Aberrant behaviors related to learning and memory in olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) mice have been documented in the previous studies. We reported that the impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal CA1 regions from OBX mice was associated with down-regulation of CaM kinase II (CaMKII) and protein kinase C (PKC) activities. We now demonstrated that the nootropic drug, nefiracetam, significantly improved spatial reference memory-related behaviors as assessed by Y-maze and novel object recognition task in OBX mice. Nefiracetam also restored hippocampal LTP injured in OBX mice. Nefiracetam treatment restored LTP-induced PKCα (Ser657) and NR1 (Ser896) phosphorylation as well as increase in their basal phosphorylation in the hippocampal CA1 region of OBX mice. Likewise, nefiracetam improved LTP-induced CaMKIIα (Thr286) autophosphorylation and GluR1 (Ser831) phosphorylation and increased their basal phosphorylation. The enhancement of PKCα (Ser657) and CaMKIIα (Thr286) autophosphorylation by nefiracetam was inhibited by treatment with (±)-α-Methyl-(4-carboxyphenyl)glycine and DL-2-Amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid, respectively. The enhancement of LTP induced by nefiracetam is inhibited by treatment with 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl) -pyridine, but not by treatment with LY367385, suggesting that metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) but not mGluR1 is involved in the nefiracetam-induced LTP enhancement. Taken together, nefiracetam ameliorates OBX-induced deficits in memory-related behaviors and impairment of LTP in the hippocampal CA1 region through activation of NMDAR and mGluR5, thereby leading to an increase in activities of CaMKIIα (Thr286) and PKCα (Ser657), respectively.
- CaM kinase II
- Long-term potentiation
- Metabotropic glutamate receptor
- Olfactory bulbectomized mice
- Protein kinase C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience