The tired hippocampus: the molecular impact of sleep deprivation on hippocampal function

ArticleinCurrent opinion in neurobiology 44:13-19 · June 2017with 326 Reads
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  • Article
    Sleep and sleep loss have a profound impact on hippocampal function, leading to memory impairments. Modifications in the strength of synaptic connections directly influences neuronal communication, which is vital for normal brain function, as well as the processing and storage of information. In a recently published study, we found that as little as five hours of sleep deprivation impaired hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation, which was accompanied by a reduction in dendritic spine numbers in hippocampal area CA1. Surprisingly, loss of sleep did not alter the spine density of CA3 neurons. Although sleep deprivation has been reported to affect the function of the dentate gyrus, it is unclear whether a brief period of sleep deprivation impacts spine density in this region. Here, we investigated the impact of brief period of sleep deprivation on dendritic structure in the dentate gyrus of the dorsal hippocampus. We found that five hours of sleep loss reduces spine density in the dentate gyrus with a prominent effect on branched spines. Interestingly, the inferior blade of the dentate gyrus seems to be more vulnerable in terms of spine loss than the superior blade. This decrease in spine density predominantly in the inferior blade of the dentate gyrus may contribute to the memory deficits observed after sleep loss, as structural reorganization of synaptic networks in this subregion is fundamental for cognitive processes.
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    Survivors of sepsis may suffer chronic cognitive impairment as a long-term sequela. However, the precise mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction after sepsis are not well understood. We employed the cecal ligation-and-puncture-induced septic mouse model. We observed elevated phosphorylation of Akt, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and p70S6K on days 14 and 60, progressive neuronal loss in the cornu ammonis 1 region, and abnormal neuronal morphology in the hippocampus in the sepsis mouse model. These findings indicate that changes in neuronal morphology and number in the hippocampus after sepsis were associated with strong activation of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and may reflect a "self-rescuing" feedback response to neuronal loss after sepsis.
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    Sleep is essential for memory consolidation that stabilizes a memory trace. Memory consolidation includes waves of new gene expression and protein synthesis. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of memory processes. Previous studies demonstrated that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation (REM SD) during specific time windows after training in the Morris water maze (MWM) task impairs memory consolidation. Here, we showed that the post-learning REM sleep, extending from 3 to 6 h after last training, is critical for spatial learning in the MWM task. Further, we found that the REM SD after training significantly changes the hippocampal expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA; however, it causes minimal difference in the hippocampal expressions of calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMKII) and cAMP response-element-binding (CREB). In addition, it considerably affected the hippocampal expressions of miR-132, miR-182, and miR-124. In conclusion, after the MWM task, the post-learning REM sleep during specific time windows can modulate spatial memory consolidation, and its deprivation can impact the hippocampal transcriptional processes including memory-related miRNAs and mRNAs.
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    Research findings over the past two decades have supported a link between sleep states and synaptic plasticity. Numerous mechanistic hypotheses have been put forth to explain this relationship. For example, multiple studies have shown structural alterations to synapses (including changes in synaptic volume, spine density, and receptor composition) indicative of synaptic weakening after a period of sleep. Direct measures of neuronal activity and synaptic strength support the idea that a period of sleep can reduce synaptic strength. This has led to the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY), which asserts that during slow wave sleep, synapses are downscaled throughout the brain to counteract net strengthening of network synapses during waking experience (e.g., during learning). However, neither the cellular mechanisms mediating these synaptic changes, nor the sleep-dependent activity changes driving those cellular events are well-defined. Here we discuss potential cellular and network dynamic mechanisms which could underlie reductions in synaptic strength during sleep. We also discuss recent findings demonstrating circuit-specific synaptic strengthening (rather than weakening) during sleep. Based on these data, we explore the hypothetical role of sleep-associated network activity patterns in driving synaptic strengthening. We propose an alternative to SHY—namely that depending on experience during prior wake, a variety of plasticity mechanisms may operate in the brain during sleep. We conclude that either synaptic strengthening or synaptic weakening can occur across sleep, depending on changes to specific neural circuits (such as gene expression and protein translation) induced by experiences in wake. Clarifying the mechanisms underlying these different forms of sleep-dependent plasticity will significantly advance our understanding of how sleep benefits various cognitive functions.
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    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive hippocampal-dependent explicit memory deficits that begin at the onset of the illness. An early hallmark of AD is the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aß) proteins in brain structures involved in encoding and consolidation of memory, like the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Aß neurotoxicity is known to induce synaptic dysfunctions and neuronal death leading to cognitive decline. Another recurrent event observed in AD is sleep disturbances. Decreased sleep duration, sleep fragmentation, and circadian alterations are often observed in early AD. The origin of these disturbances, and especially the specific contribution of the hippocampal Aß pathology, remains to be determined. It is required to identify mechanisms impacting wakefulness and sleep architecture and microarchitecture given the role of sleep in memory encoding and consolidation. Sleep perturbations in AD are thus likely contributing to memory decline in the course of the disease. The central aim of this review is to address the bidirectional relationship between sleep and hippocampal Aß by discussing the literature featuring data on wakefulness and sleep variables (i.e., duration, electroencephalographic activity, daily distribution) in AD mouse models and on the effect of enforced sleep loss on Aß pathology in the hippocampus. The current state of knowledge on this topic emphasizes a clear need for more efforts to assess the precise impact of hippocampal Aß on wakefulness and sleep quality as well as the mechanisms mediating their reciprocal relationship.
