Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.493, No.1, 862-868, 2017
Disrupting nNOS-PSD-95 coupling in the hippocampal dentate gyrus promotes extinction memory retrieval
Granule cells in the dentate gyrus regenerate constantly in adult hippocampus and then integrate into neural circuits in the hippocampus thereby providing the neural basis for learning and memory. Promoting the neurogenesis in the hippocampus facilitates learning and memory such as spatial learning, object identification, and extinction learning. The interaction between neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95) is reported to negatively regulate neurogenesis in brain, so we hypothesized that disrupting this interaction might facilitate the neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) and thus enhance the extinction memory retrieval of fear learning. We found that uncoupling the nNOS-PSD-95 complex in remote contextual fear condition promoted both neuronal proliferation and survival in the DG, contributing to an enhanced retrieval of the extinction memory. Moreover, the nNOS-PSD-95 uncoupling-induced neurogenesis may be mediated by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) as the phosphorylation level of ERK1/2 was increased after uncoupling. These findings suggest that the nNOS-PSD-95 complex may serve as a novel target for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.