Sci. Signal., 23 March 2010
Neuroscience Puberty Impairs Plasticity
Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK
While the existence of a period of reduced learning coinciding with the onset of puberty in mice is well characterized, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Shen et al. assessed the role of specific -aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors for restricting hippocampal plasticity during puberty. At puberty, but not in adults or the very young, GABA receptors containing the 4 and subunits were targeted perisynaptically to excitatory synapses, shunting the depolarizing current necessary for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation. As a consequence, signal transmission was affected and spatial learning reduced.
H. Shen, N. Sabaliauskas, A. Sherpa, A. A. Fenton, A. Stelzer, C. Aoki, S. S. Smith, A critical role for 4β GABAA receptors in shaping learning deficits at puberty in mice. Science 327, 1515–1518 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]
Citation: P. Stern, Puberty Impairs Plasticity. Sci. Signal. 3, ec89 (2010).
Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882