Gene expression regulated by the cAMP response element (CRE) has been implicated in synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. It has been proposed that CRE-mediated gene expression is stimulated by signals that induce long-term potentiation (LTP). To test this hypothesis, we made mice transgenic for a CRE-regulated reporter construct. We focused on long-lasting long-term potentiation (L-LTP), because it depends on cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity (PKA) and de novo gene expression. CRE-mediated gene expression was markedly increased after L-LTP, but not after decremental LTP (D-LTP). Furthermore, inhibitors of PKA blocked L-LTP and associated increases in CRE-mediated gene expression. These data demonstrate that the signaling required for the generation of L-LTP but not D-LTP is sufficient to stimulate CRE-mediated transcription in the hippocampus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas