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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2008, Article ID 269097, 12 pages
Research Article

Object-Place Recognition Learning Triggers Rapid Induction of Plasticity-Related Immediate Early Genes and Synaptic Proteins in the Rat Dentate Gyrus

1Department of Biomedicine and Bergen Mental Health Research Center, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway
2CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, UMR 8620, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de l’Apprentissage, de la Mémoire et de la Communication, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France

Received 2 September 2008; Accepted 22 October 2008

Academic Editor: Michael Stewart

Copyright © 2008 Jonathan Soulé et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Long-term recognition memory requires protein synthesis, but little is known about the coordinate regulation of specific genes. Here, we examined expression of the plasticity-associated immediate early genes (Arc, Zif268, and Narp) in the dentate gyrus following long-term object-place recognition learning in rats. RT-PCR analysis from dentate gyrus tissue collected shortly after training did not reveal learning-specific changes in Arc mRNA expression. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were therefore used to assess possible sparse effects on gene expression. Learning about objects increased the density of granule cells expressing Arc, and to a lesser extent Narp, specifically in the dorsal blade of the dentate gyrus, while Zif268 expression was elevated across both blades. Thus, object-place recognition triggers rapid, blade-specific upregulation of plasticity-associated immediate early genes. Furthermore, Western blot analysis of dentate gyrus homogenates demonstrated concomitant upregulation of three postsynaptic density proteins (Arc, PSD-95, and -CaMKII) with key roles in long-term synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.