Activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) can cause memory deficits as seen in Alzheimer's disease, the most common age-associated dementia, but the mechanism is not understood. Here, we found that activation of GSK-3 by wortmannin or transient overexpression of wild-type GSK-3beta could suppress the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in rat hippocampus, whereas simultaneous inhibition of GSK-3 by lithium or SB216763 or transient expression of a dominant-negative GSK-3beta mutant (dnGSK-3beta) preserved the LTP. After high-frequency stimulation (HFS), the presynaptic release of glutamate and the expression/clustering of synapsin I, a synaptic vesicle protein playing an important role in neurotransmitter release, decreased markedly after upregulation of GSK-3. In vitro studies further demonstrated that GSK-3 inhibited the expression of SynI independent of HFS. In postsynaptic level, the expression of PSD93 and NR2A/B proteins decreased significantly when GSK-3 was activated. The LTP-associated synapse impairments including less presynaptic active zone, thinner postsynaptic density, and broader synaptic cleft were also prominent in the hippocampal slices after HFS with activation of GSK-3. These synaptic impairments were attenuated when GSK-3 was simultaneously inhibited by LiCl or SB216763 or transient expression of dnGSK-3. We conclude that upregulation of GSK-3 impairs the synaptic plasticity both functionally and structurally, which may underlie the GSK-3-involved memory deficits.
"For primary cultures, embryonic hippocampal neurons were cultured according to the procedure described previously (Zhu et al., 2007). Primary hippocampal neurons at 8 days in vitro (DIV) were treated with BSA (20 g/mL), "
"GSK-3 phosphorylation reduces the capability of tau to promote microtubule assembly in vitro and in cells   . GSK-3 together with the activity of other kinases such as CK1, Cdk5, and MARK, has the ability to signifi cantly affect tau phosphorylation and modulate its neuronal function     . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau is a common feature of several dementias. Tau is one of the brain microtubule-associated proteins. Here we discuss tau's functions in microtubule assembly and stabilization and with regard to its interactions with other proteins. We describe and analyze important post-translational modifications: hyperphosphorylation, ubiquitination, glycation, glycosylation, nitration, polyamination, proteolysis, acetylation, and methylation. We discuss how these post-translational modifications can alter tau's biological function. We analyze the role of mitochondrial health in neurodegeneration. We propose that microtubules could be a therapeutic target and review different approaches. Finally, we consider whether tau accumulation or its conformational change is related to tau-induced neurodegeneration, and propose a mechanism of neurodegeneration.
"The Akt/GSK3 signalling pathway has been implicated in the downstream regulation of ionotropic glutamate receptor functions [Beaulieu et al. 2009]. Notably, activation of GSK3 has been shown to inhibit the development of glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP), causing changes to neuronal synaptic plasticity and contributing to learning and memory deficits [Zhu et al. 2007]. In addition, GSK3 inhibition has been shown to prevent the development of long-term depression (LTD) in rat hippocampal slices [Peineau et al. 2007], reducing the efficacy of neuronal synapses. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lithium has been used for the treatment of mood disorders for over 60 years, yet the exact mechanisms by which it exerts its therapeutic effects remain unclear. Two enzymatic chains or pathways emerge as targets for lithium: inositol monophosphatase within the phosphatidylinositol signalling pathway and the protein kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3. Lithium inhibits these enzymes through displacing the normal cofactor magnesium, a vital regulator of numerous signalling pathways. Here we provide an overview of evidence, supporting a role for the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 and inositol monophosphatase in the pharmacodynamic actions of lithium. We also explore how inhibition of these enzymes by lithium can lead to downstream effects of clinical relevance, both for mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Establishing a better understanding of lithium's mechanisms of action may allow the development of more effective and more tolerable pharmacological agents for the treatment of a range of mental illnesses, and provide clearer insight into the pathophysiology of such disorders.
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