Short-term CaMKII inhibition with tatCN19o does not erase pre-formed memory in mice and is neuroprotective in pigs
The Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a central regulator of learning and memory, which poses a problem for targeting it therapeutically. Indeed, our study supports prior conclusions that long-term interference with CaMKII signaling can erase pre-formed memories. By contrast, we demonstrate here that short-term pharmacological CaMKII inhibition with the neuroprotective peptide tatCN19o interfered with learning in mice only mildly and transiently (for less than 1 h) and did not at all reverse pre-formed memories. These results were determined with ≥500fold of the dose that protected hippocampal neurons from cell death after a highly clinically relevant pig model of transient global cerebral ischemia: ventricular fibrillation followed by advanced life support and electrical defibrillation to induce return of spontaneous circulation. Of additional importance for therapy development, our preliminary cardiovascular safety studies in mice and pig did not indicate any concerns with acute tatCN19o injection. Taken together, even though prolonged interference with CaMKII signaling can erase memory, acute short-term CaMKII inhibition with tatCN19o did not cause such retrograde amnesia that would pose a contraindication for therapy.