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Selective pharmacogenetic inhibition of mammalian target of Rapamycin complex I (mTORC1) blocks long-term synaptic plasticity and memory storage.

Both the formation of long-term memory (LTM) and late-long-term potentiation (L-LTP), which is thought to represent the cellular model of learning and memory, require de novo protein synthesis. The mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) complex I (mTORC1) integrates information from various synaptic inputs and its best characterized function is the regulation of translation. Although initial studies have shown that rapamycin reduces L-LTP and partially blocks LTM, recent genetic and pharmacological evidence indicating that mTORC1 promotes L-LTP and LTM is controversial. Thus, the role of mTORC1 in L-LTP and LTM is unclear. To selectively inhibit mTORC1 activity in the adult brain, we used a "pharmacogenetic" approach that relies on the synergistic action of a drug (rapamycin) and a genetic manipulation (mTOR heterozygotes, mTOR(+/-) mice) on the same target (mTORC1). Although L-LTP and LTM are normal in mTOR(+/-) mice, application of a low concentration of rapamycin-one that is subthreshold for WT mice-prevented L-LTP and LTM only in mTOR(+/-) mice. Furthermore, we found that mTORC1-mediated translational control is required for memory reconsolidation. We provide here direct genetic evidence supporting the role of mTORC1 in L-LTP and behavioral memory.

Pubmed ID: 21307309 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Acoustic Stimulation | Animals | Fear | Long-Term Potentiation | Memory, Long-Term | Mice | Multiprotein Complexes | Pharmacogenetics | Proteins | Sirolimus | TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases | Trans-Activators | Transcription Factors

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