Learning leads to changes in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-mediated synaptic excitation. The mechanisms for maintaining such alterations needed for memory persistence remain to be clarified. Here, we report a novel molecular mechanism for maintaining learning-induced AMPAR-mediated enhancement of synaptic excitation. We show that training rats in a complex olfactory discrimination task, such that requires rule learning, leads to the enhancement of averaged amplitude of AMPAR-mediated miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) in piriform cortex pyramidal neurons for days after learning. Inhibiting calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) using KN93 or tatCN21 days after learning, reduced the averaged mEPSC amplitude in neurons in piriform cortex of trained rats to the level where they are not significantly different from mEPSC of control animals. CaMKII inhibition leads to a decrease in single channel conductance and not to changes in the number of synaptic-activated channels. We conclude that the maintenance of learning-induced enhancement of AMPAR-mediated synaptic excitation requires the activity of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.
- AMPA receptor
- olfactory discrimination learning
- piriform cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience