Overexpression of activated CaMKII in the CA1 hippocampus impairs context discrimination, but not contextual conditioning

Mol Brain. 2019 Apr 5;12(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s13041-019-0454-3.


Calcium/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) plays a key role in the molecular mechanism of memory formation. CaMKII is known to be activated specifically in the activated spines during memory formation. However, it is unclear whether the specific activation of CaMKII is necessary for encoding information. Here, we overexpressed active form of CaMKII (CaMKII*) in the hippocampal CA1 region to activate CaMKII nonspecifically. Moreover, we examined context-discrimination performance of mice. We found that the mice with overexpression of CaMKII* showed impaired context-discrimination ability, while the contextual fear conditioning remained intact. These results indicate that spatial specificity of CaMKII activation is necessary for context discrimination.

Keywords: CaMKII; Context discrimination; Contextual fear conditioning; Hippocampus; Memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / enzymology*
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / metabolism
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Conditioning, Classical*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice


  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2