The effect of NMDA-NR2B receptor subunit over-expression on olfactory memory task performance in the mouse

Theresa L. White, Steven Youngentob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in the forebrain is thought to modulate some forms of memory formation, with the NR2B subunit being particularly relevant to this process. Relative to wild-type mice, transgenic animals in which the NR2B subunit was over-expressed demonstrate superior memory in a number of behavioral tasks, including object recognition [Nature 401 (1999) 63]. The purpose of the present study was to explore the generality of such phenomena, interpreted as the effect of increasing NR2B expression on the retention of other types of sensory-related information. To accomplish this, we focused our evaluation on the highly salient sensory modality of olfaction. In the first experiment, mice performed both a novel-object-recognition task identical to that performed by Tang et al. [Nature 401 (1999) 63] and a novel-odor-recognition task analogously constructed. Although the results of the object recognition task were consistent with the previous literature, there was no evidence of an effect of NR2B over-expression on the retention of odor recognition memory in the specific task performed. As it was possible that, unlike object recognition memory, novel odor recognition is not NMDA-receptor-dependent, a second task was designed using the social transmission of food preference paradigm. In contrast to the foregoing olfactory task, there is evidence that the latter procedure is, indeed, NMDA-dependent. The results of the second study demonstrated that transgenic mice with NR2B over-expression had a clear memory advantage in this alternative odor memory paradigm. Taken together, these results suggest the NR2B subunit is an important component in some but not all forms of olfactory memory organization. Moreover, for those functions that are NMDA-receptor-dependent, these data support the growing literature demonstrating the importance of the NR2B subunit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Volume1021
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Task Performance and Analysis
N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors
Food Preferences
Genetically Modified Animals
Smell
N-Methylaspartate
Prosencephalon
Recognition (Psychology)
NR2B NMDA receptor
Transgenic Mice
Odorants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

The effect of NMDA-NR2B receptor subunit over-expression on olfactory memory task performance in the mouse. / White, Theresa L.; Youngentob, Steven.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 1021, No. 1, 17.09.2004, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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