Ectopic growth of hippocampal mossy fibers in a mutated GAP-43 transgenic mouse with impaired spatial memory retention

Matthew R. Holahan, Kyle S. Honegger, Aryeh Routtenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In a previous study, it was shown that transgenic mice, designated G-NonP, forget the location of a water maze hidden platform when tested 7 days after the last training day (Holahan and Routtenberg (2008) Hippocampus 18:1099-1102). The memory loss in GNonP mice might be related to altered hippocampal architecture suggested by the fact that in the rat, 7 days after water maze training, there is discernible mossy fiber (MF) growth (Holahan et al. (2006) Hippocampus 16:560-570; Rekart et al. (2007) Learn Mem 14:416-421). In the present report, we studied the distribution of the MF system within the hippocampus of naïve, untrained, G-NonP mouse. In WT mice, the MF projection was restricted to the stratum lucidum of CA3 with no detectable MF innervation in distal stratum oriens (dSO). In G-NonP mice, in contrast, there was an ectopic projection terminating in the CA3 dSO. Unexpectedly, there was nearly a complete loss of immunostaining for the axonal marker Tau1 in the G-NonP transgenic mice in the MF terminal fields indicating that transgenesis itself leads to off-target consequences (Routtenberg (1996) Trends Neurosci 19:471-472). Because transgenic mice overexpressing nonmutated, wild type GAP-43 do not show this ectopic growth (Rekart et al., in press) and the G-NonP mice overexpress a mutated form of GAP-43 precluding its phosphorylation by protein kinase C (PKC), the possibility exists that permanently dephosphorylated GAP-43 disrupts normal axonal fasciculation which gives rise to the ectopic growth into dSO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Defasciculation
  • Growth
  • Hippocampus
  • Mossy fibers
  • Protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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