Several studies have demonstrated that C57 and DBA mice exhibit behavioural differences in diverse learning tasks as well as variations in the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus. In the present investigation, we tested the possibility that these differences between the two strains might be attributable to differential regulation of hippocampal alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) receptors by calcium-dependent mechanisms. Using in vitro receptor autoradiography, we found that calcium treatment of C57 mice sections resulted in a marked increase of 3H-AMPA binding in areas CA3 and CA1 of the hippocampus and in the dentate gyrus. However, we discovered that the ability of calcium to upregulate 3H-AMPA binding in the DBA strain was much lower than in corresponding regions from the C57 strain. Western blot and immunohistochemical experiments indicated that truncation of AMPA receptor subunits by calcium-dependent mechanisms was possibly not responsible for the binding differences, as no significant variations in glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) and GluR2/3 immunoreactivity were observed between the two strains after calcium treatment. Interestingly, we found that strain-related variations in the regulation of 3H-AMPA binding by calcium were totally eliminated when brain sections were preincubated with preferential inhibitors of lipoxygenase (LO) pathways of arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism. Taken together, these results suggest that calcium-induced regulation of AMPA receptors varies between the two strains and that this variation might be linked to the production of specific AA metabolites.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.