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Early socio-emotional experience induces expression of the immediate-early gene Arc/arg3.1 (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein/activity-regulated gene) in learning-relevant brain regions of the newborn chick

Bock, J.; Thode, C.; Hannemann, O.; Braun, K.; Darlison, M.G.


J. Bock

C. Thode

O. Hannemann

K. Braun

M.G. Darlison


We have cloned a full-length complementary {DNA} from the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), which encodes a polypeptide that exhibits ∼75% identity to the product of the mammalian gene Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein), also known as arg3.1 (activity-regulated gene). Since this gene is an immediate-early gene that has been suggested to play a role in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes, its expression has been analyzed in a juvenile form of learning, namely, filial imprinting. Our results demonstrate that Arc/arg3.1 mRNA is detectable in the newborn chick brain, and that at this early age the level of this transcript can be altered by brief sensory/emotional experience. After postnatal exposure to a novel 30-min auditory imprinting stimulus, Arc/arg3.1 mRNA was found to be significantly increased in two higher associative areas, the mesopallium intermediomediale (P=0.002) and the nidopallium dorso-caudale (P=0.031), compared with naïve controls. The transcript level was also significantly elevated after imprinting in Area L pallii (P=0.045), which is analogous to the mammalian auditory cortex. In addition, increases were seen in the medio-rostral nidopallium/mesopallium (P=0.054), which is presumed to be the analog of the mammalian prefrontal cortex, and the hyperpallium intercalatum (P=0.054), but these did not quite reach significance. We discuss these data in the light of those obtained in an earlier study, in the same paradigm, for the avian immediate-early gene, zenk (an acronym for zif-268, egr-1, ngfi-a and krox-24, which are different names for the orthologous mammalian gene). We conclude that, although both the Arc/arg3.1 and zenk genes are induced by auditory imprinting, they are significantly up-regulated in different learning-relevant brain regions. It is, therefore, evident that they must be activated by different mechanisms.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 23, 2005
Online Publication Date May 23, 2005
Publication Date 2005
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2016
Journal Neuroscience
Print ISSN 0306-4522
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 133
Issue 3
Pages 625-633
Keywords cDNA cloning, cytoskeleton-associated protein, Gallus gallus domesticus, in situ hybridization, juvenile learning, synaptic plasticity
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