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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2411; doi:10.3390/ijms18112411

The Impact of Synaptic Zn2+ Dynamics on Cognition and Its Decline

Department of Neurophysiology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan
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Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zinc Signaling in Physiology and Pathogenesis)
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Abstract

The basal levels of extracellular Zn2+ are in the range of low nanomolar concentrations and less attention has been paid to Zn2+, compared to Ca2+, for synaptic activity. However, extracellular Zn2+ is necessary for synaptic activity. The basal levels of extracellular zinc are age-dependently increased in the rat hippocampus, implying that the basal levels of extracellular Zn2+ are also increased age-dependently and that extracellular Zn2+ dynamics are linked with age-related cognitive function and dysfunction. In the hippocampus, the influx of extracellular Zn2+ into postsynaptic neurons, which is often linked with Zn2+ release from neuron terminals, is critical for cognitive activity via long-term potentiation (LTP). In contrast, the excess influx of extracellular Zn2+ into postsynaptic neurons induces cognitive decline. Interestingly, the excess influx of extracellular Zn2+ more readily occurs in aged dentate granule cells and intracellular Zn2+-buffering, which is assessed with ZnAF-2DA, is weakened in the aged dentate granule cells. Characteristics (easiness) of extracellular Zn2+ influx seem to be linked with the weakened intracellular Zn2+-buffering in the aged dentate gyrus. This paper deals with the impact of synaptic Zn2+ signaling on cognition and its decline in comparison with synaptic Ca2+ signaling.
Keywords: Zn2+ signaling; hippocampus; memory; Ca2+ signaling; perforant pathway; dentate granule cell Zn2+ signaling; hippocampus; memory; Ca2+ signaling; perforant pathway; dentate granule cell
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Takeda, A.; Tamano, H. The Impact of Synaptic Zn2+ Dynamics on Cognition and Its Decline. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2411.

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