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Dev Neurobiol October 1, 2010; 70 (12): 813-25.

Characterization of the plasticity-related gene, Arc, in the frog brain.

Mangiamele LA , Thomson CJ , Lebonville CL , Burmeister SS .

In mammals, expression of the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1 in the brain is induced by exposure to novel environments, reception of sensory stimuli, and production of learned behaviors, suggesting a potentially important role in neural and behavioral plasticity. To date, Arc has only been characterized in a few species of mammals and birds, which limits our ability to understand its role in modifying behavior. To begin to address this gap, we identified Arc in two frog species, Xenopus tropicalis and Physalaemus pustulosus, and characterized its expression in the brain of P. pustulosus. We found that the predicted protein for frog Arc shared 60% sequence similarity with Arc in other vertebrates, and we observed high Arc expression in the forebrain, but not the midbrain or hindbrain, of female túngara frogs sacrificed at breeding ponds. We also examined the time-course of Arc induction in the medial pallium, the homologue of the mammalian hippocampus, in response to a recording of a P. pustulosus mating chorus and found that accumulation of Arc mRNA peaked 0.75 h following stimulus onset. We found that the mating chorus also induced Arc expression in the lateral and ventral pallia and the medial septum, but not in the striatum, hypothalamus, or auditory midbrain. Finally, we examined acoustically induced Arc expression in response to different types of mating calls and found that Arc expression levels in the pallium and septum did not vary with the biological relevance or acoustic complexity of the signal.

PubMed ID: 20602363
Article link: Dev Neurobiol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: arc arg2 myh3

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