PSA-NCAM proteins in hippocampal adult neurogenesis
Polysialylated form of neural cell adhesion molecule (PSANCAM) has been associated with differentiation, migration, maturation processes of newly born neurons in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the adult hippocampus. PSA-NCAM is also known as a marker of immature neurons and it is expressed by newly generated neurons in the granular layer of DG, in mossy fibers, granule neurons axons, in both the hilus and the CA3 subfield. A functional analysis indicates that PSA-NCAM molecule plays an important role in the hippocampus-dependent learning and memory formation. Electrophysiological studies also show that PSA-NCAM is involved in induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in various regions of the hippocampus. PSA-NCAM protein level is regulated by several factors, such as stress, hormones (corticosterone), neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA), antidepressants, substance of abuse (nicotine, morphine, cocaine) or CB1 receptor agonists. Thus, alternation in the hippocampal expression of PSANCAM are mandatory for the structural remodeling of synaptic connections associated with long-term memory and maturation of newly generated neurons.
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