenged with psychostimulant drugs such as amphetamine. Similarly, the knockdown of c-fos expression using antisense oligonucleotides can also alter the rate of amygdala kindling in response to electrical stimulation of the brain. While studies using antisense oligonucleotides to knockdown c-fos expression provide evidence that the expression of c-fos plays an important role in regulating neuronal function, the use of antisense nucleotides has limitations and experiments must be very carefully controlled. Many details of antisense oligonucleotide actions remain unknown.

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