Phosphorylation of S845 GluA1 AMPA receptors modulates spatial memory and structural plasticity in the ventral striatum

Valentina Ferretti, Valentina Perri, Alessia Cristofoli, Gisella Vetere, Paola Fragapane, Alberto Oliverio, Martine Ammassari Teule, Andrea Mele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The function of AMPA receptors phosphorylation in synaptic plasticity has been dissected in many in vitro models but its role and dynamics on experience-dependent plasticity are still unclear. Here we studied the effects of AMPA receptor manipulations in the ventral striatum, where glutamatergic transmission is known to mediate spatial memory. We first demonstrate that intra-ventral striatal administrations of the AMPA receptors blocker, NBQX, dose dependently impair performance in the Morris water maze. We also report that spatial learning induced a time-limited increase in GluA1 phosphorylation in this same brain region. Finally, through focal, time-controlled ventral striatal administrations of an RNA aptamer interfering with GluA1-S845 phosphorylation, we demonstrate that phosphorylation at this site is a necessary requirement for spatial memory formation and for the synaptic remodeling underlying it. These results suggest that modulation of AMPA receptors by S845 phosphorylation could act as an essential starting signal leading to long-term stabilization of spatial memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2653-2661
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 19 2014


  • Dendritic spines
  • NBQX
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • RNA aptamer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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