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Open Access Publications from the University of California

BDNF rescues BAF53b-dependent synaptic plasticity and cocaine-associated memory in the nucleus accumbens.

  • Author(s): White, André O
  • Kramár, Enikö A
  • López, Alberto J
  • Kwapis, Janine L
  • Doan, John
  • Saldana, David
  • Davatolhagh, M Felicia
  • Alaghband, Yasaman
  • Blurton-Jones, Mathew
  • Matheos, Dina P
  • Wood, Marcelo A
  • et al.

Recent evidence implicates epigenetic mechanisms in drug-associated memory processes. However, a possible role for one major epigenetic mechanism, nucleosome remodelling, in drug-associated memories remains largely unexplored. Here we examine mice with genetic manipulations targeting a neuron-specific nucleosome remodelling complex subunit, BAF53b. These mice display deficits in cocaine-associated memory that are more severe in BAF53b transgenic mice compared with BAF53b heterozygous mice. Similar to the memory deficits, theta-induced long-term potentiation (theta-LTP) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is significantly impaired in slices taken from BAF53b transgenic mice but not heterozygous mice. Further experiments indicate that theta-LTP in the NAc is dependent on TrkB receptor activation, and that BDNF rescues theta-LTP and cocaine-associated memory deficits in BAF53b transgenic mice. Together, these results suggest a role for BAF53b in NAc neuronal function required for cocaine-associated memories, and also that BDNF/TrkB activation in the NAc may overcome memory and plasticity deficits linked to BAF53b mutations.

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