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    Sleep is an essential process for memory consolidation(MC) that stabilize a memory trace. The behavioral experiments have led to the conclusion that post-learning Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Deprivation(REM-SD) disrupts MC if specific period of sleep is eliminated. Tomosyn, a syntaxin-binding protein, is known to inhibit vesicle priming and synaptic transmission. Recently it has been shown that neuron-specific overexpression of tomosyn in the mouse hippocampus impairs spatial learning and memory. Therefore, the current study aims to determine the effects of specific time period of REM-SD on MC and the changes of the expression of tomosyn in hippocampus.
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    Millions of people worldwide work during the night, resulting in disturbed circadian rhythms and sleep loss. This may cause deficits in cognitive functions, impaired alertness and increased risk of errors and accidents. Disturbed circadian rhythmicity resulting from night shift work could impair brain function and cognition through disrupted synthesis of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal function. Recently, the circadian transcription factor brain-and-muscle arnt-like protein 1 (BMAL1) has been identified as a promoter of mRNA translation initiation, the most highly regulated step in protein synthesis, through binding to the mRNA " cap ". In this study we investigated the effects of simulated shift work on protein synthesis markers. Male rats (n = 40) were exposed to forced activity, either in their rest phase (simulated night shift work) or in their active phase (simulated day shift work) for 3 days. Following the third work shift, experimental animals and time-matched undisturbed controls were euthanized (rest work at ZT12; active work at ZT0). Tissue lysates from two brain regions (prefrontal cortex, PFC and hippocampus) implicated in cognition and sleep loss, were analyzed with m 7 GTP (cap) pull-down to examine time-of-day variation and effects of simulated shift work on cap-bound protein translation. The results show time-of-day variation of protein synthesis markers in PFC, with increased protein synthesis at ZT12. In the hippocampus there was little difference between ZT0 and ZT12. Active phase work did not induce statistically significant changes in protein synthesis markers at ZT0 compared to time-matched undisturbed controls. Rest work, however, resulted in distinct brain-region specific changes of protein synthesis markers compared to time-matched controls at ZT12. While no changes were observed in the hippocampus, phosphorylation of cap-bound BMAL1 and its regulator S6 kinase beta-1 (S6K1) was significantly reduced in the PFC, together with significant reduction in the synaptic plasticity associated protein activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc). Our results indicate considerable time-of-day and brain-region specific variation in cap-dependent translation initiation. We conclude Frontiers in Neural Circuits | www.frontiersin.org 1 October 2017 | Volume 11 | Article 70 Marti et al. Shift Work Alters BMAL1 Activity that simulated night shift work in rats disrupts the pathways regulating the circadian component of the translation of mRNA in the PFC, and that this may partly explain impaired waking function during night shift work.
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    Hcrt gene inactivation in mice leads to behavioral state instability, abnormal transitions to paradoxical sleep, and cataplexy, hallmarks of narcolepsy. Sleep homeostasis is, however, considered unimpaired in patients and narcoleptic mice. We find that whereas Hcrtko/ko mice respond to 6-h sleep deprivation (SD) with a slowwave sleep (SWS) EEG δ (1.0 to 4.0 Hz) power rebound like WT littermates, spontaneous waking fails to induce a δ power reflecting prior waking duration. This correlates with impaired θ (6.0 to 9.5 Hz) and fast-γ (55 to 80 Hz) activity in prior waking. We algorithmically identify a theta-dominated wakefulness (TDW) substate underlying motivated behaviors and typically preceding cataplexy in Hcrtko/ko mice. Hcrtko/ko mice fully implement TDW when waking is enforced, but spontaneous TDW episode duration is greatly reduced. A reformulation of the classic sleep homeostasis model, where homeostatic pressure rises exclusively in TDW rather than all waking, predicts δ power dynamics both in Hcrtko/ko and WT mouse baseline and recovery SWS. The low homeostatic impact of Hcrtko/ko mouse spontaneous waking correlates with decreased cortical expression of neuronal activityrelated genes (notably Bdnf, Egr1/Zif268, and Per2). Thus, spontaneous TDW stability relies on Hcrt to sustain θ/fast-γ network activity and associated plasticity, whereas other arousal circuits sustain TDW during SD. We propose that TDW identifies a discrete global brain activity mode that is regulated by contextdependent neuromodulators and acts as a major driver of sleep homeostasis. Hcrt loss in Hcrtko/ko mice causes impaired TDW maintenance in baseline wake and blunted δ power in SWS, reproducing, respectively, narcolepsy excessive daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality.
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    Sleep deprivation (SD) can have a negative impact on cognitive function, but the mechanism(s) by which SD modulates memory remains unclear. We have previously shown that astrocyte-derived adenosine is a candidate molecule involved in the cognitive deficits following a brief period of SD (Halassa et al., 2009). In this study, we examined whether genetic disruption of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attached protein (SNARE)-dependent exocytosis in astrocytes (dnSNARE mice) or pharmacological blockade of A1 receptor signaling using an adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) antagonist, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine (CPT), could prevent the negative effects of 6 h of SD on hippocampal late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) and hippocampus-dependent spatial object recognition memory. We found that SD impaired L-LTP in wild-type mice but not in dnSNARE mice. Similarly, this deficit in L-LTP resulting from SD was prevented by a chronic infusion of CPT. Consistent with these results, we found that hippocampus-dependent memory deficits produced by SD were rescued in dnSNARE mice and CPT-treated mice. These data provide the first evidence that astrocytic ATP and adenosine A1R activity contribute to the effects of SD on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory, and suggest a new therapeutic target to reverse the hippocampus-related cognitive deficits induced by sleep loss.
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    Rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) has been linked with spatial and emotional memory consolidation. However, establishing direct causality between neural activity during REMS and memory consolidation has proven difficult because of the transient nature of REMS and significant caveats associated with REMS deprivation techniques. In mice, we optogenetically silenced medial septum γ-aminobutyric acid–releasing (MSGABA) neurons, allowing for temporally precise attenuation of the memory-associated theta rhythm during REMS without disturbing sleeping behavior. REMS-specific optogenetic silencing of MSGABA neurons selectively during a REMS critical window after learning erased subsequent novel object place recognition and impaired fear-conditioned contextual memory. Silencing MSGABA neurons for similar durations outside REMS episodes had no effect on memory. These results demonstrate that MSGABA neuronal activity specifically during REMS is required for normal memory consolidation.
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    Sleep deprivation is a public health epidemic that causes wide-ranging deleterious consequences, including impaired memory and cognition. Protein synthesis in hippocampal neurons promotes memory and cognition. The kinase complex mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) stimulates protein synthesis by phosphorylating and inhibiting the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 2 (4EBP2). We investigated the involvement of the mTORC1-4EBP2 axis in the molecular mechanisms mediating the cognitive deficits caused by sleep deprivation in mice. Using an in vivo protein translation assay, we found that loss of sleep impaired protein synthesis in the hippocampus. Five hours of sleep loss attenuated both mTORC1-mediated phosphorylation of 4EBP2 and the interaction between eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and eIF4G in the hippocampi of sleep-deprived mice. Increasing the abundance of 4EBP2 in hippocampal excitatory neurons before sleep deprivation increased the abundance of phosphorylated 4EBP2, restored the amount of eIF4E-eIF4G interaction and hippocampal protein synthesis to that seen in mice that were not sleep-deprived, and prevented the hippocampus-dependent memory deficits associated with sleep loss. These findings collectively demonstrate that 4EBP2-regulated protein synthesis is a critical mediator of the memory deficits caused by sleep deprivation.
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    Two commentaries recently published in SLEEP came to very different conclusions regarding how data from a mouse model of sleep-dependent neural plasticity (orientation-specific response potentiation; OSRP) fit with the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY). To assess whether SHY offers an explanatory mechanism for OSRP, we present new data on how cortical neuron firing rates are modulated as a function of novel sensory experience and subsequent sleep in this model system. We carried out longitudinal extracellular recordings of single-neuron activity in the primary visual cortex across a period of novel visual experience and subsequent sleep or sleep deprivation. Spontaneous neuronal firing rates and visual responses were recorded from the same population of visual cortex neurons before control (blank screen) or novel (oriented grating) stimulus presentation, immediately after stimulus presentation, and after a period of subsequent ad lib sleep. Firing rate responses to visual stimuli were unchanged across waking experience, regardless of whether a blank screen or an oriented grating stimulus was presented. Firing rate responses to stimuli of the presented stimulus orientation were selectively enhanced across post-stimulus sleep, but these changes were blocked by sleep deprivation. Neuronal firing increased significantly across bouts of post-stimulus rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow wave sleep (SWS), but not across bouts of wake. The current data suggest that following novel visual experience, potentiation of a subset of V1 synapses occurs across periods of sleep. This finding cannot be explained parsimoniously by SHY. Copyright © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC. All rights reserved.
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    The hippocampus is particularly sensitive to sleep loss. Although previous work has indicated that sleep deprivation impairs hippocampal cAMP signaling, it remains to be determined whether the cognitive deficits associated with sleep deprivation are caused by attenuated cAMP signaling in the hippocampus. Further, it is unclear which cell types are responsible for the memory impairments associated with sleep deprivation. Transgenic approaches lack the spatial resolution to manipulate specific signaling pathways selectively in the hippocampus, while pharmacological strategies are limited in terms of cell-type specificity. Therefore, we used a pharmacogenetic approach based on a virus-mediated expression of a Gαs-coupled Drosophila octopamine receptor selectively in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons in vivo. With this approach, a systemic injection with the receptor ligand octopamine leads to increased cAMP levels in this specific set of hippocampal neurons. We assessed whether transiently increasing cAMP levels during sleep deprivation prevents memory consolidation deficits associated with sleep loss in an object-location task. Five hours of total sleep deprivation directly following training impaired the formation of object-location memories. Transiently increasing cAMP levels in hippocampal neurons during the course of sleep deprivation prevented these memory consolidation deficits. These findings demonstrate that attenuated cAMP signaling in hippocampal excitatory neurons is a critical component underlying the memory deficits in hippocampus-dependent learning tasks associated with sleep deprivation. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415715-07$15.00/0.
