Neurocentre Magendie



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Post-learning hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SWRs) generated during slow wave sleep are thought to play a crucial role in memory formation. While in Alzheimer's disease, abnormal hippocampal oscillations have been reported, the functional contribution of SWRs to the typically observed spatial memory impairments remains unclear. These impairments have been related to degenerative synaptic changes produced by soluble amyloid beta oligomers (Abetaos) which, surprisingly, seem to spare the SWR dynamics during routine behavior. To unravel a potential effect of Abetaos on SWRs in cognitively-challenged animals, we submitted vehicle- and Abetao-injected mice to spatial recognition memory testing. While capable of forming short-term recognition memory, Abeta mice exhibited faster forgetting, suggesting successful encoding but an inability to adequately stabilize and/or retrieve previously acquired information. Without prior cognitive requirements, similar properties of SWRs were observed in both groups. In contrast, when cognitively challenged, the post-encoding and -recognition peaks in SWR occurrence observed in controls were abolished in Abeta mice, indicating impaired hippocampal processing of spatial information. These results point to a crucial involvement of SWRs in spatial memory formation and identify the Abeta-induced impairment in SWRs dynamics as a disruptive mechanism responsible for the spatial memory deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease.