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Plasticity in the rat prefrontal cortex: linking gene expression and an operant learning with a computational theory.

Authors: Rapanelli, M  Lew, SE  Frick, LR  Zanutto, BS 
Citation: Rapanelli M, etal., PLoS One. 2010 Jan 11;5(1):e8656.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:20111591
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0008656

The plasticity in the medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) of rodents or lateral prefrontal cortex in non human primates (lPFC), plays a key role neural circuits involved in learning and memory. Several genes, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cAMP response element binding (CREB), Synapsin I, Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CamKII), activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc), c-jun and c-fos have been related to plasticity processes. We analysed differential expression of related plasticity genes and immediate early genes in the mPFC of rats during learning an operant conditioning task. Incompletely and completely trained animals were studied because of the distinct events predicted by our computational model at different learning stages. During learning an operant conditioning task, we measured changes in the mRNA levels by Real-Time RT-PCR during learning; expression of these markers associated to plasticity was incremented while learning and such increments began to decline when the task was learned. The plasticity changes in the lPFC during learning predicted by the model matched up with those of the representative gene BDNF. Herein, we showed for the first time that plasticity in the mPFC in rats during learning of an operant conditioning is higher while learning than when the task is learned, using an integrative approach of a computational model and gene expression.


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RGD Object Information
RGD ID: 2317921
Created: 2010-04-30
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2010-04-30
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.