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    The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a crucial cellular signaling hub that, like the nervous system itself, integrates internal and external cues to elicit critical outputs including growth control, protein synthesis, gene expression, and metabolic balance. The importance of mTOR signaling to brain function is underscored by the myriad disorders in which mTOR pathway dysfunction is implicated, such as autism, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disorders. Pharmacological manipulation of mTOR signaling holds therapeutic promise and has entered clinical trials for several disorders. Here, we review the functions of mTOR signaling in the normal and pathological brain, highlighting ongoing efforts to translate our understanding of cellular physiology into direct medical benefit for neurological disorders.
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    Several studies have highlighted the frequency of sleep disturbances in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, whether they are secondary to the disease or per se increase its risk remains to be fully investigated. The aim of the current investigation was to study the effect of sleep deprivation (SD) on the development of AD phenotype in a transgenic mouse model with plaques and tangles, the 3xTg mice. We evaluated the functional and biological consequences on 3xTg mice that underwent 4 hours sleep restrain per day for 8 weeks. Compared with controls, behavioral assessment showed that SD-treated mice had a significant decline in their learning and memory. Although no differences were detected in the levels of soluble amyloid-β peptides, the same animals displayed a decrease in tau phosphorylation, which associated with a significant increase in its insoluble fraction. In addition, we observed that SD resulted in lower levels of postsynaptic density protein 95 and increased glial fibrillary acidic protein levels. Finally, although total levels of the transcription factor cellular response element binding protein were unchanged, its phosphorylated form was significantly diminished in brains of sleep-deprived mice when compared with controls. Our study underlines the importance of SD as a chronic stressor, which by modulating biochemical processes influences the development of memory impairments and AD neuropathologies. Correction of SD could be a viable therapeutic strategy to prevent the onset or slow the progression of AD in individuals bearing this risk factor.
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    Sleep is a fundamental state necessary for maintenance of physical and neurological homeostasis throughout life. Several studies regarding the functions of sleep have been focused on effects of sleep deprivation on synaptic plasticity at a molecular and electrophysiological level, and only a few studies have studied sleep function from a structural perspective. Moreover, during normal aging, sleep architecture displays some changes that could affect normal development in the elderly. In this study, using a Golgi-Cox staining followed by Sholl analysis, we evaluate the effects of 24 h of total sleep deprivation on neuronal morphology of pyramidal neurons from Layer III of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the dorsal hippocampal CA1 region from male Wistar rats at two different ages (3 and 22 months). We found no differences in total dendritic length and branching length in both analyzed regions after sleep deprivation. Spine density was reduced in the CA1 of young-adults, and interestingly, sleep deprivation increased spine density in PFC of aged animals. Taken together, our results show that 24 h of total sleep deprivation have different effects on synaptic plasticity and could play a beneficial role in cognition during aging.
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    Sleep deprivation disrupts hippocampal function and plasticity. In particular, long-term memory consolidation is impaired by sleep deprivation, suggesting that a specific critical period exists following learning during which sleep is necessary. To elucidate the impact of sleep deprivation on long-term memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity, long-term memory was assessed when mice were sleep deprived following training in the hippocampus-dependent object place recognition task. We found that 3 hours of sleep deprivation significantly impaired memory when deprivation began 1 hour after training. In contrast, 3 hours of deprivation beginning immediately post-training did not impair spatial memory. Furthermore, a 3-hour sleep deprivation beginning 1 hour after training impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas sleep deprivation immediately after training did not affect LTP. Together, our findings define a specific 3-hour critical period, extending from 1 to 4 hours after training, during which sleep deprivation impairs hippocampal function.
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    Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation of memory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent NREM sleep. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exerts powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanisms of plasticity that govern both initial learning and subsequent long-term memory consolidation.
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    Sleep deprivation is a common problem of considerable health and economic impact in today's society. Sleep loss is associated with deleterious effects on cognitive functions such as memory and has a high comorbidity with many neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the molecular basis of the effect of sleep deprivation in the brain. In this study, we combined genome-wide and traditional molecular biological approaches to determine the cellular and molecular impacts of sleep deprivation in the mouse hippocampus, a brain area crucial for many forms of memory. Microarray analysis examining the effects of 5 h of sleep deprivation on gene expression in the mouse hippocampus found 533 genes with altered expression. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that a prominent effect of sleep deprivation was to downregulate translation, potentially mediated through components of the insulin signaling pathway such as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a key regulator of protein synthesis. Consistent with this analysis, sleep deprivation reduced levels of total and phosphorylated mTOR, and levels returned to baseline after 2.5 h of recovery sleep. Our findings represent the first genome-wide analysis of the effects of sleep deprivation on the mouse hippocampus, and they suggest that the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation may be mediated by reductions in protein synthesis via downregulation of mTOR. Because protein synthesis and mTOR activation are required for long-term memory formation, our study improves our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the memory impairments induced by sleep deprivation.
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    Sleep deprivation is a common feature in modern society, and one of the consequences of sleep loss is the impairment of cognitive function. Although it has been widely accepted that sleep deprivation affects learning and memory, only recently has research begun to address which molecular signaling pathways are altered by sleep loss and, more importantly, which pathways can be targeted to reverse the memory impairments resulting from sleep deprivation. In this review, we discuss the different methods used to sleep deprive animals and the effects of different durations of sleep deprivation on learning and memory with an emphasis on hippocampus-dependent memory. We then review the molecular signaling pathways that are sensitive to sleep loss, with a focus on those thought to play a critical role in the memory and synaptic plasticity deficits observed after sleep deprivation. Finally, we highlight several recent attempts to reverse the effects of sleep deprivation on memory and synaptic plasticity. Future research building on these studies promises to contribute to the development of novel strategies to ameliorate the effects of sleep loss on cognition.
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    Sleep consolidates experience-dependent brain plasticity, but the precise cellular mechanisms mediating this process are unknown [1]. De novo cortical protein synthesis is one possible mechanism. In support of this hypothesis, sleep is associated with increased brain protein synthesis [2, 3] and transcription of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) involved in protein synthesis regulation [4, 5]. Protein synthesis in turn is critical for memory consolidation and persistent forms of plasticity in vitro and in vivo [6, 7]. However, it is unknown whether cortical protein synthesis in sleep serves similar functions. We investigated the role of protein synthesis in the sleep-dependent consolidation of a classic form of cortical plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity, ODP; [8, 9]) in the cat visual cortex. We show that intracortical inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent protein synthesis during sleep abolishes consolidation but has no effect on plasticity induced during wakefulness. Sleep also promotes phosphorylation of protein synthesis regulators (i.e., 4E-BP1 and eEF2) and the translation (but not transcription) of key plasticity related mRNAs (ARC and BDNF). These findings show that sleep promotes cortical mRNA translation. Interruption of this process has functional consequences, because it abolishes the consolidation of experience in the cortex.
  • Article
    Ubiquitous among eukaryotes, the ADF/cofilins are essential proteins responsible for the high turnover rates of actin filaments in vivo. In vertebrates, ADF and cofilin are products of different genes. Both bind to F-actin cooperatively and induce a twist in the actin filament that results in the loss of the phalloidin-binding site. This conformational change may be responsible for the enhancement of the off rate of subunits at the minus end of ADF/cofilin-decorated filaments and for the weak filament-severing activity. Binding of ADF/cofilin is competitive with tropomyosin. Other regulatory mechanisms in animal cells include binding of phosphoinositides, phosphorylation by LIM kinases on a single serine, and changes in pH. Although vertebrate ADF/cofilins contain a nuclear localization sequence, they are usually concentrated in regions containing dynamic actin pools, such as the leading edge of migrating cells and neuronal growth cones. ADF/cofilins are essential for cytokinesis, phagocytosis, fluid phase endocytosis, and other cellular processes dependent upon actin dynamics.
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    Unlabelled: Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling. Significance statement: Neurons exhibit localized signaling processes that enable biochemical cascades to be activated selectively in specific subcellular compartments. The phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family coordinates the degradation of cAMP, leading to the local attenuation of cAMP-dependent signaling pathways. Sleep deprivation leads to increased hippocampal expression of the PDE4A5 isoform. Here, we explored whether PDE4A5 overexpression mimics behavioral and synaptic plasticity phenotypes associated with sleep deprivation. Viral expression of PDE4A5 in hippocampal neurons impairs long-term potentiation and attenuates the formation of hippocampus-dependent long-term memories. Our findings suggest that PDE4A5 is a molecular constraint on cognitive processes and may contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling.
  • Article
    It is well known that caffeine and sleep deprivation have opposing effects on learning and memory; therefore, this study was undertaken to determine the effects of chronic (4wks) caffeine treatment (0.3g/l in drinking water) on long-term memory deficit associated with 24h sleep deprivation. Animals were sleep deprived using the modified multiple platform method. The results showed that chronic caffeine treatment prevented the impairment of long-term memory as measured by performance in the radial arm water maze task and normalized L-LTP in area CA1 of the hippocampi of sleep-deprived anesthetized rats. Sleep deprivation prevents the high frequency stimulation-induced increases in the levels of phosphorylated-cAMP response element binding protein (P-CREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) seen during the expression of late phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP). However, chronic caffeine treatment prevented the effect of sleep-deprivation on the stimulated levels of P-CREB and BDNF. The results suggest that chronic caffeine treatment may protect the sleep-deprived brain probably by preserving the levels of P-CREB and BDNF.
  • Article
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    Research on the role of the hippocampus in object recognition memory has produced conflicting results. Previous studies have used permanent hippocampal lesions to assess the requirement for the hippocampus in the object recognition task. However, permanent hippocampal lesions may impact performance through effects on processes besides memory consolidation including acquisition, retrieval, and performance. To overcome this limitation, we used an intrahippocampal injection of the GABA agonist muscimol to reversibly inactivate the hippocampus immediately after training mice in two versions of an object recognition task. We found that the inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus after training impairs object-place recognition memory but enhances novel object recognition (NOR) memory. However, inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus after repeated exposure to the training context did not affect object recognition memory. Our findings suggest that object recognition memory formation does not require the hippocampus and, moreover, that activity in the hippocampus can interfere with the consolidation of object recognition memory when object information encoding occurs in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Article
    Sleep is important for brain function and cognitive performance. Sleep deprivation (SD) may affect subsequent learning capacity and ability to form new memories, particularly in the case of hippocampus-dependent tasks. In the present study we examined whether SD for 6 or 12 h during the normal resting phase prior to learning affects hippocampus-dependent working memory in mice. In addition, we determined effects of SD on hippocampal glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors and their regulatory pathways, which are crucially involved in working memory. After 12 h SD, but not yet after 6 h, spatial working memory in a novel arm recognition task was significantly impaired. This deficit was not likely due to stress as corticosterone levels after SD were not significantly different between groups. In parallel with the change in cognitive function, we found that 12 h SD significantly reduced hippocampal AMPA receptor phosphorylation at the GluR1-S845 site, which is important for incorporation of the receptors into the membrane. SD did not affect protein levels of cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) or phosphatase calcineurin (CaN), which regulate GluR1 phosphorylation. However, SD did reduce the expression of the scaffolding molecule A-kinase anchoring protein 150 (AKAP150), which binds and partly controls the actions of PKA and CaN. In conclusion, a relatively short SD during the normal resting phase may affect spatial working memory in mice by reducing hippocampal AMPA receptor function through a change in AKAP150 levels. Together, these findings provide further insight into the possible mechanism of SD-induced hippocampal dysfunction and memory impairment.
