In the studies reported herein, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and immunocytochemistry have been applied to document increased levels of AP-1 transcription factor, and its major component, c-Fos in the rat brain following behavioral training of two-way active avoidance. A single training session (50 trials) provoked elevation of AP-1 in the visual, sensory and limbic cortex but not in the hippocampus. A session following long term training (10 sessions, up to asymptotic level of performance) had much smaller effect on AP-1 levels in the visual cortex than single training session. The long term training was used to ensure that observed effects were related to acquisition of the reaction rather than simply to behavioral performance. Supershift EMSA analysis with antibodies directed at individual AP-1 components revealed that AP-1 extracted from the brains of trained as well as naive animals is composed of the same proteins, i.e., in order of relative level within the protein family: c-Fos, Fos B, Fra-2, and Jun D, Jun B, c-Jun. These studies reinforce the notion that transcription factors as regulators of gene expression - and AP-1 in particular - may respond to behavioral stimulation and furthermore may play a role in acquisition of behavioral reactions.
- Avoidance training
- Gel shift
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience