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Identification of activity-dependent gene expression profiles reveals specific subsets of genes induced by different routes of Ca(2+) entry in cultured rat cortical neurons



Identification of activity-dependent gene expression profiles reveals specific subsets of genes induced by different routes of Ca(2+) entry in cultured rat cortical neurons



Journal of Cellular Physiology 212(1): 126-136



Neuronal activity-dependent gene transcription is a key feature of long-lasting synaptic strengthening associated with learning and memory, as well as activity-dependent neuroprotection. To comprehensively determine the molecular alterations, we carried out genome-wide microarray analysis in cultured rat cortical neurons treated with specific pharmacological agents, a model with alterations in neuronal activity, which were monitored by multi-site electrophysiological recordings. Of the approximately 27,000 genes, the expression of 248 genes was strongly changed in response to enhanced activity. These genes encompass a large number of members of distinct families, including synaptic vesicle proteins, ion channels, signal transduction molecules, synaptic growth regulators, and others. Two subsets of these genes were further confirmed to be specifically induced by Ca(2+) influx through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (VGCCs). In addition, those genes dynamically regulated by the enhanced activity were also elucidated, as well as those candidate genes associated with synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection. Our findings therefore would help define the molecular mechanisms that occur in response to neuronal activity and identify specific clusters of genes that contribute to activity-dependent and Ca(2+)-inducible modulation of brain development and function.

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Accession: 013732230

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PMID: 17443680

DOI: 10.1002/jcp.21008


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