  • Article
    Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase involved in translation control and long-lasting synaptic plasticity. mTOR functions as the central component of two multi-protein signaling complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, which can be distinguished from each other based on their unique compositions and substrates. Although the majority of evidence linking mTOR function to synaptic plasticity comes from studies utilizing rapamycin, studies in genetically modified mice also suggest that mTOR couples receptors to the translation machinery for establishing long-lasting synaptic changes that are the basis for higher order brain function, including long-term memory. Finally, perturbation of the mTOR signaling cascade appears to be a common pathophysiological feature of human neurological disorders, including mental retardation syndromes and autism spectrum disorders.
  • Article
    It is becoming increasingly apparent that spatial regulation of cell signalling processes is critical to normal cellular function. In this regard, cAMP signalling regulates many pivotal cellular processes and has provided the paradigm for signal compartmentalization. Recent advances show that isoforms of the cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) family are targeted to discrete signalling complexes. There they sculpt local cAMP gradients that can be detected by genetically encoded cAMP sensors, and gate the activation of spatially localized signalling through sequestered PKA and EPAC sub-populations. Genes for these important regulatory enzymes are linked to schizophrenia, stroke and asthma, thus indicating the therapeutic potential that selective inhibitors could have as anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and cognitive enhancer agents.
  • Article
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    Millions of people regularly obtain insufficient sleep. Given the effect of sleep deprivation on our lives, understanding the cellular and molecular pathways affected by sleep deprivation is clearly of social and clinical importance. One of the major effects of sleep deprivation on the brain is to produce memory deficits in learning models that are dependent on the hippocampus. Here we have identified a molecular mechanism by which brief sleep deprivation alters hippocampal function. Sleep deprivation selectively impaired 3', 5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP)- and protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus, reduced cAMP signalling, and increased activity and protein levels of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme that degrades cAMP. Treatment of mice with phosphodiesterase inhibitors rescued the sleep-deprivation-induced deficits in cAMP signalling, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory. These findings demonstrate that brief sleep deprivation disrupts hippocampal function by interfering with cAMP signalling through increased PDE4 activity. Thus, drugs that enhance cAMP signalling may provide a new therapeutic approach to counteract the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Article
    Astrocytes modulate neuronal activity by releasing chemical transmitters via a process termed gliotransmission. The role of this process in the control of behavior is unknown. Since one outcome of SNARE-dependent gliotransmission is the regulation of extracellular adenosine and because adenosine promotes sleep, we genetically inhibited the release of gliotransmitters and asked if astrocytes play an unsuspected role in sleep regulation. Inhibiting gliotransmission attenuated the accumulation of sleep pressure, assessed by measuring the slow wave activity of the EEG during NREM sleep, and prevented cognitive deficits associated with sleep loss. Since the sleep-suppressing effects of the A1 receptor antagonist CPT were prevented following inhibition of gliotransmission and because intracerebroventricular delivery of CPT to wild-type mice mimicked the transgenic phenotype, we conclude that astrocytes modulate the accumulation of sleep pressure and its cognitive consequences through a pathway involving A1 receptors.
  • Article
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    Neuronal firing patterns, neuromodulators, and cerebral metabolism change across sleep-waking states, and the synaptic release of glutamate is critically involved in these processes. Extrasynaptic glutamate can also affect neural function and may be neurotoxic, but whether and how extracellular glutamate is regulated across sleep-waking states is unclear. To assess the effect of behavioral state on extracellular glutamate at high temporal resolution, we recorded glutamate concentration in prefrontal and motor cortex using fixed-potential amperometry in freely behaving rats. Simultaneously, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) and electroencephalograms (EEGs) from contralateral cortex. We observed dynamic, progressive changes in the concentration of glutamate that switched direction as a function of behavioral state. Specifically, the concentration of glutamate increased progressively during waking (0.329 +/- 0.06%/min) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (0.349 +/- 0.13%/min). This increase was opposed by a progressive decrease during non-REM (NREM) sleep (0.338 +/- 0.06%/min). During a 3 h sleep deprivation period, glutamate concentrations initially exhibited the progressive rise observed during spontaneous waking. As sleep pressure increased, glutamate concentrations ceased to increase and began decreasing despite continuous waking. During NREM sleep, the rate of decrease in glutamate was positively correlated with sleep intensity, as indexed by LFP slow-wave activity. The rate of decrease doubled during recovery sleep after sleep deprivation. Thus, the progressive increase in cortical extrasynaptic glutamate during EEG-activated states is counteracted by a decrease during NREM sleep that is modulated by sleep pressure. These results provide evidence for a long-term homeostasis of extracellular glutamate across sleep-waking states.
