Trongha Phan

University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States

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Publications (7)83.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Perturbing the circadian system by electrolytically lesioning the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) or varying the environmental light:dark schedule impairs memory, suggesting that memory depends on the circadian system. We used a genetic approach to evaluate the role of the molecular clock in memory. Bmal1(-/-) mice, which are arrhythmic under constant conditions, were examined for hippocampus-dependent memory, LTP at the Schaffer-collateral synapse, and signal transduction activity in the hippocampus. Bmal1(-/-) mice exhibit impaired contextual fear and spatial memory. Furthermore, LTP in hippocampal slices from Bmal1(-/-) mice is also significantly decreased relative to that from wild-type mice. Activation of Erk1,2 MAP kinase (MAPK) during training for contextual fear memory and diurnal oscillation of MAPK activity and cAMP in the hippocampus is also lost in Bmal1(-/-) mice, suggesting that the memory defects are due to reduction of the memory consolidation pathway in the hippocampus. We conclude that critical signaling events in the hippocampus required for memory depend on BMAL1.
    Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) 08/2014; 21(8):417-23. · 4.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory is dependent on activation of the cAMP/Erk/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signal transduction pathway in the hippocampus. Recently, we discovered that adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities undergo a circadian oscillation in the hippocampus and that inhibition of this oscillation impairs contextual memory. This suggests the interesting possibility that the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory depends upon the reactivation of MAPK in the hippocampus during the circadian cycle. A key unanswered question is whether the circadian oscillation of this signaling pathway is intrinsic to the hippocampus or is driven by the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). To address this question, we ablated the SCN of mice by electrolytic lesion and examined hippocampus-dependent memory as well as adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities. Electrolytic lesion of the SCN 2 d after training for contextual fear memory reduced contextual memory measured 2 weeks after training, indicating that maintenance of contextual memory depends on the SCN. Spatial memory was also compromised in SCN-lesioned mice. Furthermore, the diurnal oscillation of adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities in the hippocampus was destroyed by lesioning of the SCN. These data suggest that hippocampus-dependent long-term memory is dependent on the SCN-controlled oscillation of the adenylyl cyclase/MAPK pathway in the hippocampus.
    Journal of Neuroscience 07/2011; 31(29):10640-7. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    Zhenshan Wang, Trongha Phan, Daniel R Storm
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    ABSTRACT: Although primary cilia are found on neurons throughout the brain, their physiological function remains elusive. Human ciliopathies are associated with cognition defects, and transgenic mice lacking proteins expressed in primary cilia exhibit defects in learning and memory. Recently, it was reported that mice lacking the G-protein-coupling receptor somatostatin receptor-3 (SSTR3), a protein expressed predominately in the primary cilia of neurons, have defective memory for novel object recognition and lower cAMP levels in the brain. Since SSTR3 is coupled to regulation of adenylyl cyclase, this suggests that adenylyl cyclase activity in primary cilia of CNS neurons may be critical for some forms of learning and memory. Because the type 3 adenylyl cyclase (AC3) is expressed in primary cilia of hippocampal neurons, we examined AC3(-/-) mice for several forms of learning and memory. Here, we report that AC3(-/-) mice show no short-term memory for novel objects and fail to exhibit extinction of contextual fear conditioning. They also show impaired learning and memory for temporally dissociative passive avoidance. Since AC3 is exclusively expressed in primary cilia, we conclude that cAMP signals generated within primary cilia contribute to some forms of learning and memory, including extinction of contextual fear conditioning.
    Journal of Neuroscience 04/2011; 31(15):5557-61. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent study of obesity in Swedish men found that polymorphisms in the type 3 adenylyl cyclase (AC3) are associated with obesity, suggesting the interesting possibility that AC3 may play a role in weight control. Therefore, we examined the weight of AC3 mice over an extended period of time. We discovered that AC3(-/-) mice become obese as they age. Adult male AC3(-/-) mice are about 40% heavier than wild type male mice while female AC3(-/-) are 70% heavier. The additional weight of AC3(-/-) mice is due to increased fat mass and larger adipocytes. Before the onset of obesity, young AC3(-/-) mice exhibit reduced physical activity, increased food consumption, and leptin insensitivity. Surprisingly, the obesity of AC3(-/-) mice is not due to a loss of AC3 from white adipose and a decrease in lipolysis. We conclude that mice lacking AC3 exhibit obesity that is apparently caused by low locomotor activity, hyperphagia, and leptin insensitivity. The presence of AC3 in primary cilia of neurons of the hypothalamus suggests that cAMP signals generated by AC3 in the hypothalamus may play a critical role in regulation of body weight.
    PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(9):e6979. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signal transduction pathways have critical roles in the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory. We found that extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 MAPK phosphorylation and cAMP underwent a circadian oscillation in the hippocampus that was paralleled by changes in Ras activity and the phosphorylation of MAPK kinase and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). The nadir of this activation cycle corresponded with severe deficits in hippocampus-dependent fear conditioning under both light-dark and free-running conditions. Circadian oscillations in cAMP and MAPK activity were absent in memory-deficient transgenic mice that lacked Ca2+ -stimulated adenylyl cyclases. Furthermore, physiological and pharmacological interference with oscillations in MAPK phosphorylation after the cellular memory consolidation period impaired the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory. These data suggest that the persistence of long-term memories may depend on reactivation of the cAMP/MAPK/CREB transcriptional pathway in the hippocampus during the circadian cycle.
    Nature Neuroscience 10/2008; 11(9):1074-82. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signal transduction pathways have critical roles in the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory. We found that extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 MAPK phosphorylation and cAMP underwent a circadian oscillation in the hippocampus that was paralleled by changes in Ras activity and the phosphorylation of MAPK kinase and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). The nadir of this activation cycle corresponded with severe deficits in hippocampus-dependent fear conditioning under both light-dark and free-running conditions. Circadian oscillations in cAMP and MAPK activity were absent in memory-deficient transgenic mice that lacked Ca(2+)-stimulated adenylyl cyclases. Furthermore, physiological and pharmacological interference with oscillations in MAPK phosphorylation after the cellular memory consolidation period impaired the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory. These data suggest that the persistence of long-term memories may depend on reactivation of the cAMP/MAPK/CREB transcriptional pathway in the hippocampus during the circadian cycle.
    Nature Neuroscience 08/2008; · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because activation of ERK1/2 MAP kinase (MAPK) is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory, there is considerable interest in mechanisms for regulation of MAPK during memory formation. Here we report that MAPK and CREB-mediated transcription are negatively regulated by SCOP (suprachiasmatic nucleus [SCN] circadian oscillatory protein) and that SCOP is proteolyzed by calpain when hippocampal neurons are stimulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), KCl depolarization, or NMDA. Moreover, training for novel object memory decreases SCOP in the hippocampus. To determine if hippocampus-dependent memory is influenced by SCOP in vivo, we generated a transgenic mouse strain for the inducible overexpression of SCOP in the forebrain. Overexpression of SCOP completely blocked memory for novel objects. We conclude that degradation of SCOP by calpain contributes to activation of MAPK during memory formation.
    Cell 04/2007; 128(6):1219-29. · 31.96 Impact Factor