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Age-Dependent Impairment of Eyeblink Conditioning in Prion Protein-Deficient Mice


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Title: Age-Dependent Impairment of Eyeblink Conditioning in Prion Protein-Deficient Mice
Authors: Kishimoto, Yasushi / Hirono, Moritoshi / Atarashi, Ryuichiro / Sakaguchi, Suehiro / Yoshioka, Tohru / Katamine, Shigeru / Kirino, Yutaka
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2013
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS ONE, 8(4), e60627; 2013
Abstract: Mice lacking the prion protein (PrPC) gene (Prnp), Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice, show late-onset cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) degeneration because of ectopic overexpression of PrPC-like protein (PrPLP/Dpl). Because PrPC is highly expressed in cerebellar neurons (including PCs and granule cells), it may be involved in cerebellar synaptic function and cerebellar cognitive function. However, no studies have been conducted to investigate the possible involvement of PrPC and/or PrPLP/Dpl in cerebellum-dependent discrete motor learning. Therefore, the present cross-sectional study was designed to examine cerebellum-dependent delay eyeblink conditioning in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice in adulthood (16, 40, and 60 weeks of age). The aims of the present study were two-fold: (1) to examine the role of PrPC and/or PrPLP/Dpl in cerebellum-dependent motor learning and (2) to confirm the age-related deterioration of eyeblink conditioning in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice as an animal model of progressive cerebellar degeneration. Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 16 weeks exhibited intact acquisition of conditioned eyeblink responses (CRs), although the CR timing was altered. The same result was observed in another line of PrPc-deficient mice, ZrchI PrnP0/0 mice. However, at 40 weeks of age, CR incidence impairment was observed in Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice. Furthermore, Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 60 weeks showed more significantly impaired CR acquisition than Ngsk Prnp0/0 mice aged 40 weeks, indicating the temporal correlation between cerebellar PC degeneration and motor learning deficits. Our findings indicate the importance of the cerebellar cortex in delay eyeblink conditioning and suggest an important physiological role of prion protein in cerebellar motor learning.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10069/32384
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060627
Rights: © 2013 Kishimoto et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Type: Journal Article
Text Version: publisher
Appears in Collections:Articles in academic journal

Citable URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10069/32384

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