Consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory is dependent on activation of the cAMP/Erk/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signal transduction pathway in the hippocampus. Recently, we discovered that adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities undergo a circadian oscillation in the hippocampus and that inhibition of this oscillation impairs contextual memory. This suggests the interesting possibility that the persistence of hippocampus-dependent memory depends upon the reactivation ofMAPKin the hippocampus during the circadian cycle.A key unanswered question is whether the circadian oscillation of this signaling pathway is intrinsic to the hippocampus or is driven by the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). To address this question, we ablated the SCN of mice by electrolytic lesion and examined hippocampus-dependent memory as well as adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities. Electrolytic lesion of the SCN2 d after training for contextual fear memory reduced contextual memory measured 2 weeks after training, indicating that maintenance of contextual memory depends on the SCN.Spatial memory was also compromised in SCN-lesioned mice. Furthermore, the diurnal oscillation of adenylyl cyclase and MAPK activities in the hippo campus was destroyed by lesioning of the SCN. The sedat a suggest that hippocampus-dependent long-term memory is dependent on the SCN-controlled oscillation of the adenylyl cyclase/MAPK pathway in the hippocampus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas