Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.498, No.4, 1078-1084, 2018
Acute stress enhances learning and memory by activating acid-sensing ion channels in rats
Acute stress has been shown to enhance learning and memory ability, predominantly through the action of corticosteroid stress hormones. However, the valuable targets for promoting learning and memory induced by acute stress and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) play an important role in central neuronal systems and involves in depression, synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. In the current study, we used a combination of electrophysiological and behavioral approaches in an effort to explore the effects of acute stress on ASICs. We found that corticosterone (CORT) induced by acute stress caused a potentiation of ASICs current via glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) not mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs). Meanwhile, CORT did not produce an increase of ASICs current by pretreated with GF109203X, an antagonist of protein kinase C (PKC), whereas CORT did result in a markedly enhancement of ASICs current by bryostatin 1, an agonist of PKC, suggesting that potentiation of ASICs function may be depended on PKC activating. More importantly, an antagonist of ASICs, amiloride (10 mu M) reduced the performance of learning and memory induced by acute stress, which is further suggesting that ASICs as the key components involves in cognitive processes induced by acute stress. These results indicate that acute stress causes the enhancement of ASICs function by activating PKC signaling pathway, which leads to potentiated learning and memory. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.