Inhibition of AMPAR endocytosis alleviates pentobarbital-induced spatial memory deficits and synaptic depression

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Our previous study has shown that pentobarbital causes memory deficits and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The Tat-GluA23Y peptide (GluA23Y) prevents activity-dependent α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) endocytosis. It enables early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) to proceed to late-phase LTP allowing short-term memory to convert to long-term memory. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential effects of GluA23Y on pentobarbital-induced memory deficits through behavioral and electrophysiological paradigms. We found that in vivo intrahippocampal infusion of GluA23Y (100 μM, 1 μl per hippocampus) 30 min prior to pentobarbital administration (8 mM, 1 μl per hippocampus) significantly rescued the pentobarbital-induced deficit of memory retrieval in rats during the Morris water maze test. Pre-incubation of GluA23Y (10 μM) partially rescued bath application of pentobarbital-induced synaptic transmission of the CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampal slices. More importantly, GluA23Y selectively upregulated the synaptic GluA2 expression that was suppressed by pentobarbital. Together, these results suggest that inhibition of GluA2-containing AMPAR endocytosis by GluA23Y increases the pentobarbital-suppressed basal synaptic transmission by upregulating the synaptic GluA2, and then subsequently alleviates spatial memory deficits. Therefore, inhibition of AMPAR endocytosis may be a potential therapeutic way to treat memory disorders caused by anesthetics.

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