  • Article
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    Using L-[1-14C]leucine autoradiography, rates of cerebral and local cerebral protein synthesis were studied during wakefulness, slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep in the rat. In the cerebrum as a whole, the rate at which labelled leucine was incorporated into tissues was positively correlated with the occurrence of slow wave sleep. We failed to observe a significant correlation of protein synthesis rate with either wakefulness or REM sleep. As in the cerebrum as a whole, most discrete brain regions showed moderate positive correlations between the occurrence of SWS and rates of protein synthesis. There were no brain regions in which rates of protein synthesis showed striking correlations with sleep-wake states. Thus, the occurrence of SWS is associated with higher rates of protein synthesis throughout the brain. These data suggest that SWS sleep favors the restoration of cerebral proteins.
  • Article
    To explore the role of protein kinase A (PKA) in the late phase of long-term potentiation (L-LTP) and memory, we generated transgenic mice that express R(AB), an inhibitory form of the regulatory subunit of PKA, only in the hippocampus and other forebrain regions by using the promoter from the gene encoding Ca2+/ calmodulin protein kinase IIalpha. In these R(AB) transgenic mice, hippocampal PKA activity was reduced, and L-LTP was significantly decreased in area CA1, without affecting basal synaptic transmission or the early phase of LTP. Moreover, the L-LTP deficit was paralleled by behavioral deficits in spatial memory and in long-term but not short-term memory for contextual fear conditioning. These deficits in long-term memory were similar to those produced by protein synthesis inhibition. Thus, PKA plays a critical role in the consolidation of long-term memory.
  • Article
    Local rates of cerebral protein synthesis (ICPSleu) were determined with the autoradiographic L-[1-14C]leucine method in seven awake and seven asleep, adult rhesus monkeys conditioned to sleep in a restraining chair in a darkened, ventilated chamber while EEG, EOG, and EMG were monitored. Prior to the period of measurement all animals slept for 1-4 h. Controls were awakened after at least one period of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. Experimental animals were allowed to remain asleep, and they exhibited non-REM sleep for 71-99% of the experimental period. Statistically significant differences in ICPSleu between control and experimental animals were found in four of the 57 regions of brain examined, but these effects may have occurred by chance. In the sleeping animals, however, correlations between ICPSleu and percent time in deep sleep were positive in all regions and were statistically significant (P < or = 0.05) in 35 of the regions. When time in deep sleep was weighted for the integrated specific activity of leucine in grey matter, positive correlations were statistically significant (P < or = 0.05) in 18 regions in the experimental animals. These results suggest that rates of protein synthesis are increased in many regions of the brain during deep sleep compared with light sleep.
  • Article
    The protein kinase A pathway and the cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB) appear to play a critical role in the consolidation of short-term changes in neuronal activity into long-term memory storage in a variety of systems ranging from the gill and siphon withdrawal reflex in Aplysia to olfactory conditioning in Drosophila to spatial and contextual learning in mice. In this review we describe the molecular machinery that mediates memory consolidation in each of these systems. One of the surprising findings to emerge, particularly from studies of long-term facilitation in Aplysia, is that memory storage is mediated by not only positive but also negative regulatory mechanisms, in much the same way as cell division is controlled by the proteins encoded by oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. This suggests the interesting possibility that there are memory suppressor genes whose protein products impede memory storage.
  • Article
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    We have used a combined genetic and pharmacological approach to define the time course of the requirement for protein kinase A (PKA) and protein synthesis in long-term memory for contextual fear conditioning in mice. The time course of amnesia in transgenic mice that express R(AB) and have genetically reduced PKA activity in the hippocampus parallels that observed both in mice treated with inhibitors of PKA and mice treated with inhibitors of protein synthesis. This PKA- and protein synthesis-dependent memory develops between 1 hr and 3 hr after training. By injecting the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin or the PKA inhibitor Rp-cAMPs at various times after training, we find that depending on the nature of training, contextual memory has either one or two brief consolidation periods requiring synthesis of new proteins, and each of these also requires PKA. Weak training shows two time periods of sensitivity to inhibitors of protein synthesis and PKA, whereas stronger training exhibits only one. These studies underscore the parallel dependence of long-term contextual memory on protein synthesis and PKA and suggest that different training protocols may recruit a common signaling pathway in distinct ways.
  • Article
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    This review synthesizes data from behavioral studies examining the role of sleep in memory storage with what is known about the molecular mechanisms of memory consolidation. There are striking similarities in the effects on memory storage of post-training pharmacological manipulations and post-training manipulations of sleep. For example, inhibition of protein synthesis is most effective if it occurs at a time post-training when rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is required for memory consolidation. The neurochemical changes that occur across sleep/wake states, especially the cholinergic changes that occur in the hippocampus during REM sleep, might provide a mechanism by which sleep modulates specific cellular signaling pathways involved in hippocampus-dependent memory storage.
  • Article
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    The cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) family of transcription factors is thought to be critical in memory formation. To define the role of CREB in distinct memory processes, we derived transgenic mice with an inducible and reversible CREB repressor by fusing CREBS133A to a tamoxifen (TAM)-dependent mutant of an estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain (LBD). We found that CREB is crucial for the consolidation of long-term conditioned fear memories, but not for encoding, storage or retrieval of these memories. Our studies also showed that CREB is required for the stability of reactivated or retrieved conditioned fear memories. Although the transcriptional processes necessary for the stability of initial and reactivated memories differ, CREB is required for both. The findings presented here delineate the memory processes that require CREB and demonstrate the power of LBD-inducible transgenic systems in the study of complex cognitive processes.
