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The links between spatial behavior and hippocampal levels of synapsin I and phosphosynapsin I were assessed in normal rats and in the pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency (PTD) rat model of Wernicke-Korsakoff's syndrome. Synapsin I tethers small synaptic vesicles to the actin cytoskeleton in a phosphorylation-dependent manner, is involved in neurotransmitter release and has been implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning. Positive correlations between spontaneous alternation behavior and hippocampal levels of both synapsin I and phosphorylated synapsin I were found in control rats. However, spontaneous alternation performance was impaired in PTD rats and was accompanied by a significant reduction (30%) in phosphorylated synapsin I. Furthermore, no correlations were observed between either form of synapsin I and behavior in PTD rats. These data suggest that successful spontaneous alternation performance is related to high levels of hippocampal synapsin I and phosphorylated synapsin I. These results not only support the previous findings that implicate impaired hippocampal neurotransmission in the spatial learning and memory deficits associated with thiamine deficiency, but also suggest a presynaptic mechanism. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Leticia S Resende, Angela M Ribeiro, David Werner, Joseph M Hall, Lisa M Savage. Thiamine deficiency degrades the link between spatial behavior and hippocampal synapsin I and phosphorylated synapsin I protein levels. Behavioural brain research. 2012 Jul 01;232(2):421-5

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PMID: 22507301

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