ABSTRACT: Late-phase long term potentiation (L-LTP) is thought to be the cellular basis for long-term memory (LTM). While LTM as well as L-LTP is known to depend on transcription and translation, it is unclear why brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) could sustain L-LTP when protein synthesis is inhibited. The persistently active protein kinase ζ (PKMζ) is the only molecule implicated in perpetuating L-LTP maintenance. Here, in mouse acute brain slices, we show that inhibition of PKMζ reversed BDNF-dependent form of L-LTP. While BDNF did not alter the steady-state level of PKMζ, BDNF together with the L-LTP inducing theta-burst stimulation (TBS) increased PKMζ level even without protein synthesis. Finally, in the absence of de novo protein synthesis, BDNF maintained TBS-induced PKMζ at a sufficient level. These results suggest that BDNF sustains L-LTP through PKMζ in a protein synthesis-independent manner, revealing an unexpected link between BDNF and PKMζ.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e21568. · 4.09 Impact Factor