Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Jun 27;98(6):1124-1132.e7.
doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.05.012. Epub 2018 May 31.

The Temporal Dynamics of Arc Expression Regulate Cognitive Flexibility

Affiliations
Free PMC article

The Temporal Dynamics of Arc Expression Regulate Cognitive Flexibility

Mark J Wall et al. Neuron. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Neuronal activity regulates the transcription and translation of the immediate-early gene Arc/Arg3.1, a key mediator of synaptic plasticity. Proteasome-dependent degradation of Arc tightly limits its temporal expression, yet the significance of this regulation remains unknown. We disrupted the temporal control of Arc degradation by creating an Arc knockin mouse (ArcKR) where the predominant Arc ubiquitination sites were mutated. ArcKR mice had intact spatial learning but showed specific deficits in selecting an optimal strategy during reversal learning. This cognitive inflexibility was coupled to changes in Arc mRNA and protein expression resulting in a reduced threshold to induce mGluR-LTD and enhanced mGluR-LTD amplitude. These findings show that the abnormal persistence of Arc protein limits the dynamic range of Arc signaling pathways specifically during reversal learning. Our work illuminates how the precise temporal control of activity-dependent molecules, such as Arc, regulates synaptic plasticity and is crucial for cognition.

Keywords: AMPA receptor trafficking; Arc/Arg3.1; Arc/Arg3.1 turnover; Barnes maze; cognitive flexibility; mGluR-LTD; reversal learning; synaptic plasticity; ubiquitin.

