Mice lacking the adenosine A1 receptor have normal spatial learning and plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, but they habituate more slowly

Synapse. 2005 Jul;57(1):8-16. doi: 10.1002/syn.20146.


Using mice with a targeted disruption of the adenosine A1 receptor (A1R), we examined the role of A1Rs in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), and memory formation. Recordings from the Shaffer collateral-CA1 pathway of hippocampal slices from adult mice showed no differences between theta burst and tetanic stimulation-induced LTP in adenosine A1 receptor knockout (A1R-/-), heterozygote (A1R+/-), and wildtype (A1R+/+) mice. However, paired pulse facilitation was impaired significantly in A1R-/- slices as compared to A1R+/+ slices. LTD in the CA1 region was unaffected by the genetic manipulation. The three genotypes showed similar memory acquisition patterns when assessed for spatial reference and working memory in the Morris water maze tasks at 9 months of age. However, 10 months later A1R-/- mice showed some deficits in the 6-arm radial tunnel maze test. The latter appeared, however, not due to memory deficits but to decreased habituation to the test environment. Taken together, we observe normal spatial learning and memory and hippocampal CA1 synaptic plasticity in adult adenosine A1R knockout mice, but find modifications in arousal-related processes, including habituation, in this knockout model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cues
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Genotype
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / genetics*
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1 / physiology*
  • Swimming


  • Receptor, Adenosine A1