  • Article
    Much evidence indicates that, after learning, memories are created by alterations in glutamate-dependent excitatory synaptic transmission. These modifications are then actively stabilized, over hours or days, by structural changes at postsynaptic sites on dendritic spines. The mechanisms of this structural plasticity are poorly understood, but recent findings are beginning to provide clues. The changes in synaptic transmission are initiated by elevations in intracellular calcium and consequent activation of second messenger signalling pathways in the postsynaptic neuron. These pathways involve intracellular kinases and GTPases, downstream from glutamate receptors, that regulate and coordinate both cytoskeletal and adhesion remodelling, leading to new synaptic connections. Rapid changes in cytoskeletal and adhesion molecules after learning contribute to short-term plasticity and memory, whereas later changes, which depend on de novo protein synthesis as well as the early modifications, seem to be required for the persistence of long-term memory.
  • Article
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    Many behavioral and electrophysiological studies in animals and humans have suggested that sleep and circadian rhythms influence memory consolidation. In rodents, hippocampus-dependent memory may be particularly sensitive to sleep deprivation after training, as spatial memory in the Morris water maze is impaired by rapid eye movement sleep deprivation following training. Spatial learning in the Morris water maze, however, requires multiple training trials and performance, as measured by time to reach the hidden platform is influenced by not only spatial learning but also procedural learning. To determine if sleep is important for the consolidation of a single-trial, hippocampus-dependent task, we sleep deprived animals for 0-5 and 5-10 h after training for contextual and cued fear conditioning. We found that sleep deprivation from 0-5 h after training for this task impaired memory consolidation for contextual fear conditioning whereas sleep deprivation from 5-10 h after training had no effect. Sleep deprivation at either time point had no effect on cued fear conditioning, a hippocampus-independent task. Previous studies have determined that memory consolidation for fear conditioning is impaired when protein kinase A and protein synthesis inhibitors are administered at the same time as when sleep deprivation is effective, suggesting that sleep deprivation may act by modifying these molecular mechanisms of memory storage.
  • Article
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    Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive functions in humans and animals. However, whether long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular substrate of learning and memory, is compromised by sleep loss per se remains unclear because of confounding factors related to sleep deprivation (SD) procedures in rodents. Using an ex vivo approach in C57BL/6J mice, we show that sleep loss rapidly and reversibly alters bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. A brief (approximately 4 h) total SD, respecting the temporal parameters of sleep regulation and maintaining unaltered low corticosterone levels, shifted the modification threshold for long-term depression/long-term potentiation (LTP) along the stimulation frequency axis (1-100 Hz) toward the right. Reducing exposure to sensory stimuli by whisker trimming did not affect the SD-induced changes in synaptic plasticity. Recovery sleep reversed the effects induced by SD. When SD was combined with moderate stress, LTP induction was not only impaired but also occluded. Both electrophysiological analysis and immunoblotting of purified synaptosomes revealed that an alteration in the molecular composition of synaptically activated NMDA receptors toward a greater NR2A/NR2B ratio accompanied the effects of SD. This change was reversed after recovery sleep. By using an unparalleled, particularly mild form of SD, this study describes a novel approach toward dissociating the consequences of insufficient sleep on synaptic plasticity from nonspecific effects accompanying SD in rodents. We establish a framework for cellular models of cognitive impairment related to sleep loss, a major problem in modern society.
  • Article
    The properties of long-term potentiation (LTP) mirror those of associative memory in a number of interesting ways. Although plasticity at monosynaptic connections is not expected to account for the varied subtle characteristics of distributed memories, nonetheless it is important to establish how far the parallels can be drawn. Here, we briefly address whether properties of LTP such as its duration, reversibility, savings and reconsolidation relate to corresponding memory phenomena. We then address whether LTP stabilization in fact requires protein synthesis, as this has been challenged in recent times much like the necessity for protein synthesis in the consolidation of long-term memory has been queried. We conclude that the case is still very strong for a necessary role of protein synthesis in LTP stabilization, even though the identities of the synthesized proteins and their contributions to the LTP process are not fully understood. However, we highlight areas of research that could be usefully conducted to further our understanding of the properties and protein synthesis-dependence of LTP.
  • Article
    Enduring forms of synaptic plasticity and memory require new protein synthesis, but little is known about the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Here, we investigate the role of MAPK signaling in these processes. Conditional expression of a dominant-negative form of MEK1 in the postnatal murine forebrain inhibited ERK activation and caused selective deficits in hippocampal memory retention and the translation-dependent, transcription-independent phase of hippocampal L-LTP. In hippocampal neurons, ERK inhibition blocked neuronal activity-induced translation as well as phosphorylation of the translation factors eIF4E, 4EBP1, and ribosomal protein S6. Correspondingly, protein synthesis and translation factor phosphorylation induced in control hippocampal slices by L-LTP-generating tetanization were significantly reduced in mutant slices. Translation factor phosphorylation induced in the control hippocampus by memory formation was similarly diminished in the mutant hippocampus. These results suggest a crucial role for translational control by MAPK signaling in long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory.