Sanders, Jeff; Mayford, Mark
Fluoxetine is a medication used to treat Major Depressive Disorder and other psychiatric conditions. These experiments studied the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment on the contextual versus auditory fear memory of mice. We found that chronic fluoxetine treatment of adult mice impaired their contextual fear memory, but spared auditory fear memory. Hippocampal perineuronal nets, which are involved in contextual fear memory plasticity, were unaltered by fluoxetine treatment. These data point to a selective inability to form contextual fear memory as a result of fluoxetine treatment, and they suggest that a blunting of hippocampal-mediated aversive memory may be a therapeutic action for this medication. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kumari, Punita; Kauser, Hina; Wadhwa, Meetu; Roy, Koustav; Alam, Shahnawaz; Sahu, Surajit; Kishore, Krishna; Ray, Koushik; Panjwani, Usha
Fear memory is essential for survival, and its dysregulation leads to disorders. High altitude hypobaric hypoxia (HH) is known to induce cognitive decline. However, its effect on fear memory is still an enigma. We aimed to investigate the temporal effect of HH on fear conditioning and the underlying mechanism. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for fear conditioning and exposed to simulated HH equivalent to 25,000 ft for different durations (1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 days). Subsequently, rats were tested for cued and contextual fear conditioning. Neuronal morphology, apoptosis and DNA fragmentation were studied in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), hippocampus and basolateral amygdala (BLA). We observed significant deficit in cued and contextual fear acquisition (at 1, 3 and 7 days) and consolidation (cued at 1 and 3 days and contextual fear at 1, 3 and 7 days) under HH. HH exposure with retraining showed the earlier restoration of contextual fear memory. Further, we found a gradual increase in the number of pyknotic and apoptotic neurons together with the increase in DNA fragmentation in mPFC, hippocampus, and BLA up to 7 days of HH exposure. The present study concludes that HH exposure equivalent to 25000 ft induced cued and contextual fear memory deficit (acquisition and consolidation) which is found to be correlated with the neurodegenerative changes in the limbic brain regions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D.; Molina, Victor A.
The present research investigated the resulting contextual fear memory and structural plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) following stress and fear conditioning. This combination enhanced fear retention and increased the number of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. Intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of midazolam prior to…
Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D; Molina, Victor A
The present research investigated the resulting contextual fear memory and structural plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) following stress and fear conditioning. This combination enhanced fear retention and increased the number of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. Intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of midazolam prior to stress prevented both the enhancement of fear retention and an increase in the density of total and mature dendritic spines in DH. These findings emphasize the role of the stress-induced attenuation of GABAergic neurotransmission in BLA in the promoting influence of stress on fear memory and on synaptic remodeling in DH. In conclusion, the structural remodeling in DH accompanied the facilitated fear memory following a combination of fear conditioning and stressful stimulation.
Jiang, Lizhu; Mao, Rongrong; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Cao, Jun; Ding, Yuqiang; Yang, Yuan; Zhang, Xia; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Lin
Fear is crucial for survival, whereas hypermnesia of fear can be detrimental. Inhibition of the Rac GTPase is recently reported to impair the forgetting of initially acquired memory in Drosophila. Here, we investigated whether inhibition of Rac1 activity in rat hippocampus could contribute to the hypermnesia of contextual fear. We found that spaced but not massed training of contextual fear conditioning caused inhibition of Rac1 activity in the hippocampus and heightened contextual fear. Furthermore, intrahippocampal injection of the Rac1 inhibitor NSC23766 heightened contextual fear in massed training, while Rac1 activator CN04-A weakened contextual fear in spaced training rats. Our study firstly demonstrates that contextual fear memory in rats is actively regulated by Rac1 activity in the hippocampus, which suggests that the forgetting impairment of traumatic events in posttraumatic stress disorder may be contributed to the pathological inhibition of Rac1 activity in the hippocampus.
Zhou, Heng; Zhou, Qixin; Xu, Lin
Contextual fear memory depends on the hippocampus, but the role of unilateral hippocampus in this type of memory remains unclear. Herein, pharmacological inactivation or excitotoxic lesions were used to study the role of unilateral hippocampus in the stages of contextual fear memory. The pharmacological experiments revealed that compared with the control groups, unilateral hippocampal blockade did not impair 1-day recent memory following learning, whereas bilateral hippocampal blockade significantly impaired this memory. The lesion experiments showed that compared with the control groups, the formed contextual fear memory was retained for 7 days and that 30-day remote memory was markedly reduced in unilateral hippocampal lesion groups. These results indicate that an intact bilateral hippocampus is required for the formation of remote memory and that unilateral hippocampus is sufficient for recent contextual fear memory.
Dines, Monica; Grinberg, Svetlana; Vassiliev, Maria; Ram, Alon; Tamir, Tal; Lamprecht, Raphael
Eph receptors regulate glutamate receptors functions, neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, cellular events believed to be involved in memory formation. In this study we aim to explore the roles of Eph receptors in learning and memory. Toward that end, we examined the roles of EphB2 and EphA4 receptors, key regulators of synaptic functions, in fear conditioning memory formation. We show that mice lacking EphB2 (EphB2(-/-)) are impaired in short- and long-term contextual fear conditioning memory. Mice that express a carboxy-terminally truncated form of EphB2 that lacks forward signaling, instead of the full EphB2, are impaired in long-term, but not short-term, contextual fear conditioning memory. Long-term contextual fear conditioning memory is attenuated in CaMKII-cre;EphA4(lx/-) mice where EphA4 is removed from all pyramidal neurons of the forebrain. Mutant mice with targeted kinase-dead EphA4 (EphA4(KD)) exhibit intact long-term contextual fear conditioning memory showing that EphA4 kinase-mediated forward signaling is not needed for contextual fear memory formation. The ability to form long-term conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory is not impaired in the EphB2(-/-) and CaMKII-cre;EphA4(lx/-) mice. We conclude that EphB2 forward signaling is required for long-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation. In contrast, EphB2 mediates short-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation in a forward signaling-independent manner. EphA4 mediates long-term contextual fear conditioning memory formation in a kinase-independent manner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Neuner, Sarah M; Wilmott, Lynda A; Hope, Kevin A; Hoffmann, Brian; Chong, Jayhong A; Abramowitz, Joel; Birnbaumer, Lutz; O'Connell, Kristen M; Tryba, Andrew K; Greene, Andrew S; Savio Chan, C; Kaczorowski, Catherine C
Memory formation requires de novo protein synthesis, and memory disorders may result from misregulated synthesis of critical proteins that remain largely unidentified. Plasma membrane ion channels and receptors are likely candidates given their role in regulating neuron excitability, a candidate memory mechanism. Here we conduct targeted molecular monitoring and quantitation of hippocampal plasma membrane proteins from mice with intact or impaired contextual fear memory to identify putative candidates. Here we report contextual fear memory deficits correspond to increased Trpc3 gene and protein expression, and demonstrate TRPC3 regulates hippocampal neuron excitability associated with memory function. These data provide a mechanistic explanation for enhanced contextual fear memory reported herein following knockdown of TRPC3 in hippocampus. Collectively, TRPC3 modulates memory and may be a feasible target to enhance memory and treat memory disorders. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Uwaya, Akemi; Lee, Hyunjin; Park, Jonghyuk; Lee, Hosung; Muto, Junko; Nakajima, Sanae; Ohta, Shigeo; Mikami, Toshio
Histone acetylation is regulated in response to stress and plays an important role in learning and memory. Chronic stress is known to deteriorate cognition, whereas acute stress facilitates memory formation. However, whether acute stress facilitates memory formation when it is applied after fear stimulation is not yet known. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of acute stress applied after fear training on memory formation, mRNA expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), epigenetic regulation of BDNF expression, and corticosterone level in mice in vivo. Mice were subjected to acute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 or 90 min after contextual fear conditioning training, and acetylation of histone 3 at lysine 14 (H3K14) and level of corticosterone were measured using western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. A freezing behavior test was performed 24 h after training, and mRNA expression of BDNF was measured using real-time polymerase chain reactions. Different groups of mice were used for each test. Freezing behavior significantly decreased with the down-regulation of BDNF mRNA expression caused by acute immobilization stress at 60 min after fear conditioning training owing to the reduction of H3K14 acetylation. However, BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation were not reduced in animals subjected to immobilization stress at 90 min after the training. Further, the corticosterone level was significantly high in mice subjected to immobilization stress at 60 min after the training. Acute immobilization stress for 30 min at 60 min after fear conditioning training impaired memory formation and reduced BDNF mRNA expression and H3K14 acetylation in the hippocampus of mice owing to the high level of corticosterone.
Abdullahi, Payman Rasise; Eskandarian, Sharaf; Ghanbari, Ali; Rashidy-Pour, Ali
There is increasing evidence that oxytocin is involved in learning and memory process. This study investigated the effects of blockade of oxytocin receptors using the selective oxytocin receptor antagonist atosiban (ATO) on contextual fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation in male rats. Post-training injections of different doses of ATO (1, 10, 100 or 1000 µg/kg) impaired the 48 h retention performance in a dose-dependent manner. The same doses of ATO following memory reactivation did not impair subsequent expression of contextual fear memories which formed under low or high shock intensities and tested 24 h or one week following memory reactivation. Also, no effect was found when ATO was administrated in the absence of memory reactivation. Our finding is the first report that indicates endogenous oxytocin released during training play an important role in the consolidation, but not reconsolidation of contextual fear memory in rats. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Kittelberger, Kara A; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G
Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.
Kittelberger, Kara A.; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G.
Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta) oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss. PMID:22238679
Kara A Kittelberger
Full Text Available Memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD. It has been proposed that soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta oligomers acutely impair neuronal function and thereby memory. We here report that natural Abeta oligomers acutely impair contextual fear memory in mice. A natural Abeta oligomer solution containing Abeta monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was derived from the conditioned medium of 7PA2 cells, a cell line that expresses human amyloid precursor protein containing the Val717Phe familial AD mutation. As a control we used 7PA2 conditioned medium from which Abeta oligomers were removed through immunodepletion. Separate groups of mice were injected with Abeta and control solutions through a cannula into the lateral brain ventricle, and subjected to fear conditioning using two tone-shock pairings. One day after fear conditioning, mice were tested for contextual fear memory and tone fear memory in separate retrieval trials. Three experiments were performed. For experiment 1, mice were injected three times: 1 hour before and 3 hours after fear conditioning, and 1 hour before context retrieval. For experiments 2 and 3, mice were injected a single time at 1 hour and 2 hours before fear conditioning respectively. In all three experiments there was no effect on tone fear memory. Injection of Abeta 1 hour before fear conditioning, but not 2 hours before fear conditioning, impaired the formation of a contextual fear memory. In future studies, the acute effect of natural Abeta oligomers on contextual fear memory can be used to identify potential mechanisms and treatments of AD associated memory loss.
Full Text Available Several experiments have demonstrated an intimate relationship between hippocampal theta rhythm (4-12 Hz and memory. Lesioning the medial septum or fimbria-fornix, a fiber track connecting the hippocampus and the medial septum, abolishes the theta rhythm and results in a severe impairment in declarative memory. To assess whether there is a causal relationship between hippocampal theta and memory formation we investigated whether restoration of hippocampal theta by electrical stimulation during the encoding phase also restores fimbria-fornix lesion induced memory deficit in rats in the fear conditioning paradigm. Male Wistar rats underwent sham or fimbria-fornix lesion operation. Stimulation electrodes were implanted in the ventral hippocampal commissure and recording electrodes in the septal hippocampus. Artificial theta stimulation of 8 Hz was delivered during 3-min free exploration of the test cage in half of the rats before aversive conditioning with three foot shocks during 2 min. Memory was assessed by total freezing time in the same environment 24 h and 28 h after fear conditioning, and in an intervening test session in a different context. As expected, fimbria-fornix lesion impaired fear memory and dramatically attenuated hippocampal theta power. Artificial theta stimulation produced continuous theta oscillations that were almost similar to endogenous theta rhythm in amplitude and frequency. However, contrary to our predictions, artificial theta stimulation impaired conditioned fear response in both sham and fimbria-fornix lesioned animals. These data suggest that restoration of theta oscillation per se is not sufficient to support memory encoding after fimbria-fornix lesion and that universal theta oscillation in the hippocampus with a fixed frequency may actually impair memory.
Yu, Dafu; Zhou, Heng; Zou, Lin; Jiang, Yong; Wu, Xiaoqun; Jiang, Lizhu; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Xu, Lin; Mao, Rongrong
Thyroid hormone (TH) receptors are highly distributed in the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in memory processes. However, how THs are involved in the different stages of memory process is little known. Herein, we used hippocampus dependent contextual fear conditioning to address the effects of hippocampal THs on the different stages of fear memory. First, we found that a single systemic levothyroxine (LT 4 ) administration increased the level of free triiodothyronine (FT 3 ) and free tetraiodothyroxine (FT 4 ) not only in serum but also in hippocampus. In addition, a single systemic LT 4 administration immediately after fear conditioning significantly impaired fear memory. These results indicated the important role of hippocampal THs in fear memory process. To further confirm the effects of hippocampal THs on the different stages of fear memory, LT 4 (0.4 μg/μl, 1 μl/side) was injected bilaterally into hippocampus. Rats given LT 4 into hippocampus before training or tests had no effect on the acquisition or retrieval of fear memory, however rats given LT 4 into hippocampus either immediately or 2 h after training showed being significantly impaired fear memory, which demonstrated LT 4 administration into hippocampus impairs the consolidation but has no effect on the acquisition and retrieval of fear memory. Furthermore, hippocampal injection of LT 4 did not affect rats' locomotor activity, thigmotaxis and THs level in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and serum. These findings may have important implications for understanding mechanisms underlying contribution of THs to memory disorders.
Atsak, Piray; Hauer, Daniela; Campolongo, Patrizia; Schelling, Gustav; McGaugh, James L.; Roozendaal, Benno
There is extensive evidence that glucocorticoid hormones impair the retrieval of memory of emotionally arousing experiences. Although it is known that glucocorticoid effects on memory retrieval impairment depend on rapid interactions with arousal-induced noradrenergic activity, the exact mechanism underlying this presumably nongenomically mediated glucocorticoid action remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that the hippocampal endocannabinoid system, a rapidly activated retrograde messenger system, is involved in mediating glucocorticoid effects on retrieval of contextual fear memory. Systemic administration of corticosterone (0.3–3 mg/kg) to male Sprague–Dawley rats 1 h before retention testing impaired the retrieval of contextual fear memory without impairing the retrieval of auditory fear memory or directly affecting the expression of freezing behavior. Importantly, a blockade of hippocampal CB1 receptors with AM251 prevented the impairing effect of corticosterone on retrieval of contextual fear memory, whereas the same impairing dose of corticosterone increased hippocampal levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol. We also found that antagonism of hippocampal β-adrenoceptor activity with local infusions of propranolol blocked the memory retrieval impairment induced by the CB receptor agonist WIN55,212–2. Thus, these findings strongly suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays an intermediary role in regulating rapid glucocorticoid effects on noradrenergic activity in impairing memory retrieval of emotionally arousing experiences. PMID:22331883
Faria, Rodolfo Souza; Gutierres, Luís Felipe Soares; Sobrinho, Fernando César Faria; Miranda, Iris do Vale; Reis, Júlia Dos; Dias, Elayne Vieira; Sartori, Cesar Renato; Moreira, Dalmo Antonio Ribeiro
Exposure to negative environmental events triggers defensive behavior and leads to the formation of aversive associative memory. Cellular and molecular changes in the central nervous system underlie this memory formation, as well as the associated behavioral changes. In general, memory process is established in distinct phases such as acquisition, consolidation, evocation, persistence, and extinction of the acquired information. After exposure to a particular event, early changes in involved neural circuits support the memory consolidation, which corresponds to the short-term memory. Re-exposure to previously memorized events evokes the original memory, a process that is considered essential for the reactivation and consequent persistence of memory, ensuring that long-term memory is established. Different environmental stimuli may modulate the memory formation process, as well as their distinct phases. Among the different environmental stimuli able of modulating memory formation is the physical exercise which is a potent modulator of neuronal activity. There are many studies showing that physical exercise modulates learning and memory processes, mainly in the consolidation phase of the explicit memory. However, there are few reports in the literature regarding the role of physical exercise in implicit aversive associative memory, especially at the persistence phase. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between swimming exercise and the consolidation and persistence of contextual and auditory-cued fear memory. Male Wistar rats were submitted to sessions of swimming exercise five times a week, over six weeks. After that, the rats were submitted to classical aversive conditioning training by a pairing tone/foot shock paradigm. Finally, rats were evaluated for consolidation and persistence of fear memory to both auditory and contextual cues. Our results demonstrate that classical aversive conditioning with tone/foot shock pairing induced
Sigwald, Eric L; Genoud, Manuel E; Giachero, Marcelo; de Olmos, Soledad; Molina, Víctor A; Lorenzo, Alfredo
The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is one of the largest cortical areas in rodents, and is subdivided in two main regions, A29 and A30, according to their cytoarchitectural organization and connectivities. However, very little is known about the functional activity of each RSC subdivision during the execution of complex cognitive tasks. Here, we used a well-established fear learning protocol that induced long-lasting contextual fear memory and showed that during evocation of the fear memory, the expression of early growth response gene 1 was up-regulated in A30, and in other brain areas implicated in fear and spatial memory, however, was down-regulated in A29, including layers IV and V. To search for the participation of A29 on fear memory, we triggered selective degeneration of neurons within cortical layers IV and V of A29 by using a non-invasive protocol that takes advantage of the vulnerability that these neurons have MK801-toxicity and the modulation of this neurodegeneration by testosterone. Application of 5 mg/kg MK801 in intact males induced negligible neuronal degeneration of A29 neurons and had no impact on fear memory retrieval. However, in orchiectomized rats, 5 mg/kg MK801 induced overt degeneration of layers IV-V neurons of A29, significantly impairing fear memory recall. Degeneration of A29 neurons did not affect exploratory or anxiety-related behavior nor altered unconditioned freezing. Importantly, protecting A29 neurons from MK801-toxicity by testosterone preserved fear memory recall in orchiectomized rats. Thus, neurons within cortical layers IV-V of A29 are critically required for efficient retrieval of contextual fear memory.
Rizzo, Valerio; Touzani, Khalid; Raveendra, Bindu L.; Swarnkar, Supriya; Lora, Joan; Kadakkuzha, Beena M.; Liu, Xin-An; Zhang, Chao; Betel, Doron; Stackman, Robert W.; Puthanveettil, Sathyanarayanan V.
Background Despite our understanding of the significance of the prefrontal cortex in the consolidation of long-term memories (LTM), its role in the encoding of LTM remains elusive. Here we investigated the role of new protein synthesis in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in encoding contextual fear memory. Methods Because a change in the association of mRNAs to polyribosomes is an indicator of new protein synthesis, we assessed the changes in polyribosome-associated mRNAs in the mPFC following contextual fear conditioning (CFC) in the mouse. Differential gene expression in mPFC was identified by polyribosome profiling (n = 18). The role of new protein synthesis in mPFC was determined by focal inhibition of protein synthesis (n = 131) and by intra-prelimbic cortex manipulation (n = 56) of Homer 3, a candidate identified from polyribosome profiling. Results We identified several mRNAs that are differentially and temporally recruited to polyribosomes in the mPFC following CFC. Inhibition of protein synthesis in the prelimbic (PL), but not in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) region of the mPFC immediately after CFC disrupted encoding of contextual fear memory. Intriguingly, inhibition of new protein synthesis in the PL 6 hours after CFC did not impair encoding. Furthermore, expression of Homer 3, an mRNA enriched in polyribosomes following CFC, in the PL constrained encoding of contextual fear memory. Conclusions Our studies identify several molecular substrates of new protein synthesis in the mPFC and establish that encoding of contextual fear memories require new protein synthesis in PL subregion of mPFC. PMID:28503670
Bai, Hua-Yi; Cao, Jun; Liu, Na; Xu, Lin; Luo, Jian-Hong
Traumatic events always lead to aversive emotional memory, i.e., fear memory. In contrast, positive events in daily life such as sex experiences seem to reduce aversive memory after aversive events. Thus, we hypothesized that post-traumatic pleasurable experiences, especially instinctive behaviors such as sex, might modulate traumatic memory through a memory competition mechanism. Here, we first report that male rats persistently expressed much lower fear responses when exposed to females, but not when exposed to males, for 24 h immediately after contextual fear conditioning. Remarkably, this effect of sexual behavior was blocked by either systemic or intrahippocampal injection of the dopamine D1/D5 receptor antagonist R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine hydrochloride (SCH23390) and was mimicked by systemic but not intrahippocampal injection of the D1/D5 receptor agonist R(+)-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine-7,8-diol hydrochloride (SKF39393). Furthermore, as a candidate mechanism underlying contextual fear memory, the impaired induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) elicited by conditioned fear was rescued in male rats immediately exposed to female but not male rats for 24 h. Systemic injection of the dopamine D1/D5 receptor antagonist SCH23390 or agonist SKF38393 prevented or mimicked the effect of sexual behavior on the impaired induction of hippocampal LTP. Thus, our finding suggests that dopaminergic functions may, at least partially, govern competition between contextual fear and enjoyable memories through the modulation of hippocampal LTP.
Munazah F. Qureshi
Full Text Available The conditioning tasks have been widely used to model fear and anxiety and to study their association with sleep. Many reports suggest that sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of fear memory. Studies have also demonstrated that fear-conditioning influences sleep differently in mice strains having a low or high anxiety level. It is, therefore, necessary to know, how sleep influences fear-conditioning and how fear-conditioning induces changes in sleep architecture in moderate anxious strains. We have used Swiss mice, a moderate anxious strain, to study the effects of: (i sleep deprivation on contextual fear conditioned memory, and also (ii contextual fear conditioning on sleep architecture. Animals were divided into three groups: (a non-sleep deprived (NSD; (b stress control (SC; and (c sleep-deprived (SD groups. The SD animals were SD for 5 h soon after training. We found that the NSD and SC animals showed 60.57% and 58.12% freezing on the testing day, while SD animals showed significantly less freezing (17.13% only; p < 0.001 on the testing day. Further, we observed that contextual fear-conditioning did not alter the total amount of wakefulness and non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep. REM sleep, however, significantly decreased in NSD and SC animals on the training and testing days. Interestingly, REM sleep did not decrease in the SD animals on the testing day. Our results suggest that short-term sleep deprivation impairs fear memory in moderate anxious mice. It also suggests that NREM sleep, but not REM sleep, may have an obligatory role in memory consolidation.
Einarsson, Einar Ö; Pors, Jennifer; Nader, Karim
After acquisition, hippocampus-dependent memories undergo a systems consolidation process, during which they become independent of the hippocampus and dependent on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for memory expression. However, consolidated remote memories can become transiently hippocampus-dependent again following memory reactivation. How this systems reconsolidation affects the role of the ACC in remote memory expression is not known. Using contextual fear conditioning, we show that the expression of 30-day-old remote memory can transiently be supported by either the ACC or the dorsal hippocampus following memory reactivation, and that the ACC specifically mediates expression of remote generalized contextual fear memory. We found that suppression of neural activity in the ACC with the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) impaired the expression of remote, but not recent, contextual fear memory. Fear expression was not affected by this treatment if preceded by memory reactivation 6 h earlier, nor was it affected by suppression of neural activity in the dorsal hippocampus with the GABA-receptor agonist muscimol. However, simultaneous targeting of both the ACC and the dorsal hippocampus 6 h after memory reactivation disrupted contextual fear memory expression. Second, we observed that expression of a 30-day-old generalized contextual fear memory in a novel context was not affected by memory reactivation 6 h earlier. However, intra-ACC CNQX infusion before testing impaired contextual fear expression in the novel context, but not the original training context. Together, these data suggest that although the dorsal hippocampus may be recruited during systems reconsolidation, the ACC remains necessary for the expression of generalized contextual fear memory.
Vetere, Gisella; Barbato, Christian; Pezzola, Silvia; Frisone, Paola; Aceti, Massimiliano; Ciotti, MariaTeresa; Cogoni, Carlo; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Ruberti, Francesca
Post-transcriptional gene regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) is implicated in memory formation; however, the function of miR-92 in this regulation is uncharacterized. The present study shows that training mice in contextual fear conditioning produces a transient increase in miR-92 levels in the hippocampus and decreases several miR-92 gene targets, including: (i) the neuronal Cl(-) extruding K(+) Cl(-) co-transporter 2 (KCC2) protein; (ii) the cytoplasmic polyadenylation protein (CPEB3), an RNA-binding protein regulator of protein synthesis in neurons; and (iii) the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D), one of the MEF2 genes which negatively regulates memory-induced structural plasticity. Selective inhibition of endogenous miR-92 in CA1 hippocampal neurons, by a sponge lentiviral vector expressing multiple sequences imperfectly complementary to mature miR-92 under the control of the neuronal specific synapsin promoter, leads to up-regulation of KCC2, CPEB3 and MEF2D, impairs contextual fear conditioning, and prevents a memory-induced increase in the spine density. Taken together, the results indicate that neuronal-expressed miR-92 is an endogenous fine regulator of contextual fear memory in mice. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Kubo, Yasunori; Yanagawa, Yoshiki; Matsumoto, Machiko; Hiraide, Sachiko; Kobayashi, Masanobu; Togashi, Hiroko
Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 recognizes viral single-stranded RNA and triggers production of the type I interferons (IFNs) IFN-α and IFN-β. Imiquimod, a synthetic TLR7 ligand, induces production of type I IFNs and is used clinically as an antiviral and antitumor drug. In the present study, we examined the effect of imiquimod on conditioned and innate fear behaviors in mice. Imiquimod was administered 2, 4, or 15 h before contextual fear conditioning. Imiquimod treatment 4 or 15 h before fear conditioning significantly enhanced context-dependent freezing behavior. This imiquimod-induced enhancement of fear-related behaviors was observed 120 h after fear conditioning. In contrast, imiquimod failed to enhance context-dependent freezing behavior in TLR7 knockout mice. Imiquimod had no significant effect on pain threshold or on innate fear-related behavior, as measured by the elevated plus-maze. The levels of type I IFN mRNA in the brain were significantly increased at 2 h after imiquimod treatment. Imiquimod also increased interleukin (IL)-1β mRNA expression in the brain at 4 h following administration, while mRNA expression of F4/80, a macrophage marker, was unaffected by imiquimod treatment. Our findings suggest that TLR7-mediated signaling enhances contextual fear memory in mice, possibly by inducing the expression of type I IFNs and IL-1β in the brain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Costanzi, Marco; Cannas, Sara; Saraulli, Daniele; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Cestari, Vincenzo
Long-lasting memories of adverse experiences are essential for individuals' survival but are also involved, in the form of recurrent recollections of the traumatic experience, in the aetiology of anxiety diseases (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]). Extinction-based erasure of fear memories has long been pursued as a behavioral way to treat anxiety disorders; yet, such a procedure turns out to be transient, context-dependent, and ineffective unless it is applied immediately after trauma. Recent evidence indicates that, in both rats and humans, extinction training can prevent the return of fear if administered within the reconsolidation window, when memories become temporarily labile and susceptible of being updated. Here, we show that the reconsolidation-extinction procedure fails to prevent the spontaneous recovery of a remote contextual fear memory in a mouse model of PTSD, as well as the long-lasting behavioral abnormalities induced by traumatic experience on anxiety and in both social and cognitive domains (i.e., social withdrawal and spatial learning deficits). Such a failure appears to be related to the ineffectiveness of the reconsolidation-extinction procedure in targeting the pathogenic process of fear sensitization, a nonassociative component of traumatic memory that causes animals to react aberrantly to harmless stimuli. This indicates fear sensitization as a major target for treatments aimed at mitigating anxiety and the behavioral outcomes of traumatic experiences.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Corticosteroid hormones regulate appraisal and consolidation of information via mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs respectively. How activation of these receptors modulates retrieval of fearful information and the subsequent expression of fear is largely unknown. We tested here whether blockade of MRs or GRs during retrieval also affects subsequent expression of fear memory. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Mice were trained in contextual or tone cue fear conditioning paradigms, by pairing mild foot shocks with a particular context or tone respectively. Twenty-four hours after training, context-conditioned animals were re-exposed to the context for 3 or 30 minutes (day 2; tone-conditioned animals were placed in a different context and re-exposed to one or six tones. Twenty-four hours (day 3 and one month later, freezing behavior to the aversive context/tone was scored again. MR or GR blockade was achieved by giving spironolactone or RU486 subcutaneously one hour before retrieval on day 2. Spironolactone administered prior to brief context re-exposure reduced freezing behavior during retrieval and 24 hours later, but not one month later. Administration of spironolactone without retrieval of the context or immediately after retrieval on day 2 did not reduce freezing on day 3. Re-exposure to the context for 30 minutes on day 2 significantly reduced freezing on day 3 and one month later, but freezing was not further reduced by spironolactone. Administration of spironolactone prior to tone-cue re-exposure on day 2 did not affect freezing behavior. Treatment with RU486 prior to re-exposure did not affect context or tone-cue fear memories at any time point. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that MR blockade prior to retrieval strongly reduces the expression of contextual fear, implying that MRs, rather than GRs, play an important role in retrieval of emotional information and subsequent fear expression.
Full Text Available The details of contextual or episodic memories are lost and generalized with the passage of time. Proper generalization may underlie the formation and assimilation of semantic memories and enable animals to adapt to ever-changing environments, whereas overgeneralization of fear memory evokes maladaptive fear responses to harmless stimuli, which is a symptom of anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. To understand the neural basis of fear memory generalization, we investigated the patterns of neuronal ensemble reactivation during memory retrieval when contextual fear memory expression is generalized using transgenic mice that allowed us to visualize specific neuronal ensembles activated during memory encoding and retrieval. We found preferential reactivations of neuronal ensembles in the primary somatosensory cortex, when mice were returned to the conditioned context to retrieve their memory 1 day after conditioning. In the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG, exclusively separated ensemble reactivation was observed when mice were exposed to a novel context. These results suggest that the DG as well as the somatosensory cortex were likely to distinguish the two different contexts at the ensemble activity level when memory is not generalized at the behavioral level. However, 9 days after conditioning when animals exhibited generalized fear, the unique reactivation pattern in the DG, but not in the somatosensory cortex, was lost. Our results suggest that the alternations in the ensemble representation within the DG, or in upstream structures that link the sensory cortex to the hippocampus, may underlie generalized contextual fear memory expression.
Bender, C L; Otamendi, A; Calfa, G D; Molina, V A
Fear generalization occurs when a response, previously acquired with a threatening stimulus, is transferred to a similar one. However, it could be maladaptive when stimuli that do not represent a real threat are appraised as dangerous, which is a hallmark of several anxiety disorders. Stress exposure is a major risk factor for the occurrence of anxiety disorders and it is well established that it influences different phases of fear memory; nevertheless, its impact on the generalization of contextual fear memories has been less studied. In the present work, we have characterized the impact of acute restraint stress prior to contextual fear conditioning on the generalization of this fear memory, and the role of the GABAergic signaling within the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) on the stress modulatory effects. We have found that a single stress exposure promoted the generalization of this memory trace to a different context that was well discriminated in unstressed conditioned animals. Moreover, this effect was dependent on the formation of a contextual associative memory and on the testing order (i.e., conditioning context first vs generalization context first). Furthermore, we observed that increasing GABA-A signaling by intra-BLA midazolam administration prior to the stressful session exposure prevented the generalization of fear memory, whereas intra-BLA administration of the GABA-A antagonist (Bicuculline), prior to fear conditioning, induced the generalization of fear memory in unstressed rats. We concluded that stress exposure, prior to contextual fear conditioning, promotes the generalization of fear memory and that the GABAergic transmission within the BLA has a critical role in this phenomenon. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Flavell, Charlotte R.; Lee, Jonathan L. C.
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) are both structures with key roles in contextual fear conditioning. During fear conditioning, it is postulated that contextual representations of the environment are formed in the hippocampus, which are then associated with foot shock in the amygdala. However, it is not known to what…
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Garrett, Brendan; Gadiwalla, Sana; Tumolo, Jessica M; Gould, Thomas J
Previous research has shown that acute nicotine, an agonist of nAChRs, impaired fear extinction. However, the effects of acute nicotine on consolidation of contextual fear extinction memories and associated cell signaling cascades are unknown. Therefore, we examined the effects of acute nicotine injections before (pre-extinction) and after (post-extinction) contextual fear extinction on behavior and the phosphorylation of dorsal and ventral hippocampal ERK1/2 and JNK1 and protein levels on the 1st and 3rd day of extinction. Our results showed that acute nicotine administered prior to extinction sessions downregulated the phosphorylated forms of ERK1/2 in the ventral hippocampus, but not dorsal hippocampus, and JNK1 in both dorsal and ventral hippocampus on the 3rd extinction day. These effects were absent on the 1st day of extinction. We also showed that acute nicotine administered immediately and 30 min, but not 6 h, following extinction impaired contextual fear extinction suggesting that acute nicotine disrupts consolidation of contextual fear extinction memories. Finally, acute nicotine injections immediately after extinction sessions upregulated the phosphorylated forms of ERK1/2 in the ventral hippocampus, but did not affect JNK1. These results show that acute nicotine impairs contextual fear extinction potentially by altering molecular processes responsible for the consolidation of extinction memories. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wu, Ping; Ding, Zeng-Bo; Meng, Shi-Qiu; Shen, Hao-Wei; Sun, Shi-Chao; Luo, Yi-Xiao; Liu, Jian-Feng; Lu, Lin; Zhu, Wei-Li; Shi, Jie
A conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with a fearful unconditioned stimulus (US) in the traditional fear conditioning model. After fear conditioning, the CS-US association memory undergoes the consolidation process to become stable. Consolidated memory enters an unstable state after retrieval and requires the reconsolidation process to stabilize again. Evidence indicates the important role of Rac (Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate) in the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. In the present study, we hypothesized that Rac in the amygdala is crucial for the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory. Auditory and contextual fear conditioning and microinjections of the Rac inhibitor NSC23766 were used to explore the role of Rac in the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory in rats. A microinjection of NSC23766 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) but not central amygdala (CeA) or cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) immediately after memory retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of auditory Pavlovian fear memory. A microinjection of NSC23766 into the CA1 but not BLA or CeA after memory retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of contextual Pavlovian fear memory. Our experiments demonstrate that Rac in the BLA is crucial for the reconsolidation of auditory Pavlovian fear memory, whereas Rac in the CA1 is critical for the reconsolidation of contextual Pavlovian fear memory.
Full Text Available Abstract The downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM, a multifunctional Ca2+-binding protein, binds specifically to DNA and several nucleoproteins regulating gene expression and with proteins outside the nucleus to regulate membrane excitability or calcium homeostasis. DREAM is highly expressed in the central nervous system including the hippocampus and cortex; however, the roles of DREAM in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity have not been investigated. Taking advantage of transgenic mice overexpressing a Ca2+-insensitive DREAM mutant (TgDREAM, we used integrative methods including electrophysiology, biochemistry, immunostaining, and behavior tests to study the function of DREAM in synaptic transmission, long-term plasticity and fear memory in hippocampal CA1 region. We found that NMDA receptor but not AMPA receptor-mediated current was decreased in TgDREAM mice. Moreover, synaptic plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD but not long-term potentiation (LTP, was impaired in TgDREAM mice. Biochemical experiments found that DREAM interacts with PSD-95 and may inhibit NMDA receptor function through this interaction. Contextual fear memory was significantly impaired in TgDREAM mice. By contrast, sensory responses to noxious stimuli were not affected. Our results demonstrate that DREAM plays a novel role in postsynaptic modulation of the NMDA receptor, and contributes to synaptic plasticity and behavioral memory.
Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P.; Kenyon, Christopher J.; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R.; Holmes, Megan C.; Seckl, Jonathan R.; Yau, Joyce L.W.
High glucocorticoid levels induced by stress enhance the memory of fearful events and may contribute to the development of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. In contrast, elevated glucocorticoids associated with ageing impair spatial memory. We have previously shown that pharmacological inhibition of the intracellular glucocorticoid-amplifying enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) improves spatial memory in aged mice. However, it is not known whether inhibition of 11β-HSD1 will have any beneficial effects on contextual fear memories in aged mice. Here, we examined the effects of UE2316, a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor which accesses the brain, on both spatial and contextual fear memories in aged mice using a vehicle-controlled crossover study design. Short-term UE2316 treatment improved spatial memory in aged mice, an effect which was reversed when UE2316 was substituted with vehicle. In contrast, contextual fear memory induced by foot-shock conditioning was significantly reduced by UE2316 in a non-reversible manner. When the order of treatment was reversed following extinction of the original fear memory, and a second foot-shock conditioning was given in a novel context, UE2316 treated aged mice (previously on vehicle) now showed increased fear memory compared to vehicle-treated aged mice (previously on UE2316). Renewal of the original extinguished fear memory triggered by exposure to a new environmental context may explain these effects. Thus 11β-HSD1 inhibition reverses spatial memory impairments with ageing while reducing the strength and persistence of new contextual fear memories. Potentially this could help prevent anxiety-related disorders in vulnerable elderly individuals. PMID:25497454
Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P; Kenyon, Christopher J; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R; Holmes, Megan C; Seckl, Jonathan R; Yau, Joyce L W
High glucocorticoid levels induced by stress enhance the memory of fearful events and may contribute to the development of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. In contrast, elevated glucocorticoids associated with ageing impair spatial memory. We have previously shown that pharmacological inhibition of the intracellular glucocorticoid-amplifying enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) improves spatial memory in aged mice. However, it is not known whether inhibition of 11β-HSD1 will have any beneficial effects on contextual fear memories in aged mice. Here, we examined the effects of UE2316, a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor which accesses the brain, on both spatial and contextual fear memories in aged mice using a vehicle-controlled crossover study design. Short-term UE2316 treatment improved spatial memory in aged mice, an effect which was reversed when UE2316 was substituted with vehicle. In contrast, contextual fear memory induced by foot-shock conditioning was significantly reduced by UE2316 in a non-reversible manner. When the order of treatment was reversed following extinction of the original fear memory, and a second foot-shock conditioning was given in a novel context, UE2316 treated aged mice (previously on vehicle) now showed increased fear memory compared to vehicle-treated aged mice (previously on UE2316). Renewal of the original extinguished fear memory triggered by exposure to a new environmental context may explain these effects. Thus 11β-HSD1 inhibition reverses spatial memory impairments with ageing while reducing the strength and persistence of new contextual fear memories. Potentially this could help prevent anxiety-related disorders in vulnerable elderly individuals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Taherian, Fatemeh; Vafaei, Abbas Ali; Vaezi, Gholam Hassan; Eskandarian, Sharaf; Kashef, Adel; Rashidy-Pour, Ali
Introduction Previous studies have demonstrated that the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol impairs fear memory reconsolidation in experimental animals. There are experimental parameters such as the age and the strength of memory that can interact with pharmacological manipulations of memory reconsolidation. In this study, we investigated the ability of the age and the strength of memory to influence the disrupting effects of propranolol on fear memory reconsolidation in rats. Methods The rats were trained in a contextual fear conditioning using two (weak training) or five (strong training) footshocks (1mA). Propranolol (10mg/kg) injection was immediately followed retrieval of either a one-day recent (weak or strong) or 36-day remote (weak or strong) contextual fear memories. Results We found that propranolol induced a long-lasting impairment of subsequent expression of recent and remote memories with either weak or strong strength. We also found no memory recovery after a weak reminder shock. Furthermore, no significant differences were found on the amount of memory deficit induced by propranolol among memories with different age and strength. Discussion Our data suggest that the efficacy of propranolol in impairing fear memory reconsolidation is not limited to the age or strength of the memory. PMID:25337385
Saravana R K Murthy
Full Text Available Small-conductance, Ca2+ activated K+ channels (SK channels are expressed at high levels in brain regions responsible for learning and memory. In the current study we characterized the contribution of SK2 channels to synaptic plasticity and to different phases of hippocampal memory formation. Selective SK2 antisense-treatment facilitated basal synaptic transmission and theta-burst induced LTP in hippocampal brain slices. Using the selective SK2 antagonist Lei-Dab7 or SK2 antisense probes, we found that hippocampal SK2 channels are critical during two different time windows: 1 blockade of SK2 channels before the training impaired fear memory, whereas, 2 blockade of SK2 channels immediately after the training enhanced contextual fear memory. We provided the evidence that the post-training cleavage of the SK2 channels was responsible for the observed bidirectional effect of SK2 channel blockade on memory consolidation. Thus, Lei-Dab7-injection before training impaired the C-terminal cleavage of SK2 channels, while Lei-Dab7 given immediately after training facilitated the C-terminal cleavage. Application of the synthetic peptide comprising a leucine-zipper domain of the C-terminal fragment to Jurkat cells impaired SK2 channel-mediated currents, indicating that the endogenously cleaved fragment might exert its effects on memory formation by blocking SK2 channel-mediated currents. Our present findings suggest that SK2 channel proteins contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory not only as ion channels but also by additionally generating a SK2 C-terminal fragment, involved in both processes. The modulation of fear memory by down-regulating SK2 C-terminal cleavage might have applicability in the treatment of anxiety disorders in which fear conditioning is enhanced.
Fernandez Espejo, Emilio
Prefrontal dopamine loss delays extinction of cued fear conditioning responses, but its role in contextual fear conditioning has not been explored. Medial prefrontal lesions also enhance social interaction in rats, but the role of prefrontal dopamine loss on social interaction memory is not known. Besides, a role for subcortical accumbal dopamine on mnesic changes after prefrontal dopamine manipulation has been proposed but not explored. The objective was to study the involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens in two mnesic tasks: contextual fear conditioning and social interaction memory. For contextual fear conditioning, short- and long-term freezing responses after an electric shock were studied, as well as extinction retention. Regarding social interaction memory, the recognition of a juvenile, a very sensitive short-term memory test, was used. Dopamine loss was carried out by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine, and postmortem catecholamine levels were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Prefrontocortical dopamine loss (>76%) led to a reactive enhancement of accumbal dopamine content (ploss. In lesioned rats, long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning was significantly delayed and extinction retention was impaired without changes in acquisition and short-term contextual fear conditioning and, on the other hand, acquisition and short-term social interaction memory were not affected, although time spent on social interaction was significantly reduced. Added dopamine loss in the nucleus accumbens (>76%) did not alter these behavioral changes. In summary, the results of the present study indicate that the dopaminergic network in the mPFC (but not in the nucleus accumbens) coordinates the normal long-term extinction of contextual fear conditioning responses without affecting their acquisition, and it is involved in time spent on social interaction, but not acquisition and short
Nakagawa, Toshiyuki; Itoh, Masanori; Ohta, Kazunori; Hayashi, Yuichi; Hayakawa, Miki; Yamada, Yasushi; Akanabe, Hiroshi; Chikaishi, Tokio; Nakagawa, Kiyomi; Itoh, Yoshinori; Muro, Takato; Yanagida, Daisuke; Nakabayashi, Ryo; Mori, Tetsuya; Saito, Kazuki; Ohzawa, Kaori; Suzuki, Chihiro; Li, Shimo; Ueda, Masashi; Wang, Miao-Xing; Nishida, Emika; Islam, Saiful; Tana; Kobori, Masuko; Inuzuka, Takashi
Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience a wide array of cognitive deficits, which typically include the impairment of explicit memory. In previous studies, the authors reported that a flavonoid, quercetin, reduces the expression of ATF4 and delays memory deterioration in an early-stage AD mouse model. In the present study, the effects of long-term quercetin intake on memory recall were assessed using contextual fear conditioning in aged wild-type mice. In addition, the present study examined whether memory recall was affected by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (a new cultivar of hybrid onion 'Quergold') powder in early-stage AD patients. In-vivo analysis indicated that memory recall was enhanced in aged mice fed a quercetin-containing diet. Memory recall in early-stage AD patients, determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale, was significantly improved by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (Quergold) powder for 4 weeks compared with the intake of control onion ('Mashiro' white onion) powder. These results indicate that quercetin might influence memory recall.
Lasarte-Cia, Aritz; Lozano, Teresa; Pérez-González, Marta; Gorraiz, Marta; Iribarren, Kristina; Hervás-Stubbs, Sandra; Sarobe, Pablo; Rabal, Obdulia; Cuadrado-Tejedor, Mar; García-Osta, Ana; Casares, Noelia; Lasarte, Juan José
A complex network of interactions exists between the immune, the olfactory, and the central nervous system (CNS). Inhalation of different fragrances can affect immunological reactions in response to an antigen but also may have effects on the CNS and cognitive activity. We performed an exploratory study of the immunomodulatory ability of a series of compounds representing each of the 10 odor categories or clusters described previously. We evaluated the impact of each particular odor on the immune response after immunization with the model antigen ovalbumin in combination with the TLR3 agonist poly I:C. We found that some odors behave as immunostimulatory agents, whereas others might be considered as potential immunosuppressant odors. Interestingly, the immunomodulatory capacity was, in some cases, strain-specific. In particular, one of the fragrances, carvone, was found to be immunostimulatory in BALB/c mice and immunosuppressive in C57BL/6J mice, facilitating or impairing viral clearance, respectively, in a model of a viral infection with a recombinant adenovirus. Importantly, inhalation of the odor improved the memory capacity in BALB/c mice in a fear-conditioning test, while it impaired this same capacity in C57BL/6J mice. The improvement in memory capacity in BALB/c was associated with higher CD3+ T cell infiltration into the hippocampus and increased local expression of mRNA coding for IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 cytokines. In contrast, the memory impairment in C57BL/6 was associated with a reduction in CD3 numbers and an increase in IFN-γ. These data suggest an association between the immunomodulatory capacity of smells and their impact on the cognitive functions of the animals. These results highlight the potential of studying odors as therapeutic agents for CNS-related diseases. PMID:29422905
Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J
Ethanol is a frequently abused, addictive drug that impairs cognitive function. Ethanol may disrupt cognitive processes by altering attention, short-term memory, and/or long-term memory. Interestingly, some research suggests that ethanol may enhance cognitive processes at lower doses. The current research examined the dose-dependent effects of ethanol on contextual and cued fear conditioning. In addition, the present studies assessed the importance of stimulus salience in the effects of ethanol and directly compared the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. This study employed both foreground and background fear conditioning, which differ in the salience of contextual stimuli, and tested conditioning at 4 hours, 24 hours, and 1 week in order to assess the effects of ethanol on short-term and long-term memory. Foreground conditioning consisted of 2 presentations of a foot shock unconditioned stimulus (US) (2 seconds, 0.57 mA). Background conditioning consisted of 2 auditory conditioned stimulus (30 seconds, 85 dB white noise)-foot shock (US; 2 seconds, 0.57 mA) pairings. For both foreground and background conditioning, ethanol enhanced short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a low dose (0.25 g/kg) and impaired short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning at a high dose (1.0 g/kg). These results suggest that ethanol has long-lasting, biphasic effects on short-term and long-term memory for contextual and cued conditioning. Furthermore, the effects of ethanol on contextual fear conditioning are independent of the salience of the context.
Nijholt, Ingrid M.; Ostroveanu, Anghelus; Scheper, Wouter A.; Penke, Botond; Luiten, Paul G. M.; Van der Zee, Eddy A.; Eisel, Ulrich L. M.
Both genetic and pharmacological studies demonstrated that contextual fear conditioning is critically regulated by cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Since PKA is a broad range protein kinase, a mechanism for confining its activity is required. It has been shown that intracellular spatial
Sethna, Ferzin; Wang, Hongbing
Behavioral exposure therapy, which involves extinction of the previously acquired fear, has been used to treat anxiety-related symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been hypothesized that proextinction pharmacotherapeutics may enhance the efficacy of exposure therapy. Systemic administration of the metabotropic glutamate receptor…
Lingzhi Kong; Xihong Wu; Liang Li
Fear extinction is an important form of emotional learning, and affects neural plasticity. Cue fear extinction is a classical form of inhibitory learning that can be used as an exposure-based treatment for phobia, because the long-term extinction memory produced during cue fear extinction can limit the over-expression of fear. The expression of this inhibitory memory partly depends on the context in which the extinction learning occurs. Studies such as transient inhibition, electrophysiology and brain imaging have proved that the hippocampus - an important structure in the limbic system - facilitates memory retrieval by contextual cues.Mediation of the hippocampus-medial prefrontal lobe circuit may be the neurobiological basis of this process.This article has reviewed the role of the hippocampus in the learning and retrieval of fear extinction.Contextual modulation of fear extinction may rely on a neural network consisting of the hippocampus, the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala.
Akers, Katherine G.; Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Frankland, Paul W.
Pinpointing the precise age when young animals begin to form memories of aversive events is valuable for understanding the onset of anxiety and mood disorders and for detecting early cognitive impairment in models of childhood-onset disorders. Although these disorders are most commonly modeled in mice, we know little regarding the development of…
Lach, Gilliard; de Lima, Thereza Christina Monteiro
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the most abundant peptide in the central nervous system (CNS) and is densely localized in the brain regions involved in stress, memory, fear and anxiety. Although previous research supports a role for NPY in the mediation of rodent and human emotional behavior, there is currently a lack of information on the effects of low doses of NPY that could have a potential therapeutic advantage, minimizing side-effects such as cognition impairment or sedation. Herein, we assessed the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of low doses of NPY, and of the Y1-agonist Leu31Pro34-NPY (LP-NPY) on contextual fear conditioning (CFC), as they have no effect on unconditioned anxiety-like, locomotor activity and non-emotional memory. NPY (3 pmol) and LP-NPY (1 pmol) inhibited freezing behavior when administered in the acquisition or consolidation stages, indicating a reduction of fear. When injected in the extinction phase, only NPY inhibited freezing behavior on CFC. Pre-treatment with the Y1-antagonist BIBO3304 before NPY and LP-NPY was able to prevent the inhibition of fear responses induced by both NPY agonists. Taken together, our results demonstrate robust fear-inhibiting effects of i.c.v. injection of NPY on contextual fear conditioning in rats, a response that is mediated, at least in part, by the Y1 receptor. Moreover, these treatments were unable to change locomotor activity or to show an anxiolytic-like effect, as evaluated in an open-field and an elevated plus-maze. This specific fear reduction effect may underlie resilience systems in the CNS and has potential therapeutic relevance in PTSD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Heart physiology is a highly useful indicator for measuring not only physical states, but also emotional changes in animals. Yet changes of heart rate variability during fear conditioning have not been systematically studied in mice. Here, we investigated changes in heart rate and heart rate variability in both short-term and long-term contextual and cued fear conditioning. We found that while fear conditioning could increase heart rate, the most significant change was the reduction in heart rate variability which could be further divided into two distinct stages: a highly rhythmic phase (stage-I and a more variable phase (stage-II. We showed that the time duration of the stage-I rhythmic phase were sensitive enough to reflect the transition from short-term to long-term fear memories. Moreover, it could also detect fear extinction effect during the repeated tone recall. These results suggest that heart rate variability is a valuable physiological indicator for sensitively measuring the consolidation and expression of fear memories in mice.
