Relationships were examined between spatial learning and hippocampal concentrations of the α, β2, and isoforms of protein kinase C (PKC), an enzyme implicated in neuronal plasticity and memory formation. Concentrations of PKC were determined for individual 6-month-old (n = 13) and 24-month-old (n = 27) male Long-Evans rats trained in the water maze on a standard place- learning task and a transfer task designed for rapid acquisition. The results showed significant relationships between spatial learning and the amount of PKC among individual subjects, and those relationships differed according to age, isoform, and subcellular fraction. Among 6-month-old rats, those with the best spatial memory were those with the highest concentrations of PKCγ in the particulate fraction and of PKCβ2 in the soluble fraction. Aged rats had increased hippocampal PKCγ concentrations in both subcellular fractions in comparison with young rats, and memory impairment was correlated with higher PKCγ concentrations in the soluble fraction. No age difference or correlations with behavior were found for concentrations of PKCγ in a comparison structure, the neostriatum, or for PKCα in the hippocampus. Relationships between spatial learning and hippocampal concentrations of calcium-dependent PKC are isoform-specific. Moreover, age-related spatial memory impairment is associated with altered subcellular concentrations of PKCγ and may be indicative of deficient signal transduction and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampal formation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 9 1997|
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