Intracranial self-stimulation to the lateral hypothalamus, a memory improving treatment, results in hippocampal changes in gene expression

G. Huguet, L. Aldavert-Vera, E. Kádár, S. Peña de Ortiz, I. Morgado-Bernal, P. Segura-Torres

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) within the medial forebrain bundle of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) facilitates consolidation of implicit and explicit memories for a variety of learning paradigms in rats. However, the neural and molecular mechanisms involved in memory facilitation by ICSS are not known. Here, we investigated the influence of ICSS treatment on hippocampal gene expression in order to identify potential signaling pathways and cellular processes involved in ICSS-mediated cognitive improvements. Immunohistochemistry studies demonstrated that ICSS caused a rapid induction of c-Fos expression in hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA) 3 and dentatus gyrus areas. Moreover, using microarray or quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, we showed that ICSS modulates the expression of 62 hippocampal genes shortly after training. Most of the proteins encoded by these genes, such as calmodulin-dependent-phosphodiesterase 1 A (Pde1a), are part of signal transduction machineries or are related to anti-apoptosis, as heat shock 70 kDa protein 1A (Hspa1a). Importantly, 10 of the regulated genes have been previously related with learning and memory or neural plasticity, including the cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (Cart), adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1 (Adcyap1), serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase (Sgk), Ret proto-oncogene (Ret), and Fos. The fact that the Fos gene was differentially expressed in our microarray experiments validated our findings from our immunohistochemical studies mentioned above. In addition, using quantitative real-time PCR, we confirmed the observed expression changes for several of the genes identified by our microarray analyses. Our results suggest that ICSS may facilitate learning and memory by regulation of multiple signaling pathways in the hippocampus that may promote neuroplasticity. © 2009 IBRO.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-374
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2009


  • c-Fos immunohistochemistry
  • deep brain stimulation
  • intracranial self-stimulation
  • microarray
  • neural plasticity
  • neuroprotection


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