While ephrin-B ligands and EphB receptors are expressed to high levels in the learning centers of the brain, it remains largely unknown how their trans-synaptic interactions contribute to memory. We find that EphB2 forward signaling is needed for contextual and sound-evoked memory recall and that constitutive over-activation of the receptor’s intracellular tyrosine kinase domain results in enhanced memory. Loss of EphB2 expression does not affect the number of neurons activated following encoding, although a reduction of neurons activated after the sound-cued retrieval test was detected in the auditory cortex and hippocampal CA1. Further, spine density and maturation was reduced in the auditory cortex of mutants especially in the neurons that were dual-activated during both encoding and retrieval. Our data demonstrates that trans-synaptic ephrin-B-EphB2 interactions and forward signaling facilitate neural activation and structural plasticity in learning-associated neurons involved in the generation of memories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)