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Neurogranin Expression Is Regulated by Synaptic Activity and Promotes Synaptogenesis in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons

AuthorsGarrido-García, A.; de Andrés, Raquel; Jiménez-Pompa, A.; Soriano, P.; Sanz-Fuentes, D.; Martínez-Blanco, E.; Díez-Guerra, F. Javier
KeywordsGlutamate receptors
Hippocampal neurons
Synaptic plasticity
Issue Date2019
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationMolecular neurobiology (2019)
AbstractNeurogranin (Ng) is a calmodulin (CaM)-binding protein that is phosphorylated by protein kinase C (PKC) and is highly enriched in the dendrites and spines of telencephalic neurons. It is proposed to be involved in regulating CaM availability in the post-synaptic environment to modulate the efficiency of excitatory synaptic transmission. There is a close relationship between Ng and cognitive performance; its expression peaks in the forebrain coinciding with maximum synaptogenic activity, and it is reduced in several conditions of impaired cognition. We studied the expression of Ng in cultured hippocampal neurons and found that both protein and mRNA levels were about 10% of that found in the adult hippocampus. Long-term blockade of NMDA receptors substantially decreased Ng expression. On the other hand, treatments that enhanced synaptic activity such as long-term bicuculline treatment or co-culture with glial cells or cholesterol increased Ng expression. Chemical long-term potentiation (cLTP) induced an initial drop of Ng, with a minimum after 15 min followed by a slow recovery during the next 2–4 h. This effect was most evident in the synaptosome-enriched fraction, thus suggesting local synthesis in dendrites. Lentiviral expression of Ng led to increased density of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the second and third weeks of culture. These results indicate that Ng expression is regulated by synaptic activity and that Ng promotes the synaptogenesis process. Given its relationship with cognitive function, we propose targeting of Ng expression as a promising strategy to prevent or alleviate the cognitive deficits associated with aging and neuropathological conditions.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-1593-3
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s12035-019-1593-3
issn: 1559-1182
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