Abnormal Hippocampal Spatial Representations in αCaMKIIT286A and CREBαΔ− Mice

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Science  06 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5352, pp. 867-869
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5352.867

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Hippocampal “place cells” fire selectively when an animal is in a specific location. The fine-tuning and stability of place cell firing was compared in two types of mutant mice with different long-term potentiation (LTP) and place learning impairments. Place cells from both mutants showed decreased spatial selectivity. Place cell stability was also deficient in both mutants and, consistent with the severities in their LTP and spatial learning deficits, was more affected in mice with a point mutation [threonine (T) at position 286 mutated to alanine (A)] in the α calmodulin kinase II (αCaMKIIT286A) than in mice deficient for the α and Δ isoforms of adenosine 3′5′-monophosphate–responsive element binding proteins (CREBαΔ ). Thus, LTP appears to be important for the fine tuning and stabilization of place cells, and these place cell properties may be necessary for spatial learning.

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