Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory

Date:
March 16, 2005
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A family of proteins that help build the cytoskeleton, or the bones of the cell, also play an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience.

New Haven, Conn. — A family of proteins that help build the cytoskeleton, or the bones of the cell, also play an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Marina Picciotto, associate professor of psychiatry, pharmacology and neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and the senior author of the study, studied mice missing one of these proteins—–adducin—and found the cytoskeleton developed normally. However, the mice were impaired during fear conditioning and memory exercises.

“We were hoping to find a mechanism that cells use to make short term changes in nerve cell communication permanent, but we were surprised that losing –adducin made such a big change in both the nerve cell communication and in behavioral measures of memory,” Picciotto said.

The focus of the study is long–term potentiation, which is a form of neuronal plasticity and may form the biological basis for some kinds of memory. Long–term potentiation refers to the fact that if two neurons in the hippocampus are active at the same time, the connection between them can be strengthened. This change, or potentiation, can last for hours to days. This may serve to lay a foundation for more permanent changes, such as the construction of new connections, or synapses, between the neurons.

“If you learn to do something new, your neurons have to adapt and change to create a stronger, more direct pathway between neurons,” Picciotto said. “The protein –adducin appears to be important for making those new connections.”

In this study, the mice that did not have the protein were not able to strengthen a synapse in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that enables us to remember people, places and things. “If the mice don’t have –adducin, they can’t make a new map,” Picciotto said. “It’s not enough to just have the electrical properties, the skeleton is very important in making long–lasting changes between nerve cells that result in learning.”

Citation: Journal of Neuroscience 25: 2138–2145 (February–2005)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm>.
Yale University. (2005, March 16). Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm
Yale University. "Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins