Immediate-early genes are believed to be involved in the neuron's ability to con vert short-term synaptic stimulation into long-lasting responses and thus contribute to the adaptive alterations involved in neuronal plasticity. Cellular immediate-early genes share a close structural homology with some viral oncogenes. Recent advances in cellular biology have identified the activation and deactivation of immediate-early genes as molecular mechanisms to control regulated and deregulated growth, cellular differentiation and development. In this view immediate-early genes may function as third messengers in a stimulus transcription cascade transferring extracellular information into changes in target gene transcription, thereby changing the phenotype of neurons. Immediate-Early Genes in the Central Nervous System provides a comprehensive up-to-date overview of current methodology in the research of immediate-early genes and includes a wide range of neurobiological topics, such as regeneration, memory formation, epilepsia and nociception. The contributors to this book have been selected from among the leading experts in their field of research. T.R. TOLLE J. SCHADRACK W. ZIEGLGANSBERGER Contents Immediate-early genes -how immmediate and why early? G./. Evan .............................................. . Immediate-early gene activation as a window on mechanism in the nervous system S.P. Hunt, L.A. McNaughton, R. Jenkins, and W. Wisden. . . . . . . . . .. . . . 18 of immediate-early genes during Differential expression synaptic plasticity, seizures and brain injury suggests specific functions for these molecules in brain neurons M. Dragunow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 35 . . . . . . . . . .
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