Several human diseases including Alzheimer's and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome are characterized by memory defects. The development of drugs to enhance the memory of compromised patients could have a major impact on the quality of life for these patients and others with memory defects. Evidence from several labs indicates that memory in mice may be enhanced using inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) to increase cAMP in the brain. Another promising drug target site to increase cAMP specifically in the brain is AC1, a neurospecific adenylyl cyclase that it is stimulated by activity-dependent calcium increases. To test this idea genetically, we made mice overexpressing AC1 in the hippocampus using the Ipha-CaM Kinase II promoter. These transgenic mice (AC1+) show enhanced LTP and memory for novel objects as well as a reduced rate of contextual memory extinction. Preliminary data indicate that the gain in memory may be due to enhanced signaling through the MAPK pathway. These data suggest the interesting possibility that AC1 may be a pharmacological """"""""window of opportunity"""""""" to enhance memory formation. The major objective of this grant is to determine why AC1+ mice have superior memory. We hypothesize that AC1+ mice show memory enhancement because of the unique regulatory properties of AC1 which include its calcium sensitivity and synergistic activation by Gs-coupled receptors and calcium. We hypothesize that AC1+ mice show superior memory for novel objects because of more robust training- induced CRE-mediated transcription. This may be due to training-induced amplification MAPK activity, MAPK nuclear translocation, or postsynaptic depolarizations. We also propose that genetic enhancement of AC1 activity in the brain may overcome memory defects associated with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a genetic disease due to a truncated form of the CREB binding protein (CBP). ? ?

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Neurotransporters, Receptors, and Calcium Signaling Study Section (NTRC)
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Asanuma, Chiiko
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University of Washington
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