Experience-induced expression of immediate-early gene Arc (also known as Arg3.1) is known to be important for consolidation of memory. Using in vivo longitudinal multiphoton imaging, we found orchestrated activity-dependent expression of Arc in the mouse extrastriate visual cortex in response to a structured visual stimulation. In wild-type mice, the amplitude of the Arc response in individual neurons strongly predicted the probability of reactivation by a subsequent presentation of the same stimulus. In a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, this association was markedly disrupted in the cortex, specifically near senile plaques. Neurons in the vicinity of plaques were less likely to respond, but, paradoxically, there were stronger responses in those few neurons around plaques that did respond. To the extent that the orchestrated pattern of Arc expression reflects nervous system responses to and physiological consolidation of behavioral experience, the disruption in Arc patterns reveals plaque-associated interference with neural network integration.
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