To investigate the role of the entorhinal cortex in memory at a molecular level, we developed transgenic mice in which transgene expression was inducible and limited to the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex, pre- and parasubiculum. We found that expression of a constitutively active mutant form of CaMKII in these structures disrupted spatial memory formation. Immediate post-training activation of the transgene disrupted previously established memory while transgene activation 3 weeks following the training was ineffective. These results demonstrate that, similar to the hippocampus, the entorhinal cortex plays a time-limited role in spatial memory formation but is not a final cortical repository of long-term memory. Moreover, these results suggest that the indiscriminate activation of CaMKII is able to disrupt preexisting memories, possibly by altering the pattern of synaptic weight changes that are thought to form the basis of the memory trace. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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