The plasma membrane Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) plays a role in regulation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration via the forward mode (Ca2+ efflux) or the reverse mode (Ca2+ influx). To define the physiological function of the exchanger in vivo, we generated mice deficient for NCX2, the major isoform in the brain. Mutant hippocampal neurons exhibited a significantly delayed clearance of elevated Ca2+ following depolarization. The frequency threshold for LTP and LTD in the hippocampal CA1 region was shifted to a lowered frequency in the mutant mice, thereby favoring LTP. Behaviorally, the mutant mice exhibited enhanced performance in several hippocampus-dependent learning and memory tasks. These results demonstrate that NCX2 can be a temporal regulator of Ca2+ homeostasis and as such is essential for the control of synaptic plasticity and cognition.
Jeon, D., Yang, Y. M., Jeong, M. J., Philipson, K. D., Rhim, H., & Shin, H. S. (2003). Enhanced learning and memory in mice lacking Na+/Ca2+ exchanger 2. Neuron, 38(6), 965–976. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00334-9