The regulation of hippocampal LTP by the molecular switch, a form of metaplasticity, requires mGlu5 receptors.
ABSTRACT The role of metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors in long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus is controversial. In the present study, we have used mice in which the mGlu1, mGlu5 or mGlu7 receptor has been deleted, by homologous recombination, to study the role of these receptor subtypes in LTP at CA1 synapses. We investigated the effects of the knockouts on both LTP and the molecular switch, a form of metaplasticity that renders LTP insensitive to the actions of the mGlu receptor antagonist MCPG ((S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine). We find that LTP is readily induced in the three knockouts and in an mGlu1 and mGlu5 double knockout. In addition, the molecular switch operates normally in either the mGlu1 or mGlu7 knockout. In contrast, the molecular switch is completely non-functional in the mGlu5 knockout, such that MCPG invariably blocks the induction of additional LTP in an input where LTP has already been induced. The effect of the mGlu5 receptor knockout was replicated in wildtype mouse slices perfused with the specific mGlu5 receptor antagonist MPEP (2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine). In addition, the mGlu5 selective agonist CHPG ((RS)-2-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine) sets the molecular switch. These data demonstrate that the operation of the molecular switch requires activation of mGlu5 receptors.
Progress in brain research 02/2008; 172:ix. · 3.04 Impact Factor
Article: Prenatal restraint stress generates two distinct behavioral and neurochemical profiles in male and female rats.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prenatal Restraint Stress (PRS) in rats is a validated model of early stress resulting in permanent behavioral and neurobiological outcomes. Although sexual dimorphism in the effects of PRS has been hypothesized for more than 30 years, few studies in this long period have directly addressed the issue. Our group has uncovered a pronounced gender difference in the effects of PRS (stress delivered to the mothers 3 times per day during the last 10 days of pregnancy) on anxiety, spatial learning, and a series of neurobiological parameters classically associated with hippocampus-dependent behaviors. Adult male rats subjected to PRS ("PRS rats") showed increased anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM), a reduction in the survival of newborn cells in the dentate gyrus, a reduction in the activity of mGlu1/5 metabotropic glutamate receptors in the ventral hippocampus, and an increase in the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and pro-BDNF in the hippocampus. In contrast, female PRS rats displayed reduced anxiety in the EPM, improved learning in the Morris water maze, an increase in the activity of mGlu1/5 receptors in the ventral and dorsal hippocampus, and no changes in hippocampal neurogenesis or BDNF levels. The direction of the changes in neurogenesis, BDNF levels and mGlu receptor function in PRS animals was not consistent with the behavioral changes, suggesting that PRS perturbs the interdependency of these particular parameters and their relation to hippocampus-dependent behavior. Our data suggest that the epigenetic changes in hippocampal neuroplasticity induced by early environmental challenges are critically sex-dependent and that the behavioral outcome may diverge in males and females.PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(5):e2170. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The formation of long-term memory (LTM) and the late phase of long-term potentiation (L-LTP) depend on macromolecule synthesis, translation, and transcription in neurons. vesl-1S (VASP/Ena-related gene upregulated during seizure and LTP, also known as homer-1a) is an LTP-induced immediate early gene. The short form of Vesl (Vesl-1S) is an alternatively spliced isoform of the vesl-1 gene, which also encodes the long form of the Vesl protein (Vesl-1L). Vesl-1L is a postsynaptic scaffolding protein that binds to and modulates the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1/5 (mGluR1/5), the IP3 receptor, and the ryanodine receptor. Vesl-1 null mutant mice show abnormal behavior, which includes anxiety- and depression-related behaviors, and an increase in cocaine-induced locomotion; however, the function of the short form of Vesl in behavior is poorly understood because of the lack of short-form-specific knockout mice. In this study, we generated short-form-specific gene targeting (KO) mice by knocking in part of vesl-1L/homer-1c cDNA. Homozygous KO mice exhibited normal spine number and morphology. Using the contextual fear conditioning test, we demonstrated that memory acquisition and short-term memory were normal in homozygous KO mice. In contrast, these mice showed impairment in fear memory consolidation. Furthermore, the process from recent to remote memory was affected in homozygous KO mice. Interestingly, reactivation of previously consolidated fear memory attenuated the conditioning-induced freezing response in homozygous KO mice, which suggests that the short form plays a role in fear memory reconsolidation. General activity, emotional performance, and sensitivity to electrofootshock were normal in homozygous KO mice. These results indicate that the short form of the Vesl family of proteins plays a role in multiple steps of long-term, but not short-term, fear memory formation.Molecular Brain 02/2009; 2:7.