Many cell adhesion molecules express the HNK-1 carbohydrate involved in formation and functioning of synapses. To assess its role in learning, we injected the monoclonal HNK-1 antibody or nonimmune IgG into the hippocampus of C57BL/6J mice 1 h after training in a step-down avoidance task. In animals treated with the HNK-1 antibody, latencies of step down in a recall session 48 h after injection did not change compared to training values and were significantly shorter versus IgG-treated controls, which acquired the task normally. Similar differences between the two treatments were also observed after a stronger training protocol in a step-down avoidance paradigm. The HNK-1 antibody was effective only when injected 1 h, but not 48 h after training, thus affecting memory consolidation but not memory recall itself. The HNK-1 antibody impaired memory also in tenascin-R knock-out mice, indicating that extracellular matrix molecule tenascin-R, one of the carriers of the HNK-1epitope in the hippocampus, does not mediate the function of the HNK-1 carbohydrate in this task. Our observations show that the HNK-1 carbohydrate is critically involved in memory consolidation in hippocampus-dependent learning in mammals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology