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Long-term Memory Upscales Volume of Postsynaptic Densities in the Process that Requires Autophosphorylation of αCaMKII

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Małgorzata Alicja Śliwińska, Anna Cały, Malgorzata Borczyk, Magdalena Ziółkowska, Edyta Skonieczna, Magdalena Chilimoniuk, Tytus Bernaś, K Peter Giese, Kasia Radwanska

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2573-2585
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020

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It is generally accepted that formation and storage of memory relies on alterations of the structure and function of brain circuits. However, the structural data, which show learning-induced and long-lasting remodeling of synapses, are still very sparse. Here, we reconstruct 1927 dendritic spines and their postsynaptic densities (PSDs), representing a postsynaptic part of the glutamatergic synapse, in the hippocampal area CA1 of the mice that underwent spatial training. We observe that in young adult (5 months), mice volume of PSDs, but not the volume of the spines, is increased 26 h after the training. The training-induced growth of PSDs is specific for the dendritic spines that lack smooth endoplasmic reticulum and spine apparatuses, and requires autophosphorylation of αCaMKII. Interestingly, aging alters training-induced ultrastructural remodeling of dendritic spines. In old mice, both the median volumes of dendritic spines and PSDs shift after training toward bigger values. Overall, our data support the hypothesis that formation of memory leaves long-lasting footprint on the ultrastructure of brain circuits; however, the form of circuit remodeling changes with age.

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