Aberrant hippocampal spine morphology and impaired memory formation in neuronal platelet-derived growth factor β-receptor lacking mice

Hippocampus. 2012 Jun;22(6):1371-8. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20973. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


The physiological role of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in the central nervous system (CNS) synaptic function remains uncharacterized. Here we identify physiological roles of PDGF receptor-β (PDGFR-β) in the CNS by conditional knockout of the gene encoding it. In the hippocampus, PDGFR-β colocalized immunohistochemically with both presynaptic synaptophysin and postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95). In the hippocampal CA1 region, expression levels of postsynaptic proteins, including spinophilin, drebrin, and PSD-95, were significantly decreased in PDGFR-β knockout mice, although presynaptic synaptophysin levels remained comparable to controls. Interestingly, in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, dendritic spine density in PDGFR-β knockout mice was significantly decreased compared with that seen in wild-type mice, although spine length and number of dendritic branches remained unchanged. Consistent with these findings, impairment in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and in hippocampus-dependent memory formation were seen in PDGFR-β knockout mice. These results suggest PDGFR-β plays critical roles in spine morphology and memory formation in mouse brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Spines / pathology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Memory Disorders / genetics
  • Memory Disorders / metabolism*
  • Memory Disorders / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Random Allocation
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta / deficiency*
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta / genetics


  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta