Background: DIP (diaphanous interacting protein)/WISH (WASP interacting SH3 protein) is a protein involved in cytoskeletal signaling which regulates actin cytoskeleton dynamics and/or microtubules mainly through the activity of Rho-related proteins. Although it is well established that: 1) spine-head volumes change dynamically and reflect the strength of the synapse accompanying long-term functional plasticity of glutamatergic synaptic transmission and 2) actin organization is critically involved in spine formation, the involvement of DIP/WISH in these processes is unknown. Results: We found that DIP/WISH-deficient hippocampal CA1 neurons exhibit enhanced long-term potentiation via modulation of both pre- and post-synaptic events. Consistent with these electrophysiological findings, DIP/WISH-deficient mice, particularly at a relatively young age, found the escape hole more rapidly in the Barnes maze test. Conclusions: We conclude that DIP/WISH deletion improves performance in the Barnes maze test in mice probably through increased hippocampal long-term potentiation.
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