Phosphorylation of CaMKII and AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit has been shown to play a major role in hippocampal-dependent long-term/reference memory (RM) and in the expression of long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP). In contrast, it has been proposed that dephosphorylation of these proteins could be involved in the opposite phenomenon of hippocampal long-term synaptic depression (LTD) and in adaptive forgetting. Adaptive forgetting allows interfering old memories to be forgotten to give new ones the opportunity to be stored in memory, and in particular in short-term/working memory (WM) that was shown to be very sensitive to proactive interference. To determine the role of CaMKII and GluA1 in adaptive forgetting, we adopted a comparative approach to assess the relative quantity and phosphorylation state of these proteins in the brain of rats trained in one of three radial maze paradigms: a RM task, a WM task involving a high level of adaptive forgetting, or a WM involving a low level of adaptive forgetting. Surprisingly, Western blot analyses revealed that training in a WM task involving a high level of adaptive forgetting specifically increased the expression of AMPA receptor GluA1 subunit and the activity of CaMKII in the dentate gyrus. These results highlight that WM with proactive interference involves mechanisms of synaptic plasticity selectively in the dentate gyrus.
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