Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a critical secreted protein that plays an important role in development, survival, and function of the mammalian nervous system. Previously reports suggest that endogenous NGF is essential for the hippocampal plasticity/memory and NGF deprivation induces the impairment of hippocampus-related memory and synaptic plasticity. However, whether exogenous supplement of NGF could promote the hippocampus-dependent synaptic plasticity/memory and the possible underlying mechanisms are not clear. In this study we found that NGF administration facilitates the hippocampus-dependent long-term memory and synaptic plasticity by increasing the activity of PARP-1, a polymerase mediating the PolyADP-ribosylation and important for the memory formation. Co-application of 3-Aminobenzamide (3-AB), a specific inhibitor of PARP-1, distinctly blocked the boosting effect of NGF on memory and synaptic plasticity, and the activation of downstream PKA-CREB signal pathway. Our data provide the first evidence that NGF supplement facilitates synaptic plasticity and the memory ability through PARP-1-mediated protein polyADP-ribosylation and activation of PKA-CREB pathway.
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