Molecular mechanisms mediating gastrin-releasing peptide receptor modulation of memory consolidation in the hippocampus

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Abstract

Although the gastrin-releasing peptide-preferring bombesin receptor (GRPR) has been implicated in memory formation, the underlying molecular events are poorly understood. In the present study, we examined interactions between the GRPR and cellular signaling pathways in influencing memory consolidation in the hippocampus. Male Wistar rats received bilateral infusions of bombesin (BB) into the dorsal hippocampus immediately after inhibitory avoidance (IA) training. Intermediate doses of BB enhanced, whereas a higher dose impaired, 24-h IA memory retention. The BB-induced memory enhancement was prevented by pretraining infusions of a GRPR antagonist or inhibitors of protein kinase C (PKC), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase and protein kinase A (PKA), but not by a neuromedin B receptor (NMBR) antagonist. We next further investigated the interactions between the GRPR and the PKA pathway. BB-induced enhancement of consolidation was potentiated by coinfusion of activators of the dopamine D1/D5 receptor (D1R)/cAMP/PKA pathway and prevented by a PKA inhibitor. We conclude that memory modulation by hippocampal GRPRs is mediated by the PKC, MAPK, and PKA pathways. Furthermore, pretraining infusion of BB prevented beta-amyloid peptide (25–35)-induced memory impairment, supporting the view that the GRPR is a target for the development of cognitive enhancers for dementia.

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