Increased neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning in aged Kv beta 1.1 knockout mice

Murphy, G. G., Fedorov, N. B., Giese, K. P., Ohno, M., Friedman, E., Chen, R., Silva, A. J. (November 2004) Increased neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning in aged Kv beta 1.1 knockout mice. Current Biology, 14 (21). pp. 1907-1915. ISSN 0960-9822

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.021


Background: Advancing age is typically accompanied by deficits in learning and memory. These deficits occur independently of overt pathology and are often considered to be a part of "normal aging." At the neuronal level, normal aging is known to be associated with numerous cellular and molecular changes, which include a pronounced decrease in neuronal excitability and an altered induction in the threshold for synaptic plasticity. Because both of these mechanisms (neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity) have been implicated as putative cellular substrates for learning and memory, it is reasonable to propose that age-related changes in these mechanisms may contribute to the general cognitive decline that occurs during aging. Results: To further investigate the relationship between aging, learning and memory, neuronal excitability, and synaptic plasticity, we have carried out experiments with aged mice that lack the auxiliary potassium channel subunit Kvbeta1.1. In aged mice, the deletion of the auxiliary potassium channel subunit Kvbeta1.1 resulted in increased neuronal excitability, as measured by a decrease in the post-burst afterhyperpolarization. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) was more readily induced in aged Kvbeta1.1 knockout mice. Finally, the aged Kvbeta1.1 mutants outperformed age-matched controls in the hidden-platform version of the Morris water maze. Interestingly, the enhancements in excitability and learning were both sensitive to genetic background: The enhanced learning was only observed in a genetic background in which the mutants exhibited increased neuronal excitability. Conclusions: Neuronal excitability is an important determinant of both synaptic plasticity and learning in aged subjects.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: LONG-TERM POTENTIATION long term potentiation HIPPOCAMPAL CA1 NEURONS hippocampal CAi neurons PYRAMIDAL NEURONS Pyramidal neurons K+ CHANNELS channels FISCHER-344 RATS Fischer-344 Rats PROTEIN-KINASE protein kinase F344 Rats MEMORY memory SUBUNIT subunit INACTIVATION inactivation
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > learning
organism description > animal behavior > memory
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > neural plasticity
CSHL Authors:
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: November 2004
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 16:32
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2012 16:32

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