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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr James Dachtler

Dachtler, J., Fox, K.D. & Good, M.A. (2011). Gender specific requirement of GluR1 receptors in contextual conditioning but not spatial learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 96(3): 461-467.

Author(s) from Durham


The GluR1 subunit of the AMPA receptor is required for hippocampal-dependent memory formation, emotional learning and synaptic plasticity. Recent work has shown that GluR1-independent synaptic plasticity is mediated by nitric oxide. Nitric oxide activity is influenced by estrogen. It is unknown whether this gender-dependent effect conveys a gender dimorphic requirement of GluR1 for learning. This hypothesis was tested in two behavioral paradigms. In Experiment 1, the retention of contextual fear conditioning was impaired in male but not female GluR1 knockout mice. In Experiment 2, GluR1 knockout mice made significantly more arm entry errors during acquisition of a radial-arm watermaze task. This deficit was independent of gender. These results indicate that some forms of learning are gender dimorphic in GluR1 knockout mice. The results are discussed with reference to task and gender-specific interactions between GluR1 receptor intracellular signalling pathways.