Article

Genetic Activation of ERK5 MAP Kinase Enhances Adult Neurogenesis and Extends Hippocampus-Dependent Long-Term Memory

The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 02/2014; 34(6):2130-47. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3324-13.2014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies have shown that inhibition of adult neurogenesis impairs the formation of hippocampus-dependent memory. However, it is not known whether increasing adult neurogenesis affects the persistence of hippocampus-dependent long-term memory. Furthermore, signaling mechanisms that regulate adult neurogenesis are not fully defined. We recently reported that the conditional and targeted knock-out of ERK5 MAP kinase in adult neurogenic regions of the mouse brain attenuates adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and disrupts several forms of hippocampus-dependent memory. Here, we developed a gain-of-function knock-in mouse model to specifically activate endogenous ERK5 in the neurogenic regions of the adult brain. We report that the selective and targeted activation of ERK5 increases adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus by enhancing cell survival, neuronal differentiation, and dendritic complexity. Conditional ERK5 activation also improves the performance of challenging forms of spatial learning and memory and extends hippocampus-dependent long-term memory. We conclude that enhancing signal transduction of a single signaling pathway within adult neural stem/progenitor cells is sufficient to increase adult neurogenesis and improve the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory. Furthermore, activation of ERK5 may provide a novel therapeutic target to improve long-term memory.

2 Followers
 · 
73 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We recently showed that prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA) in mice causes autism-like behavioral abnormalities, including social interaction deficits, anxiety-like behavior and spatial learning disability, in male offspring. In the present study, we examined the effect of prenatal VPA on cognitive function and whether the effect is improved by chronic treatment with VPA and sodium butyrate, histone deacetylase inhibitors. In addition, we examined whether the cognitive dysfunction is associated with hippocampal dendritic morphological changes. Mice given prenatal exposure to VPA exhibited novel object recognition deficits at 9weeks of age, and that the impairment was blocked by chronic (5-week) treatment with VPA (30mg/kg/d, i.p.) or sodium butyrate (1.2g/kg/d, i.p.) starting at 4weeks of age. In agreement with the behavioral findings, the mice prenatally exposed to VPA showed a decrease in dendritic spine density in the hippocampal CA1 region, and the spine loss was attenuated by chronic treatment with sodium butyrate or VPA. Furthermore, acute treatment with sodium butyrate, but not VPA, significantly increased acetylation of histone H3 in the hippocampus at 30min, suggesting the difference in the mechanism for the effects of chronic VPA and sodium butyrate. These findings suggest that prenatal VPA-induced cognitive dysfunction is associated with changes in hippocampal dendritic spine morphology.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 09/2014; 126. DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2014.08.013 · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intracellular signaling pathways present targets for pharmacological agents with potential for treatment of neoplastic diseases, with some disease remissions already recorded. However, cellular compensatory mechanisms usually negate the initial success. For instance, attempts to interrupt aberrant signaling downstream of the frequently mutated ras by inhibiting ERK1/2 has shown only limited usefulness for cancer therapy. Here, we examined how ERK5, that overlaps the functions of ERK1/2 in cell proliferation and survival, functions in a manner distinct from ERK1/2 in human AML cells induced to differentiate by 1,25D-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D). Using inhibitors of ERK1/2 and of MEK5/ERK5 at concentrations specific for each kinase in HL60 and U937 cells, we observed that selective inhibition of the kinase activity of ERK5, but not of ERK1/2, in the presence of 1,25D resulted in macrophage-like cell morphology and enhancement of phagocytic activity. Importantly, this was associated with increased expression of the macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (M-CSFR), but was not seen when M-CSFR expression was knocked down. Interestingly, inhibition of ERK1/2 led to activation of ERK5 in these cells. Our results support the hypothesis that ERK5 negatively regulates the expression of M-CSFR, and thus has a restraining function on macrophage differentiation. The addition of pharmacological inhibitors of ERK5 may influence trials of differentiation therapy of AML.
    Experimental Cell Research 10/2014; 330(1). DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.10.003 · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is a remarkable form of brain structural plasticity by which new functional neurons are generated from adult neural stem cells/precursors. Although the precise role of this process remains elusive, adult hippocampal neurogenesis is important for learning and memory and it is affected in disease conditions associated with cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety. Immature neurons in the adult brain exhibit an enhanced structural and synaptic plasticity during their maturation representing a unique population of neurons to mediate specific hippocampal function. Compelling preclinical evidence suggests that hippocampal neurogenesis is modulated by a broad range of physiological stimuli which are relevant in cognitive and emotional states. Moreover, multiple pharmacological interventions targeting cognition modulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition, recent genetic approaches have shown that promoting neurogenesis can positively modulate cognition associated with both physiology and disease. Thus the discovery of signaling pathways that enhance adult neurogenesis may lead to therapeutic strategies for improving memory loss due to aging or disease. This chapter endeavors to review the literature in the field, with particular focus on (1) the role of hippocampal neurogenesis in cognition in physiology and disease; (2) extrinsic and intrinsic signals that modulate hippocampal neurogenesis with a focus on pharmacological targets; and (3) efforts toward novel strategies pharmacologically targeting neurogenesis and identification of biomarkers of human neurogenesis.
    Handbook of experimental pharmacology 01/2015; 228:99-155. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-16522-6_4
Show more