长期增强后弧阳性神经元印记中功能网络连接的选择性增加,bioRxiv

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长期增强后弧阳性神经元印记中功能网络连接的选择性增加,bioRxivwww.shan-machinery.comSelective increase of functional network connectivity in Arc-positive neuronal engrams after long-term potentiation

New tools in optogenetics and molecular biology have culminated in recent studies which mark immediate-early gene (IEG)-expressing neurons as memory traces or engrams. Although the activity-dependent expression of IEGs has been successfully utilised to label memory traces, their roles in engram specification is incompletely understood. Outstanding questions remain as to whether expression of IEGs can interplay with network properties such as functional connectivity and also if neurons expressing different IEGs are functionally distinct. We investigated the expression of Arc and c-Fos, two commonly utilised IEGs in memory engram specification, in cultured hippocampal neurons. After pharmacological induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the network, we noted an emergent network property of refinement in functional connectivity between neurons, characterized by a global down-regulation of network connectivity, together with strengthening of specific connections. Subsequently, we show that Arc expression correlates with the effects of network refinement, with Arc-positive neurons being selectively strengthened. Arc positive neurons were also found to be located in closer physical proximity to each other in the network. While the expression pattern of IEGs c-Fos and Arc strongly overlaps, Arc was more selectively expressed than c-Fos. These IEGs also act together in coding information about connection strength pruning. These results demonstrate important links between IEG expression and network connectivity, which serve to bridge the gap between cellular correlates and network effects in learning and memory.

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