A theoretical framework for the function of the medial temporal lobe system in memory defines differential contributions of the hippocampal subregions with regard to pattern recognition retrieval processes and encoding of new information. To investigate molecular programs of relevance, we designed a spatial learning protocol to engage a pattern separation function to encode new information. After background training, two groups of animals experienced the same new training in a novel environment; however, only one group was provided spatial information and demonstrated spatial memory in a retention test. Global transcriptional analysis of the microdissected subregions of the hippocampus exposed a CA3 pattern that was sufficient to clearly segregate spatial learning animals from control. Individual gene and functional group analysis anchored these results to previous work in neural plasticity. From a multitude of expression changes, increases in camk2a, rasgrp1, and nlgn1 were confirmed by in situ hybridization. Furthermore, siRNA inhibition of nlgn1 within the CA3 subregion impaired spatial memory performance, pointing to mechanisms of synaptic remodeling as a basis for rapid encoding of new information in long-term memory.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 29 2008|
- Spatial learning
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