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NCAM in Long-Term Potentiation and Learning

  • Barbara P. HartzEmail author
  • Lars Christian B. Rønn
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 663)

Abstract

The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is important in regulating neuronal development and plasticity by modulating cell adhesion and signal transduction. Studies using NCAM antibodies have demonstrated a role of NCAM in hippocampal long-term potentiation and in animal learning models. These findings have been supported by the observation that NCAM-deficient mice show altered LTP as well as learning deficits. A particular carbohydrate modification of NCAM, polysialic acid (PSA), has been shown to be important for synaptic plasticity, as demonstrated by impaired LTP and learning in mice deficient in polysialyltransferase enzymes necessary for adding PSA to the NCAM protein as well as in wildtype mice after enzymatic removal of PSA. It is suggested that NCAM and its PSA moiety are involved in synaptic remodeling in LTP and learning, possibly by modulating signal transduction pathways as well as by mediating and permitting adhesive changes in an activity-dependent manner.

Keywords

NCAM LTP Learning Memory Synaptic plasticity 

Abbreviations

Ab

Antibody

AD

Alzheimer’s Disease

BDNF

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor

CAM

cell adhesion molecule

CaMKII

Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II

EM

Electron microscopy

Endo-N

Endoneuraminidase N

EPSP

Excitatory postsynaptic potential

FGFR

Fibroblast growth factor receptor

GluR2/3

Glutamate receptor 2/3

Ig

Immunoglobulin

KO

Knock-out

LTP

Long-term potentiation

NCAM

Neural cell adhesion molecule

PKC

Protein kinase C

PSA

Polysialic acid

PSD

Postsynaptic density

TTX

Tetrodotoxin

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeuroSearch A/SBallerupDenmark

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