More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Extracellular matrix molecules, long-term potentiation, memory consolidation and the brain angiotensin system

Peptides 2002 Jan;23(1):221-246
Wright JW, Krama'r EA, Meighan SE, Harding JW.
Department of Psychology, Washington State University, PO Box 644820, 99164-4820, Pullman, WA, USA

Considerable evidence now suggests an interrelationship among long-term potentiation (LTP), extracellular matrix (ECM) reconfiguration, synaptogenesis, and memory consolidation within the mammalian central nervous system.

Extracellular matrix molecules provide the scaffolding necessary to permit synaptic remodeling and contribute to the regulation of ionic and nutritional homeostasis of surrounding cells.

These molecules also facilitate cellular proliferation, movement, differentiation, and apoptosis.

The present review initially focuses on characterizing the ECM and the roles of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), in the maintenance and degradation of the ECM.

The induction and maintenance of LTP is described.

Debate continues over whether LTP results in some form of synaptic strengthening and in turn promotes memory consolidation.

Next, the contribution of CAMs and TIMPs to the facilitation of LTP and memory consolidation is discussed.

Finally, possible roles for angiotensins, MMPs, and tissue plasminogen activators in the facilitation of LTP and memory consolidation are described.

These enzymatic pathways appear to be very important to an understanding of dysfunctional memory diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and infections.