January 26, 2021

GluA4 enables associative memory formation by facilitating cerebellar expansion coding

AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate excitatory neurotransmission in the CNS and their subunit composition determines synaptic efficacy. Whereas AMPAR subunits GluA1-GluA3 have been linked to particular forms of synaptic plasticity and learning, the functional role of GluA4 remains elusive. Here we used electrophysiological, computational and behavioral approaches to demonstrate a crucial function of GluA4 for synaptic excitation and associative memory formation in the cerebellum. Notably, GluA4-knockout mice had ~80% reduced mossy fiber to granule cell synaptic transmission. The fidelity of granule cell spike output was markedly decreased despite attenuated tonic inhibition and increased NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. Computational modeling revealed that GluA4 facilitates pattern separation that is important for associative learning. On a behavioral level, while locomotor coordination was generally spared, GluA4-knockout mice failed to form associative memories during delay eyeblink conditioning. These results demonstrate an essential role for GluA4-containing AMPARs in cerebellar information processing and associative learning.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

 Read More

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: