Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 Is Required for Associative Learning

André Fischer*, Farahnaz Sananbenesi, Christina Schrick, Joachim Spiess, Jelena Radulovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Transient stressful experiences may persistently facilitate associative and nonassociative learning, possibly through alterations of gene expression. Here we identify, by subtractive hybridization, differential expression of the Cdk5 gene in response to stress. The Cdk5 protein is selectively induced in the fibers of septohippocampal cholinergic neurons but not in other regions of prominent Cdk5 production. This upregulation is accompanied by increased Cdk5 kinase activity, which is blocked completely by the Cdk5 inhibitor butyrolactone I. Microinjection of butyrolactone I into the lateral septum and hippocampus prevents the acquisition of conditioned context-dependent fear as well as its stress-induced facilitation. By demonstrating that a transient increase of Cdk5 activity within the septohippocampal system is required for associative learning, an important novel role of Cdk5 has been identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3700-3707
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2002


  • Cholinergic
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase 5
  • Fear conditioning
  • Hippocampus
  • Mice
  • Septum
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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