Learning is correlated with the assembly of new synapses, but the roles of synaptogenesis processes in memory are poorly understood. Here, we show that mice lacking β-Adducin fail to assemble new synapses upon enhanced plasticity and exhibit diminished long-term hippocampal memory upon environmental enrichment. Enrichment-enhanced the disassembly and assembly of dynamic subpopulations of synapses. Upon enrichment, stable assembly of new synapses depended on the presence of β-Adducin, disassembly involved β-Adducin phosphorylation through PKC, and both were required for augmented learning. In the absence of β-Adducin, enrichment still led to an increase in spine structures, but the assembly of synapses at those spines was compromised. Virus-mediated re-expression of β-Adducin in hippocampal granule cells of β-Adducin(-/-) mice rescued new synapse assembly and learning upon enrichment. Our results provide evidence that synapse disassembly and the establishment of new synapses are both critically important for augmented long-term learning and memory upon environmental enrichment.
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