Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase and Leukocyte Tyrosine Kinase: Functions and genetic interactions in learning, memory and adult neurogenesis

Joseph B. Weiss, Changhui Xue, Ted Benice, Liquan Xue, Stephan W. Morris, Jacob Raber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (Alk) is a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed throughout the adult mammalian hippocampus. Recent studies in Drosophila and prior studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have implicated Alk signaling in learning and neurogenesis. We have studied the roles of Alk and the closely related receptor Leukocyte Tyrosine Kinase (Ltk) in learning, behavior and neurogenesis. In the hippocampus, both receptors are expressed throughout the dentate gyrus, CA1 and CA3. To assess the functional roles of Alk and Ltk in the mammalian brain, we analyzed phenotypes in Alk mutant, Ltk mutant and Alk/Ltk double-mutant mice compared to wild-type littermates. Similar to Drosophila, we found enhanced performance in spatial memory in Alk mutant mice. Also similar to Drosophila, we observed reduced neurogenesis associated with loss of Alk function. We also report genetic interactions between Alk and Ltk with respect to neurogenesis and behavioral measures such as activity, anxiety levels, and retention of spatial memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-574
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Hippocampus
  • Lymphocyte Tyrosine Kinase
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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