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Plasma Membrane Protein May Help Generate New Neurons in Adult Hippocampus

Summary: A plasma membrane protein affects the generation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, a new study reports.

Source: FASEB.

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that the protein Efr3a regulates the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, which plays an important role in regulating learning and memory.

New research published online in The FASEB Journal sheds important light on the inner workings of learning and memory. Specifically, scientists show that a plasma membrane protein, called Efr3, regulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor-tropomyosin-related kinase B signaling pathway (BNDF-TrkB) and affects the generation of new neurons in the hippocampus of adult brains. In turn, this generation of new neurons plays a significant role in learning and memory.

“Our study demonstrates that Efr3a is associated with BDNF signaling and adult neurogenesis, which are important for learning and memory,” said Binggui Sun, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work at the Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology (Ministry of Health of China), Key Laboratory of Neurobiology of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. “We hope our results will provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying learning and memory.”

To draw their conclusions, Sun and colleagues bred Efr3af/f mice and then crossed these mice with another group to delete Efr3a, one of the Efr3 isoforms, specifically in the brain. Brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promoted adult hippocampal neurogenesis by increasing survival and maturation of newborn neurons without affecting their dendritic tree morphology. Also, the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway was enhanced in the hippocampus of Efr3a-deficient mice, as reflected by increased expression of BDNF-TrkB, and the downstream molecules, including phospho-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and phospho-Akt.

Image shows the location of the hippocampus in the brain.

The generation of new neurons plays a significant role in learning and memory. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

“This study once again emphasizes the extreme importance of neurogenesis specifically linked to neurotrophic signaling in the hippocampus.” said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “We are again reminded of how far we have come from the era in which neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain was not believed to even occur.”

About this neuroscience research article

Funding: Major State Basic Research Program of China, National NaturalScience Foundation of China, Zhejiang Province Natural Science Foundation of China, Research Fund for the DoctoralProgram of Higher Education of China funded this study.

Source: Cody Mooneyhan – FASEB
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor pathway” by Qi Qian, Qiuji Liu, Dongming Zhou, Hongyu Pan, Zhiwei Liu, Fangping He, Suying Ji, Dongpi Wang, Wangxiao Bao, Xinyi Liu, Zhaoling Liu, Heng Zhang, Xiaoqin Zhang, Ling Zhang, Mingkai Wang, Ying Xu, Fude Huang, Benyan Luo, and Binggui Sun in FASEB Journal. Published online February 13 2017 doi:10.1096/fj.201601207R

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
FASEB “Plasma Membrane Protein May Help Generate New Neurons in Adult HippocampusIdentified.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 11 May 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/hippocampal-neurogenesis-6648/>.
FASEB (2017, May 11). Plasma Membrane Protein May Help Generate New Neurons in Adult HippocampusIdentified. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved May 11, 2017 from http://neurosciencenews.com/hippocampal-neurogenesis-6648/
FASEB “Plasma Membrane Protein May Help Generate New Neurons in Adult HippocampusIdentified.” http://neurosciencenews.com/hippocampal-neurogenesis-6648/ (accessed May 11, 2017).

Abstract

Brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor pathway

Efr3 is a newly identified plasma membrane protein and plays an important role in the phosphoinositide metabolism on the plasma membrane. However, although it is highly expressed in the brain, the functional significance of Efr3 in the brain is not clear. In the present study, we generated Efr3af/f mice and then crossed them with Nestin-Cre mice to delete Efr3a, one of the Efr3 isoforms, specifically in the brain. We found that brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promoted adult hippocampal neurogenesis by increasing survival and maturation of newborn neurons without affecting their dendritic tree morphology. Moreover, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) signaling pathway was significantly enhanced in the hippocampus of Efr3a-deficient mice, as reflected by increased expression of BDNF, TrkB, and the downstream molecules, including phospho-MAPK and phospho-Akt. Furthermore, the number of TUNEL+ cells was decreased in the subgranular zone of dentate gyrus in Efr3a-deficient mice compared with that of control mice. Our data suggest that brain-specific deletion of Efr3a could promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis, presumably by upregulating the expression of BDNF and its receptor, TrkB, and therefore provide new insight into the roles of Efr3 in the brain.

“Brain-specific ablation of Efr3a promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor pathway” by Qi Qian, Qiuji Liu, Dongming Zhou, Hongyu Pan, Zhiwei Liu, Fangping He, Suying Ji, Dongpi Wang, Wangxiao Bao, Xinyi Liu, Zhaoling Liu, Heng Zhang, Xiaoqin Zhang, Ling Zhang, Mingkai Wang, Ying Xu, Fude Huang, Benyan Luo, and Binggui Sun in FASEB Journal. Published online February 13 2017 doi:10.1096/fj.201601207R

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