Evidence for disrupted NMDA-receptor function in tissue plasminogen activator knockout mice

Horwood, Jennifer M, Ripley, Tamzin and Stephens, David N (2004) Evidence for disrupted NMDA-receptor function in tissue plasminogen activator knockout mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 150 (1-2). pp. 127-138. ISSN 0166-4328

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Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine protease immediate-early gene product expressed in brain areas important in learning and memory, has been shown to cleave the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor leading to a potentiated Ca2+ influx. Mice lacking tPA (tPA−/− mice) have disrupted late phase-LTP in the hippocampus, possibly as a consequence of reduced Ca2+ flux through NMDA receptors. In the present experiments, we investigated whether the NMDA antagonist dizocilpine might alter performance in tPA−/− mice in behavioural tasks shown to be sensitive to hippocampal lesions.

tPA−/− mice and wild-type controls (WT) showed similar rates of acquisition and performance of a spatial working memory task (eight-arm radial maze). Dizocilpine (0.03–0.3 mg/kg, i.p.), given acutely, disrupted performance by increasing the number of errors equally across both genotypes.

At asymptotic performance of a differential reinforcement of low response rate operant task (DRL), acute dizocilpine (0.03–0.3 mg/kg) impaired performance, but no differences between genotypes were observed. However, dizocilpine (0.1 mg/kg), given repeatedly during acquisition of a signalled-DRL15′′ task, retarded acquisition in tPA−/− but not WT mice. This treatment regime had no effect on locomotor activity in either genotype.

tPA−/− mice showed no spatial learning deficits, but were more sensitive to dizocilpine during acquisition (though not expression) of a DRL task. This supports a role for tPA in modification of the NMDA receptor, although absence of tPA does not have consequences for all forms of NMDA-dependent mediated learning.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Julia Horwood
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:50
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2017 10:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14666
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