Synapsins are late activity-induced genes regulated by birdsong

Tarciso A.F. Velho, Claudio V. Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The consolidation of long-lasting sensory memories requires the activation of gene expression programs in the brain. Despite considerable knowledge about the early components of this response, little is known about late components (i.e., genes regulated 2- 6 h after stimulation) and the relationship between early and late genes. Birdsong represents one of the best natural behaviors to study sensoryinduced gene expression in awake, freely behaving animals. Here we show that the expression of several isoforms of synapsins, a group of phosphoproteins thought to regulate the dynamics of synaptic vesicle storage and release, is induced by auditory stimulation with birdsong in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain. This induction occurs mainly in excitatory (non-GABAergic) neurons and is modulated (suppressed) by early song-inducible proteins. We also show that ZENK, an early song-inducible transcription factor, interacts with the syn3 promoter in vivo, consistent with a direct regulatory effect and an emerging novel view of ZENK action. These results demonstrate that synapsins are a late component of the genomic response to neuronal activation and that their expression depends on a complex set of regulatory interactions between early and late regulated genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11871-11882
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 12 2008


  • Cycloheximide
  • Egr-1
  • Immediate early genes
  • Krox-24
  • Learning
  • Memory, auditory
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Ngfi-a
  • Songbird
  • Synapse
  • Zebra finch
  • Zenk
  • Zif268

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Synapsins are late activity-induced genes regulated by birdsong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this