1. Neuroscience
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Translational control of auditory imprinting and structural plasticity by eIF2α

  1. Gervasio Batista  Is a corresponding author
  2. Jennifer Leigh Johnson
  3. Elena Dominguez
  4. Mauro Costa-Mattioli
  5. Jose L Pena
  1. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
  2. Baylor College of Medicine, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 18
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e17197 doi: 10.7554/eLife.17197

Abstract

The formation of imprinted memories during a critical period is crucial for vital behaviors, including filial attachment. Yet, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. Using a combination of behavior, pharmacology, in vivo surface sensing of translation (SUnSET) and DiOlistic labeling we found that, translational control by the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) bidirectionally regulates auditory but not visual imprinting and related changes in structural plasticity in chickens. Increasing phosphorylation of eIF2α (p-eIF2α) reduces translation rates and spine plasticity, and selectively impairs auditory imprinting. By contrast, inhibition of an eIF2α kinase or blocking the translational program controlled by p-eIF2α enhances auditory imprinting. Importantly, these manipulations are able to reopen the critical period. Thus, we have identified a translational control mechanism that selectively underlies auditory imprinting. Restoring translational control of eIF2α holds the promise to rejuvenate adult brain plasticity and restore learning and memory in a variety of cognitive disorders.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Gervasio Batista

    Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    gervasio.batista@phd.einstein.yu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0885-1224
  2. Jennifer Leigh Johnson

    Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Elena Dominguez

    Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Mauro Costa-Mattioli

    Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9809-4732
  5. Jose L Pena

    Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

International Society for Neroethology (Konishi Research Award 2016)

  • Gervasio Batista

National Institutes of Health (DC007690)

  • Jose L Pena

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (Pilot grant)

  • Jose L Pena

National Institutes of Health (NIMH 096816,NINDS 076708)

  • Mauro Costa-Mattioli

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Experiments and euthanasia method were approved by the institutional animal care committee (IACUC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (protocol 20140910).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Carol A Mason, Columbia University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: April 23, 2016
  2. Accepted: December 21, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 23, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 19, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Batista et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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