Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene essential for neuron development and contextual memory

Date:
January 26, 2010
Source:
CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Summary:
New research demonstrates the essential function of the gene PC3/Tis21/BTG2 in the maturation of the neuron, and how this plays an important role in the integration of the neuron into memory circuits.

A team of researchers of CNR-LUMSA-S. Lucia demonstrates the essential function of the gene PC3/Tis21 (BTG2) in the maturation of the neuron, and how this plays an important role in the integration of the neuron into memory circuits.

Related Articles


The results are published in the journal PLoS ONE.

The birth of new neurons, a process called neurogenesis, is continuously occurring in the brain, not only during development but also during adulthood within two specialized areas, the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Recent researches where the new neurons of the hippocampus were increased or eliminated by different ways have shown that neurogenesis is essential for the formation of memories.

These studies, however, have not yet succeeded in explaining how the newborn neurons are integrated in the existing memory circuits, and, perhaps more important, have not clarified the molecular mechanisms that coordinately govern in newborn neurons the processes of proliferation, differentiation and integration into the memory networks.

A team of researchers at the European Centre for Brain Research has given a contribution to this field, demonstrating that the gene PC3/Tis21 (also known as BTG2) is essential to the process of neurogenesis. In fact, the neuroscientists coordinated by Dr. Felice Tirone of the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine (INMM) of CNR, in collaboration with Prof. Vincenzo Cestari of the Institute of Neurosciences of CNR-LUMSA University, and with Dr. Patrizia Longone of the Foundation S.Lucia, have now identified the essential role of a gene, PC3/Tis21, for the differentiation of the neuron.

"We have observed," Tirone explains, "that the lack of PC3/Tis21 impairs the maturation of new neurons in the subventricular zone and in the hippocampus, and from this follows a selective loss of the contextual memory, which is at the basis of the ability to link different events. In fact, the immature neuron fails to become integrated in contextual memory circuits. Conversely, other types of hippocampus-dependent memory, such as the spatial memory, remain intact, suggesting that there is a specific correlation between the final steps of neuron maturation and the contextual memory function, and also that PC3/Tis21 may regulate the timing of recruitment of the new neurons in memory circuits."

PC3/Tis21 has a dual function: it triggers the exit from cell cycle in the new neuron when this is still a proliferating progenitor, and then allows its terminal differentiation. The underlying molecular mechanism of PC3/Tis21 is in fact dual: initially PC3/Tis21 inhibits the cell cycle progression in the proliferating progenitor, and soon after directly represses the gene Id3, a key inhibitor of neural differentiation.

The role of PC3/Tis21/BTG2 in the maturation of hippocampus neurons may also suggest its implication in neurodegenerative pathologies, such as the Alzheimer's disease, where the hippocampus is one of the first brain regions damaged.

"More generally," concludes the CNR researcher, "our results show that the correct differentiation of the neuron is critical for its activation within memory circuits. In fact, a deficit of contextual or spatial memory occurs also following a transient acceleration of the differentiation of neural progenitor cells -- as shown in our previous studies -- and thus not only after a delay of differentiation, as observed here.

"We believe that these researches, through a modulation or alteration of the process of differentiation of the neuron, may create conditions uniquely apt to understand the mechanism by which the neuron is integrated into memory networks."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Farioli-Vecchioli S, Saraulli D, Costanzi M, Leonardi L, Cinΰ I, Micheli L, Nutini M, Longone P, Oh SP, Cestari V, Tirone F. Impaired Terminal Differentiation of Hippocampal Granule Neurons and Defective Contextual Memory in PC3/Tis21 Knockout Mice. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4 (12): e8339 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008339

Cite This Page:

CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. "Gene essential for neuron development and contextual memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083400.htm>.
CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. (2010, January 26). Gene essential for neuron development and contextual memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083400.htm
CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. "Gene essential for neuron development and contextual memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121083400.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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