Image_3_Cofilin overactivation improves hippocampus-dependent short-term memory.JPEG (1.26 MB)

Image_3_Cofilin overactivation improves hippocampus-dependent short-term memory.JPEG

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posted on 2023-08-10, 04:14 authored by Frank Raven, Iris W. Riemersma, Martha F. Olthuis, Ieva Rybakovaite, Elroy L. Meijer, Peter Meerlo, Eddy A. Van der Zee, Robbert Havekes

Many living organisms of the animal kingdom have the fundamental ability to form and retrieve memories. Most information is initially stored as short-term memory, which is then converted to a more stable long-term memory through a process called memory consolidation. At the neuronal level, synaptic plasticity is crucial for memory storage. It includes the formation of new spines, as well as the modification of existing spines, thereby tuning and shaping synaptic efficacy. Cofilin critically contributes to memory processes as upon activation, it regulates the shape of dendritic spines by targeting actin filaments. We previously found that prolonged activation of cofilin in hippocampal neurons attenuated the formation of long-term object-location memories. Because the modification of spine shape and structure is also essential for short-term memory formation, we determined whether overactivation of hippocampal cofilin also influences the formation of short-term memories. To this end, mice were either injected with an adeno-associated virus expressing catalytically active cofilin, or an eGFP control, in the hippocampus. We show for the first time that cofilin overactivation improves short-term memory formation in the object-location memory task, without affecting anxiety-like behavior. Surprisingly, we found no effect of cofilin overactivation on AMPA receptor expression levels. Altogether, while cofilin overactivation might negatively impact the formation of long-lasting memories, it may benefit short-term plasticity.