Figures

None
Figure 1
Figure 1
ArcKR Mice Exhibit Defects in Ubiquitin-Mediated Turnover of Arc (A and B) Blots showing increased Arc protein in ArcKR hippocampal cultures treated with DHPG (100 μM DHPG; 10 min) and harvested 15, 30, 60, 120, 240, 360, and 480 min after DHPG washout. (C) Blots showing that Arc turnover is faster in WT neurons. (D) Blots showing that Arc turnover is blunted in ArcKR neurons. (E) Blot of K48-linked ubiquitin showing loss of Arc ubiquitination in ArcKR mice after pilocarpine induced class III seizure. Actin was used as a loading control. (F and G) ArcKR neurons have increased GluA1 endocytosis. Odyssey CLx scans for surface and internalized AMPAR subunits in WT and ArcKR hippocampal neurons at 5 and 15 min after DHPG washout (F). Graph represents surface fluorescence normalized to the total fluorescence intensity (G). (H and I) The same experimental condition as in (G) showing that ArcKR neurons have increased surface levels of GluA2. Statistical comparisons were carried out using one-way ANOVA, paired and unpaired Student’s t tests. p ≤ 0.05; ∗∗p ≤ 0.005; n = 3 technical replicates from 3 independent experiments. Values represent mean ± SEM.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Defects in Arc Ubiquitination Enhance mGluR-LTD (A) Mean paired-pulse ratio against paired-pulse interval for WT (n = 12 slices) and ArcKR mice (n = 10 slices). Inset: representative traces at an interval of 50 ms from WT and ArcKR littermates. (B) Mean fEPSP slope against stimulus strength for WT (n = 9 slices) and ArcKR mice (n = 10 slices) with examples of superimposed averaged fEPSPs at different stimulus strengths. Inset: ratio of fEPSP slope versus volley amplitude at 40% of the stimulus strength that gives the maximum fEPSP slope (n = 6 slices per genotype). (C) Normalized mean fEPSP slope against time for WT and ArcKR mice. After a 20 min baseline, DHPG (100 μM) was applied for 10 min and then washed out for 1 hr. Baseline fEPSP slope was analyzed at 15–20 min and LTD was analyzed at 55–60 min after DHPG application (fEPSP slope was significantly reduced following DHPG, ArcKR, p = 0.00016; WT, p = 0.00013, fEPSPs were not normalized). LTD was significantly enhanced in ArcKR slices versus WT littermates (WT: 74.3% ± 3%, n = 5 animals, 9 slices; ArcKR: 49.5% ± 4.3%, 5 mice, 12 slices, p = 0.0004, fEPSPs were normalized to baseline). fEPSP traces (averages of 10 fEPSPs) were taken at the times indicated by the numerals in the plot below. (D) Mean percentage reduction in fEPSP slope (LTD) between 55 to 60 min after DHPG application (p = 0.015). (E) Normalized mean fEPSP slope against time for WT and ArcKR mice. Slices were treated as in (C). In ArcKR slices, fEPSP slope was significantly reduced after 55–60 min of 50 μM DHPG application (p = 0.0046) but was not significantly (p = 0.41) reduced in WT slices (fEPSPs were not normalized). fEPSP traces (averages of 10 fEPSPs) were taken at the numerals in the lower plot. (F) LTD was not induced in WT mice by 50 μM DHPG (reduction in slope 1.8% ± 7.7%, n = 3 mice, 5 slices) but was induced in ArcKR littermates (reduction 28% ± 11%, 3 mice, 5 slices, p = 0.04). Values represent mean ± SEM. Statistical comparisons were carried out with one-way ANOVA, paired and unpaired Student’s t tests.
Figure 3
Figure 3
ArcKR Mice Have Impaired Cognitive Flexibility (A) Distances traveled by WT and ArcKR mice during Barnes maze training. (B) Number of errors in WT and ArcKR mice during learning (days 1–15) and reversal phase (days 16–21). (C) Top: average quadrant bias. Bottom: perseverance ratio for WT and ArcKR mice during learning and reversal phase. (D) Percentage time that WT and ArcKR mice used random (brown), serial (gray), and spatial (black) search strategies (n = 5 mice for WT and ArcKR). (E) Average frequency of strategy used in (D). Two-way ANOVA, post hoc Fisher’s LSD, p ≤ 0.05, ∗∗p ≤ 0.005. (F) Normalized mean fEPSP slope against time for Barnes maze trained WT and ArcKR mice. Baseline fEPSP slope was analyzed at 15–20 min, LTD induction was analyzed at 0–5 min after DHPG and LTD expression analyzed at 55–60 min after DHPG application. Both LTD induction (∗∗p < 0.001) and expression (WT: 78.8% ± 4.4%, n = 3, 5 slices; ArcKR: 58.1% ± 4.9%, n = 3, 7 slices, p = 0.0003) were significantly enhanced in trained ArcKR compared to WT mice. Top: representative fEPSP traces (averages of 10 fEPSPs) at the times indicated (1, 15–20 min and 2, 75–80 min). (G) Comparison of hippocampal Arc mRNA after 1, 15, or 21 days of training in the Barnes maze. Arc mRNA was normalized to the geometric mean of 2 genes (GAPDH and GPI) and Arc in the mouse with the highest expression after 1 day of training was set to 1 for the WT mice. Each data point represents triplicate measurements from an individual mouse. (WT 1day: n = 5; WT 15 days: n = 5; WT 21 days: n = 4; ArcKR 1 day: n = 6; ArcKR 15 days: n = 7; ArcKR 21 days: n = 5). p = 0.07, ∗∗p = 0.025, ∗∗∗p = 0.001. (H) Grm5 mRNA in WT and ArcKR mice after training. Values represent mean ± SEM. Statistical comparisons were carried out with one-way ANOVA, paired and unpaired Student’s t tests.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Reversal Learning Training Impacts on mGluR-LTD (A) Top panels: mean paired-pulse ratio (PPR) plotted against paired pulse interval for WT (untrained n = 8 slices; trained n = 10 slices) and ArcKR mice (untrained n = 8 slices; trained n = 10 slices). Bottom panels: graphs plotting mean fEPSP slope against stimulus strength for WT (untrained n = 6 slices; trained n = 7 slices) and ArcKR mice (untrained n = 6 slices; trained n = 8 slices). (B and C) Normalized mean fEPSP slope against time for WT (trained versus untrained) and ArcKR (trained versus untrained) mice. In WT and ArcKR mice, reversal learning significantly reduced mGluR-LTD (WT, reduction in fEPSP slope: untrained mice 39% ± 3.6%, n = 3, 7 slices; trained mice 21.3% ± 3.5%, n = 3, 6 slices, p = 0.0017; ArcKR, reduction in fEPSP slope untrained 59.9% ± 3.6%, n = 3, 7 slices; trained 47.3% ± 1.8%, n = 3, 6 slices, p = 3.9 × 10−13). Inset graphs: mean PPR plotted against paired-pulse interval for WT (untrained n = 8 slices; trained n = 10 slices) and ArcKR mice (untrained n = 8 slices; trained n = 10 slices) following LTD. Inset: traces at an interval of 20 ms from WT and ArcKR littermates. Values represent mean ± SEM. Statistical comparisons were carried out with a one-way ANOVA, paired and unpaired Student’s t tests.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 6 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Ashley J., Cordy B., Lucia D., Fradkin L.G., Budnik V., Thomson T. Retrovirus-like Gag protein Arc1 binds RNA and traffics across synaptic boutons. Cell. 2018;172:262–274 e211. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Auerbach B.D., Bear M.F. Loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein decouples metabotropic glutamate receptor dependent priming of long-term potentiation from protein synthesis. J. Neurophysiol. 2010;104:1047–1051. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Bramham C.R., Worley P.F., Moore M.J., Guzowski J.F. The immediate early gene arc/arg3.1: regulation, mechanisms, and function. J. Neurosci. 2008;28:11760–11767. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Citri A., Soler-Llavina G., Bhattacharyya S., Malenka R.C. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor- and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression are differentially regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Eur. J. Neurosci. 2009;30:1443–1450. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Corrêa S.A., Müller J., Collingridge G.L., Marrion N.V. Rapid endocytosis provides restricted somatic expression of a K+ channel in central neurons. J. Cell Sci. 2009;122:4186–4194. - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback