Date of Award

7-1-2008

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Field of Study

Biomedical Sciences

Department

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

James Simpkins

Second Advisor

Hriday K. Das

Third Advisor

Tina K. Machu

Abstract

Smith, Lonell T., Estrogen-Induced Signaling in Primary Rat Hippocampal Neurons. Masters (Biomedical Sciences). July 2008. 53 pages, 1 illustration, 7 figures. 37 titles. Abstract. The enhancing effects of 17-beta estradiol (E2) on performing cognitive tasks has been well demonstrated in laboratory mice, rats, and primates. Also there is ample clinical evidence indicating E2 enhances memory and reduces risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, by increasing the capacity for long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, E2 effectively increases the synaptic plasticity of this brain region in a manner that correlates with memory formation. The molecular mechanisms underlying LTP and synaptic plasticity have largely focused on the role of E2-induced signal transduction in the nucleus, and regulation of plasticity related gene expression at the transcriptional level. Conversely, the idea that E2-incuded signaling regulates at the level of translation and may play a role in these processes has yet to be explored. Recently, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways have been shown to couple synaptic activation to protein synthesis machinery. Here we investigate translational control by E2-induced ERK and mTOR signaling in primary neuronal culture. E2-induced signaling resulted in enhanced phosphorylation of ribosomal protein (S6) and eIF4E binding protein 1 (4EBP1) in an ERK and mTOR-dependent manner. Neuronal activity-dependent ERK and mTOR signaling have been shown to induce translation of a diverse array of dendritic resident mRNAs, including α-CaMKII and GluR1 subunits. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) translational reporter, we demonstrated that E2 stimulates GFP protein synthesis. We have also demonstrated that E2 treatment of hippocampal neurons increases surface expression of GluR1. Taken together, our results provide a mechanism by which E2 modulates the components necessary for persistent forms of LTP and long-term depression (LTD).

Comments

Smith, Lonell T., Estrogen-Induced Signaling in Primary Rat Hippocampal Neurons. Masters (Biomedical Sciences). July 2008. 53 pages, 1 illustration, 7 figures. 37 titles. W 4.5 S654T 2008

Share

COinS