Schuette, Sven R M; Fernández-Fernández, Diego; Lamla, Thorsten; Rosenbrock, Holger; Hobson, Scott
The persistently active protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) has been found to be involved in the formation and maintenance of long-term memory. Most of the studies investigating PKMζ, however, have used either putatively unselective inhibitors or conventional knock-out animal models in which compensatory mechanisms may occur. Here, we overexpressed an active form of PKMζ in rat hippocampus, a structure highly involved in memory formation, and embedded in several neural networks. We investigated PKMζ's influence on synaptic plasticity using electrophysiological recordings of basal transmission, paired pulse facilitation, and LTP and combined this with behavioral cognitive experiments addressing formation and retention of both contextual memory during aversive conditioning and spatial memory during spontaneous exploration. We demonstrate that hippocampal slices overexpressing PKMζ show enhanced basal transmission, suggesting a potential role of PKMζ in postsynaptic AMPAR trafficking. Moreover, the PKMζ-overexpressing slices augmented LTP and this effect was not abolished by protein-synthesis blockers, indicating that PKMζ induces enhanced LTP formation in a protein-synthesis-independent manner. In addition, we found selectively enhanced long-term memory for contextual but not cued fear memory, underlining the theory of the hippocampus' involvement in the contextual aspect of aversive reinforced tasks. Memory for spatial orientation during spontaneous exploration remained unaltered, suggesting that PKMζ may not affect the neural circuits underlying spontaneous tasks that are different from aversive tasks. In this study, using an overexpression strategy as opposed to an inhibitor-based approach, we demonstrate an important modulatory role of PKMζ in synaptic plasticity and selective memory processing. Most of the literature investigating protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) used inhibitors with selectivity that has been called into question or conventional knock-out animal
Oliver, Chicora F.; Kabitzke, Patricia; Serrano, Peter; Egan, Laura J.; Barr, Gordon A.; Shair, Harry N.; Wiedenmayer, Christoph
We examined the neural substrates of fear memory formation and maintenance when repeated recall was used to prevent forgetting in young animals. In contrast to adult rats, juveniles failed to show contextual fear responses at 4 d post-fear conditioning. Reconsolidation sessions 3 and 6 d after conditioning restored contextual fear responses in…
Full Text Available Ras-GRF1 is a neuronal specific guanine exchange factor that, once activated by both ionotropic and metabotropic neurotransmitter receptors, can stimulate Ras proteins, leading to long-term phosphorylation of downstream signaling. The two available reports on the behavior of two independently generated Ras-GRF1 deficient mouse lines provide contrasting evidence on the role of Ras-GRF1 in spatial memory and contextual fear conditioning. These discrepancies may be due to the distinct alterations introduced in the mouse genome by gene targeting in the two lines that could differentially affect expression of nearby genes located in the imprinted region containing the Ras-grf1 locus. In order to determine the real contribution of Ras-GRF1 to spatial memory we compared in Morris Water Maze learning the Brambilla’s mice with a third mouse line (GENA53 in which a nonsense mutation was introduced in the Ras-GRF1 coding region without additional changes in the genome and we found that memory in this task is normal. Also, we measured both contextual and cued fear conditioning, which were previously reported to be affected in the Brambilla’s mice, and we confirmed that contextual learning but not cued conditioning is impaired in both mouse lines. In addition, we also tested both lines for the first time in conditioned place aversion in the Intellicage, an ecological and remotely controlled behavioral test, and we observed normal learning. Finally, based on previous reports of other mutant lines suggesting that Ras-GRF1 may control body weight, we also measured this non-cognitive phenotype and we confirmed that both Ras-GRF1 deficient mutants are smaller than their control littermates. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Ras-GRF1 has no unique role in spatial memory while its function in contextual fear conditioning is likely to be due not only to its involvement in amygdalar functions but possibly to some distinct hippocampal connections specific to
Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa
Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International
Full Text Available The optogenetic manipulation of light-activated ion-channels/pumps (i.e., opsins can reversibly activate or suppress neuronal activity with precise temporal control. Therefore, optogenetic techniques hold great potential to establish causal relationships between specific neuronal circuits and their function in freely moving animals. Due to the critical role of the hippocampal CA1 region in memory function, we explored the possibility of targeting an inhibitory opsin, ArchT, to CA1 pyramidal neurons in mice. We established a transgenic mouse line in which tetracycline trans-activator induces ArchT expression. By crossing this line with a CaMKIIα-tTA transgenic line, the delivery of light via an implanted optrode inhibits the activity of excitatory CA1 neurons. We found that light delivery to the hippocampus inhibited the recall of a contextual fear memory. Our results demonstrate that this optogenetic mouse line can be used to investigate the neuronal circuits underlying behavior.
Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew
Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show that MPH, administered before or immediately following extinction of contextual fear, will enhance extinction retention in C57BL/6 mice. Animals that ...
Haaker, Jan; Lonsdorf, Tina B; Schümann, Dirk; Bunzeck, Nico; Peters, Jan; Sommer, Tobias; Kalisch, Raffael
The odds-ratio of smoking is elevated in populations with neuropsychiatric diseases, in particular in the highly prevalent diagnoses of post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Yet, the association between smoking and a key dimensional phenotype of these disorders-maladaptive deficits in fear learning and fear inhibition-is unclear. We therefore investigated acquisition and memory of fear and fear inhibition in healthy smoking and non-smoking participants (N=349, 22% smokers). We employed a well validated paradigm of context-dependent fear and safety learning (day 1) including a memory retrieval on day 2. During fear learning, a geometrical shape was associated with an aversive electrical stimulation (classical fear conditioning, in danger context) and fear responses were extinguished within another context (extinction learning, in safe context). On day 2, the conditioned stimuli were presented again in both contexts, without any aversive stimulation. Autonomic physiological measurements of skin conductance responses as well as subjective evaluations of fear and expectancy of the aversive stimulation were acquired. We found that impairment of fear inhibition (extinction) in the safe context during learning (day 1) was associated with the amount of pack-years in smokers. During retrieval of fear memories (day 2), smokers showed an impairment of contextual (safety context-related) fear inhibition as compared with non-smokers. These effects were found in physiological as well as subjective measures of fear. We provide initial evidence that smokers as compared with non-smokers show an impairment of fear inhibition. We propose that smokers have a deficit in integrating contextual signs of safety, which is a hallmark of post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.
Jiang, Lizhu; Mao, Rongrong; Tong, Jianbin; Li, Jinnan; Chai, Anping; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Wang, Liping; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Lin
Promoting extinction of fear memory is the main treatment of fear disorders, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, fear extinction is often incomplete in these patients. Our previous study had shown that Rac1 activity in hippocampus plays a crucial role in the learning of contextual fear memory in rats. Here, we further investigated whether Rac1 activity also modulated the extinction of contextual fear memory. We found that massed extinction obviously upregulated hippocampal Rac1 activity and induced long-term extinction of contextual fear in rats. Intrahippocampal injection of the Rac1 inhibitor NSC23766 prevents extinction of contextual fear in massed extinction training rats. In contrast, long-spaced extinction downregulated Rac1 activity and caused less extinction. And Rac1 activator CN04-A promotes extinction of contextual fear in long-spaced extinction rats. Our study demonstrates that inhibition of Rac1 activity in the hippocampus impaired extinction of contextual fear, suggesting that modulating Rac1 activity of the hippocampus may be promising therapy of fear disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chan, Jiangping; Guan, Xin; Ni, Yiling; Luo, Lilu; Yang, Liqiang; Zhang, Pengyue; Zhang, Jichuan; Chen, Yanmei
The Lateral Habenula (LHb) plays an important role in emotion and cognition. Recent experiments suggest that LHb has functional interaction with the hippocampus and plays an important role in spatial learning. LHb is reciprocally connected with midbrain monoaminergic brain areas such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, the role of dopamine type 1 receptor (D1R) in LHb in learning and memory is not clear yet. In the present study, D1R agonist or antagonist were administered bilaterally into the LHb in rats. We found that both D1R agonist and antagonist impaired the acquisition of contextual fear memory in rats. D1R agonist or antagonist also impaired long term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in freely moving rats and attenuated learning induced phosphorylation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) subunit 1 (GluA1) at Ser831 and Ser845 in hippocampus. Taken together, our results suggested that dysfunction of D1R in LHb affected the function of hippocampus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cullen, Patrick K; Gilman, T Lee; Winiecki, Patrick; Riccio, David C; Jasnow, Aaron M
Memories for context become less specific with time resulting in animals generalizing fear from training contexts to novel contexts. Though much attention has been given to the neural structures that underlie the long-term consolidation of a context fear memory, very little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the increase in fear generalization that occurs as the memory ages. Here, we examine the neural pattern of activation underlying the expression of a generalized context fear memory in male C57BL/6J mice. Animals were context fear conditioned and tested for fear in either the training context or a novel context at recent and remote time points. Animals were sacrificed and fluorescent in situ hybridization was performed to assay neural activation. Our results demonstrate activity of the prelimbic, infralimbic, and anterior cingulate (ACC) cortices as well as the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) underlie expression of a generalized fear memory. To verify the involvement of the ACC and vHPC in the expression of a generalized fear memory, animals were context fear conditioned and infused with 4% lidocaine into the ACC, dHPC, or vHPC prior to retrieval to temporarily inactivate these structures. The results demonstrate that activity of the ACC and vHPC is required for the expression of a generalized fear memory, as inactivation of these regions returned the memory to a contextually precise form. Current theories of time-dependent generalization of contextual memories do not predict involvement of the vHPC. Our data suggest a novel role of this region in generalized memory, which should be incorporated into current theories of time-dependent memory generalization. We also show that the dorsal hippocampus plays a prolonged role in contextually precise memories. Our findings suggest a possible interaction between the ACC and vHPC controls the expression of fear generalization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Scholz, Birger; Doidge, Amie N.; Barnes, Philip; Hall, Jeremy; Wilkinson, Lawrence S.; Thomas, Kerrie L.
We investigated the distinctiveness of gene regulatory networks in CA1 associated with the extinction of contextual fear memory (CFM) after recall using Affymetrix GeneChip Rat Genome 230 2.0 Arrays. These data were compared to previously published retrieval and reconsolidation-attributed, and consolidation datasets. A stringent dual normalization and pareto-scaled orthogonal partial least-square discriminant multivariate analysis together with a jack-knifing-based cross-validation approach was used on all datasets to reduce false positives. Consolidation, retrieval and extinction were correlated with distinct patterns of gene expression 2 hours later. Extinction-related gene expression was most distinct from the profile accompanying consolidation. A highly specific feature was the discrete regulation of neuroimmunological gene expression associated with retrieval and extinction. Immunity–associated genes of the tyrosine kinase receptor TGFβ and PDGF, and TNF families’ characterized extinction. Cytokines and proinflammatory interleukins of the IL-1 and IL-6 families were enriched with the no-extinction retrieval condition. We used comparative genomics to predict transcription factor binding sites in proximal promoter regions of the retrieval-regulated genes. Retrieval that does not lead to extinction was associated with NF-κB-mediated gene expression. We confirmed differential NF-κBp65 expression, and activity in all of a representative sample of our candidate genes in the no-extinction condition. The differential regulation of cytokine networks after the acquisition and retrieval of CFM identifies the important contribution that neuroimmune signalling plays in normal hippocampal function. Further, targeting cytokine signalling upon retrieval offers a therapeutic strategy to promote extinction mechanisms in human disorders characterised by dysregulation of associative memory. PMID:27224427
Flavell, Charlotte R; Barber, David J; Lee, Jonathan L C
The reactivation of a memory through retrieval can render it subject to disruption or modification through the process of memory reconsolidation. In both humans and rodents, briefly reactivating a fear memory results in effective erasure by subsequent extinction training. Here we show that a similar strategy is equally effective in the disruption of appetitive pavlovian cue-food memories. However, systemic administration of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine, under the same behavioural conditions, did not potentiate appetitive memory extinction, suggesting that reactivation does not enhance subsequent extinction learning. To confirm that reactivation followed by extinction reflects a behavioural analogue of memory reconsolidation, we show that prevention of contextual fear memory reactivation by the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel blocker nimodipine interferes with the amnestic outcome. Therefore, the reconsolidation process can be manipulated behaviourally to disrupt both aversive and appetitive memories. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit
We examined whether the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 5 [mu]g/side) microinjected into the hippocampus or the amygdala would differentially affect memory processes in a neutral vs. an aversive task. In the aversive contextual fear task, WIN into the basolateral amygdala impaired fear acquisition/consolidation, but not retrieval.…
Poplawski, Shane G.; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted
Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has recei...
Tumolo, Jessica M; Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a devastating disorder with symptoms such as flashbacks, hyperarousal, and avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event. Exposure therapy, which attempts to extinguish fear responses, is a commonly used treatment for PTSD but relapse following successful exposure therapy is a frequent problem. In rodents, spontaneous recovery (SR), where extinguished fear responses resurface following extinction treatment, is used as a model of fear relapse. Previous studies from our lab showed that chronic nicotine impaired fear extinction and acute nicotine enhanced SR of contextual fear in adult male mice. In addition, we showed that acute nicotine's effects were specific to SR as acute nicotine did not affect recall of contextual fear conditioning in the absence of extinction. However, effects of chronic nicotine administration on SR are not known. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated if chronic nicotine administration altered SR or recall of contextual fear in adult male and female C57BL/6J mice. Our results showed that chronic nicotine significantly enhanced SR in female mice and significantly decreased SR in males. Chronic nicotine had no effect on recall of contextual fear in males or females. Female sham mice also had significantly less baseline SR than male sham mice. Overall, these results demonstrate sex differences in SR of fear memories and that chronic nicotine modulates these effects on SR but nicotine does not alter recall of contextual fear. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vanessa Anna Van Ast
Full Text Available At the core of anxiety disorders is the inability to use contextual information to modulate behavioral responses to potentially threatening events. Models of the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders incorporate stress and concomitant stress hormones as important vulnerability factors, while others emphasize sex as an important factor. However, translational basic research has not yet investigated the effects of stress hormones and sex on the ability to use contextual information to modulate responses to threat. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was threefold: first, we aimed at developing an experimental paradigm specifically capable of capturing contextual modulation of the expression of fear. Second, we tested whether cortisol would alter the contextualization of fear expression. Third, we aimed at assessing whether alterations in contextualization due to cortisol were different for men and women. Healthy participants (n = 42 received placebo or hydrocortisone (20 mg prior to undergoing a newly developed differential contextual fear conditioning paradigm. The results indicated that people rapidly acquire differential contextual modulation of the expression of fear, as measured by fear potentiated startle and skin conductance responses. In addition, cortisol impaired the contextualization of fear expression leading to increased fear generalization on fear potentiated startle data in women. The opposite pattern was found in men. Finally, as assessed by skin conductance responses, cortisol impaired differential conditioning in men. The results are in line with models suggesting heightened vulnerability in women for developing anxiety disorders after stressful events.
van Ast, V.A.; Cornelisse, S.; Meeter, M.; Joëls, M.; Kindt, M.
Background: The inability to store fearful memories into their original encoding context is considered to be an important vulnerability factor for the development of anxiety disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder. Altered memory contextualization most likely involves effects of the stress
Kleinmann, Matthias; Gühne, Otfried; Portillo, José R; Larsson, Jan-Åke; Cabello, Adán
The simulation of quantum effects requires certain classical resources, and quantifying them is an important step to characterize the difference between quantum and classical physics. For a simulation of the phenomenon of state-independent quantum contextuality, we show that the minimum amount of memory used by the simulation is the critical resource. We derive optimal simulation strategies for important cases and prove that reproducing the results of sequential measurements on a two-qubit system requires more memory than the information-carrying capacity of the system. (paper)
Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin
Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.
Meir Drexler, Shira; Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Marquardt, Veronica; Fritsch, Nathalie; Otto, Tobias; Wolf, Oliver T
Reactivation of an already consolidated memory makes it labile for a period of several hrs, which are required for its reconsolidation. Evidence suggests that the return of conditioned fear through spontaneous recovery, reinstatement, or renewal can be prevented by blockading this reconsolidation process using pharmacological or behavioral interventions. Postretrieval-extinction learning has been shown to prevent the return of cued fear in humans using fear-irrelevant stimuli, as well as cued and contextual fear in rodents. The effects of postretrieval extinction on human contextually controlled cued fear to fear-relevant stimuli remain unknown, and are the focus of the present study. The experimental design was based on 3 consecutive days: acquisition, reactivation and extinction, and re-extinction. For the fear conditioning, 2 zoo frames served as different contexts, 5 fear-relevant stimuli (aversive animal pictures) served as conditioned stimuli (CS), electric shocks served as unconditioned stimuli (UCS). Expectancy ratings and skin-conductance response (SCR) were used as measures of fear responses; spontaneous recovery and renewal were used as indicators of the return of fear. The expectancy ratings and SCR results indicated spontaneous recovery on the third day, regardless of retrieval prior to extinction. No robust renewal effect was seen. It is suggested that the use of fear-relevant stimuli, the context salience, or reactivation context may explain the lack of reconsolidation effect. Our study indicates that the beneficial effects of postretrieval-extinction learning are sensitive to subtle methodological changes.
Sjouwerman, Rachel; Niehaus, Johanna; Lonsdorf, Tina B
Context plays a central role in retrieving (fear) memories. Accordingly, context manipulations are inherent to most return of fear (ROF) paradigms (in particular renewal), involving contextual changes after fear extinction. Context changes are, however, also often embedded during earlier stages of ROF experiments such as context changes between fear acquisition and extinction (e.g., in ABC and ABA renewal). Previous studies using these paradigms have however focused exclusively on the context switch after extinction (i.e., renewal). Thus, the possibility of a general effect of context switch on conditioned responding that may not be conditional to preceding extinction learning remains unstudied. Hence, the current study investigated the impact of a context switch between fear acquisition and extinction on immediate conditioned responding and on the time-course of extinction learning by using a multimodal approach. A group that underwent contextual change after fear conditioning (AB; n = 36) was compared with a group without a contextual change from acquisition to extinction (AA; n = 149), while measuring physiological (skin conductance and fear potentiated startle) measures and subjective fear ratings. Contextual change between fear acquisition and extinction had a pronounced effect on both immediate conditioned responding and on the time course of extinction learning in skin conductance responses and subjective fear ratings. This may have important implications for the mechanisms underlying and the interpretation of the renewal effect (i.e., contextual switch after extinction). Consequently, future studies should incorporate designs and statistical tests that disentangle general effects of contextual change from genuine ROF effects.
Hagewoud, Roelina; Whitcomb, Shamiso N.; Heeringa, Amarins N.; Havekes, Robbert; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter
Study Objectives: Sleep deprivation negatively affects memory consolidation, especially in the case of hippocampus-dependent memories. Studies in rodents have shown that 5 hours of sleep deprivation immediately following footshock exposure selectively impairs the formation of a contextual fear
Abraham, Antony D.; Cunningham, Christopher L.; Lattal, K. Matthew
Methylphenidate (MPH, Ritalin) is a norepinephrine and dopamine transporter blocker that is widely used in humans for treatment of attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. Although there is some evidence that targeted microinjections of MPH may enhance fear acquisition, little is known about the effect of MPH on fear extinction. Here, we show…
Cai, Wen-Hui; Blundell, Jacqueline; Han, Jie; Greene, Robert W; Powell, Craig M
Pavlovian fear conditioning provides one of the best rodent models of acquired anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder. Injection of a variety of drugs after training in fear-conditioning paradigms can impair consolidation of fear memories. Indeed, early clinical trials suggest that immediate administration of such drugs after a traumatic event may decrease the risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder in humans (Pitman et al., 2002; Vaiva et al., 2003). The use of such a treatment is limited by the difficulty of treating every patient at risk and by the difficulty in predicting which patients will experience chronic adverse consequences. Recent clinical trials suggest that administration of glucocorticoids may have a beneficial effect on established posttraumatic stress disorder (Aerni et al., 2004) and specific phobia (Soravia et al., 2006). Conversely, glucocorticoid administration after training is known to enhance memory consolidation (McGaugh and Roozendaal, 2002; Roozendaal, 2002). From a clinical perspective, enhancement of a fear memory or a reactivated fear memory would not be desirable. We report here that when glucocorticoids are administered immediately after reactivation of a contextual fear memory, subsequent recall is significantly diminished. Additional experiments support the interpretation that glucocorticoids not only decrease fear memory retrieval but, in addition, augment consolidation of fear memory extinction rather than decreasing reconsolidation. These findings provide a rodent model for a potential treatment of established acquired anxiety disorders in humans, as suggested by others (Aerni et al., 2004; Schelling et al., 2004), based on a mechanism of enhanced extinction.
Reid HJ Olsen
Full Text Available Because of the use of radiation in cancer therapy, the risk of nuclear contamination from power plants, military conflicts, and terrorism, there is a compelling scientific and public health interest in the effects of environmental radiation exposure on brain function, in particular hippocampal function and learning and memory. Previous studies have emphasized changes in learning and memory following radiation exposure. These approaches have ignored the question of how radiation exposure might impact recently acquired memories, which might be acquired under traumatic circumstances (cancer treatment, nuclear disaster, etc.. To address the question of how radiation exposure might affect the processing and recall of recently acquired memories, we employed a fear-conditioning paradigm wherein animals were trained, and subsequently irradiated (whole-body X-ray irradiation 24 hours later. Animals were given two weeks to recover, and were tested for retention and extinction of hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning. Exposure to irradiation following training was associated with reduced daily increases in body weights over the 22 days of the study and resulted in greater freezing levels and aberrant extinction 2 weeks later. This was also observed when the intensity of the training protocol was increased. Cued freezing levels and measures of anxiety 2 weeks after training were also higher in irradiated than sham-irradiated mice. In contrast to contextual freezing levels, cued freezing levels were even higher in irradiated mice receiving 5 shocks during training than sham-irradiated mice receiving 10 shocks during training. In addition, the effects of radiation on extinction of contextual fear were more profound than those on the extinction of cued fear. Thus, whole body irradiation elevates contextual and cued fear memory recall.
Camp, Robert M; Johnson, John D
Memory formation is promoted by stress via the release of norepinephrine and stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs). Previous data demonstrate that repeated stressor exposure increases norepinephrine turnover and β-AR signaling within the amygdala, which led to the hypothesis that some stress-induced behavioral changes are likely due to facilitated associative learning. To test this, Fischer rats were exposed to chronic mild stress for four days. On day 5, subjects (including non-stressed controls) were injected with the beta-blocker propranolol or vehicle prior to conditioning in an operant box (animals receive two mild foot shocks) or passive avoidance apparatus (animals received a foot shock upon entry into the dark chamber). Twenty-four hours later, subjects were returned to the operant box for measurement of freezing or returned to the passive avoidance apparatus for measurement of latency to enter the dark chamber. Subjects were also tested in an open field to assess context-independent anxiety-like behavior. Animals exposed to chronic stress showed significantly more freezing behavior in the operant box than did controls, and this exaggerated freezing was blocked by propranolol during the conditioning trial. There was no effect of stress on behavior in the open field. Unexpectedly, retention latency was significantly reduced in subjects exposed to chronic stress. These results indicate that chronic exposure to stress results in complex behavioral changes. While repeated stress appears to enhance the formation of fearful memories, it also results in behavioral responses that resemble impulsive behaviors that result in poor decision-making. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Silva, R. C. B.; Cruz, A. P. M.; Avanzi, V.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Brandão, M. L.
Ascending 5-HT projections from the median raphe nucleus (MRN), probably to the hippocampus, are implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear (background stimuli), as assessed by freezing behavior. Foreground cues like light, used as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical fear conditioning, also cause freezing through thalamic transmission to the amygdala. As the MRN projects to the hippocampus and amygdala, the role of this raphe nucleus in fear conditioning to explicit cues remains to be explained. Here we analyzed the behavior of rats with MRN electrolytic lesions in a contextual conditioning situation and in a fear-potentiated startle procedure. The animals received MRN electrolytic lesions either before or on the day after two consecutive training sessions in which they were submitted to 10 conditioning trials, each in an experimental chamber (same context) where they. received foot-shocks (0.6 mA, 1 sec) paired to a 4-sec light CS. Seven to ten days later, the animals were submitted to testing sessions for assessing conditioned fear when they were placed for five shocks, and the duration of contextual freezing was recorded. The animals were then submitted to a fear-potentiated startle in response to a 4-sec light-CS, followed by white noise (100 dB, 50 ms). Control rats (sham) tested in the same context showed more freezing than did rats with pre- or post-training MRN lesions. Startle was clearly potentiated in the presence of light CS in the sham-lesioned animals. Whereas pretraining lesions reduced both freezing and fear-potentiated startle, the post-training lesions reduced only freezing to context, without changing the fear-potentiated startle. In a second experiment, neurotoxic lesions of the MRN with local injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate or the activation of 5-HT1A somatodendritic auto-receptors of the MRN by microinjections of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy- 2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) before the training sessions also
Tronson, Natalie C; Schrick, Christina; Guzman, Yomayra F; Huh, Kyu Hwan; Srivastava, Deepak P; Penzes, Peter; Guedea, Anita L; Gao, Can; Radulovic, Jelena
Learning processes mediating conditioning and extinction of contextual fear require activation of several key signaling pathways in the hippocampus. Principal hippocampal CA1 neurons respond to fear conditioning by a coordinated activation of multiple protein kinases and immediate early genes, such as cFos, enabling rapid and lasting consolidation of contextual fear memory. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) additionally acts as a central mediator of fear extinction. It is not known however, whether these molecular events take place in overlapping or nonoverlapping neuronal populations. By using mouse models of conditioning and extinction of fear, we set out to determine the time course of cFos and Erk activity, their cellular overlap, and regulation by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum. Analyses of cFos(+) and pErk(+) cells by immunofluorescence revealed predominant nuclear activation of either protein during conditioning and extinction of fear, respectively. Transgenic cFos-LacZ mice were further used to label in vivo Fos(+) hippocampal cells during conditioning followed by pErk immunostaining after extinction. The results showed that these signaling molecules were activated in segregated populations of hippocampal principal neurons. Furthermore, immunotoxin-induced lesions of medial septal neurons, providing cholinergic input into the hippocampus, selectively abolished Erk activation and extinction of fear without affecting cFos responses and conditioning. These results demonstrate that extinction mechanisms based on Erk signaling involve a specific population of CA1 principal neurons distinctively regulated by afferent cholinergic input from the medial septum.
Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D.; Walsh, Jennifer L.; Giese, Karl P.; Abel, Ted
Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. PMID:25242102
Poplawski, Shane G; Schoch, Hannah; Wimmer, Mathieu; Hawk, Joshua D; Walsh, Jennifer L; Giese, Karl P; Abel, Ted
Hippocampus-dependent learning is known to induce changes in gene expression, but information on gene expression differences between different learning paradigms that require the hippocampus is limited. The bulk of studies investigating RNA expression after learning use the contextual fear conditioning task, which couples a novel environment with a footshock. Although contextual fear conditioning has been useful in discovering gene targets, gene expression after spatial memory tasks has received less attention. In this study, we used the object-location memory task and studied gene expression at two time points after learning in a high-throughput manner using a microfluidic qPCR approach. We found that expression of the classic immediate-early genes changes after object-location training in a fashion similar to that observed after contextual fear conditioning. However, the temporal dynamics of gene expression are different between the two tasks, with object-location memory producing gene expression changes that last at least 2 hours. Our findings indicate that different training paradigms may give rise to distinct temporal dynamics of gene expression after learning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
While much of what we learn will be forgotten over time, fear memory appears to be particularly resilient to forgetting. Our understanding of how fearful events are transformed into durable memory, and how this memory subsequently influences the processing of (novel) stimuli, is limited. Studying
Mulligan, Neil W
Generation enhances item memory but may not enhance other aspects of memory. In 12 experiments, the author investigated the effect of generation on context memory, motivated in part by the hypothesis that generation produces a trade-off in encoding item and contextual information. Participants generated some study words (e.g., hot-c__) and read others (e.g., hot-cold). Generation consistently enhanced item memory but did not enhance context memory. More specifically, generation disrupted context memory for the color of the target word but did not affect context memory for location, background color, and cue-word color. The specificity of the negative generation effect in context memory argues against a general item-context trade-off. A processing account of generation meets greater success. In addition, the results provide no evidence that generation enhances recollection of contextual details. Copyright 2004 APA, all rights reserved
Remaud, Jessica; Ceccom, Johnatan; Carponcy, Julien; Dugué, Laura; Menchon, Gregory; Pech, Stéphane; Halley, Helene; Francés, Bernard; Dahan, Lionel
Protein synthesis is involved in the consolidation of short-term memory into long-term memory. Previous electrophysiological data concerning LTP in CA3 suggest that protein synthesis in that region might also be necessary for short-term memory. We tested this hypothesis by locally injecting the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin in hippocampal…
Full Text Available Context plays a central role in retrieving (fear memories. Accordingly, context manipulations are inherent to most return of fear (ROF paradigms (in particular renewal, involving contextual changes after fear extinction. Context changes are, however, also often embedded during earlier stages of ROF experiments such as context changes between fear acquisition and extinction (e.g. in ABC and ABA renewal. Previous studies using these paradigms have however focused exclusively on the context switch after extinction (i.e. renewal. Thus, the possibility of a general effect of a context switch on conditioned responding that may not be conditional to preceding extinction learning remains unstudied.Hence, the current study investigated the impact of a context switch between fear acquisition and extinction on immediate conditioned responding and on the time-course of extinction learning by using a multimodal approach. A group that underwent contextual change after fear conditioning (AB; n = 36 was compared with a group without a contextual change from acquisition to extinction (AA; n = 149, while measuring autonomic (skin conductance and fear potentiated startle measures and subjective fear ratings. Contextual change between fear acquisition and extinction had a pronounced effect on both immediate conditioned responding and on the time course of extinction learning in skin conductance responses and subjective fear ratings. This may have important implications for the mechanisms underlying and the interpretation of the renewal effect (i.e. contextual switch after extinction. Consequently, future studies should incorporate designs and statistical tests that disentangle general effects of contextual change from genuine ROF effects.
Fitzgerald, Paul J.; Pinard, Courtney R.; Camp, Marguerite C.; Feyder, Michael; Sah, Anupam; Bergstrom, Hadley; Graybeal, Carolyn; Liu, Yan; Schlüter, Oliver; Grant, Seth G.N.; Singewald, Nicolas; Xu, Weifeng; Holmes, Andrew
Traumatic fear memories are highly durable but also dynamic, undergoing repeated reactivation and rehearsal over time. While overly persistent fear memories underlie anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, the key neural and molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory durability remain unclear. Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95) is a synaptic protein regulating glutamate receptor anchoring, synaptic stability and certain types of memory. Employing a loss-of-function mutant mouse lacking the guanylate kinase domain of PSD-95 (PSD-95GK), we analyzed the contribution of PSD-95 to fear memory formation and retrieval, and sought to identify the neural basis of PSD-95-mediated memory maintenance using ex vivo immediate-early gene mapping, in vivo neuronal recordings and viral-mediated knockdown approaches. We show that PSD-95 is dispensable for the formation and expression of recent fear memories, but essential for the formation of precise and flexible fear memories and for the maintenance of memories at remote time points. The failure of PSD-95GK mice to retrieve remote cued fear memories was associated with hypoactivation of the infralimbic cortex (IL) (not anterior cingulate (ACC) or prelimbic cortex), reduced IL single-unit firing and bursting, and attenuated IL gamma and theta oscillations. Adeno-associated PSD-95 virus-mediated knockdown in the IL, not ACC, was sufficient to impair recent fear extinction and remote fear memory, and remodel IL dendritic spines. Collectively, these data identify PSD-95 in the IL as a critical mechanism supporting the durability of fear memories over time. These preclinical findings have implications for developing novel approaches to treating trauma-based anxiety disorders that target the weakening of overly persistent fear memories. PMID:25510511
Cho, Jiyeon; Sypniewski, Krzysztof A; Arai, Shoko; Yamada, Kazuo; Ogawa, Sonoko; Pavlides, Constantine
It is well established that protein kinase A (PKA) is involved in hippocampal dependent memory consolidation. Sleep is also known to play an important role in this process. However, whether sleep-dependent memory consolidation involves PKA activation has not been clearly determined. Using behavioral observation, animals were categorized into sleep and awake groups. We show that intrahippocampal injections of the PKA inhibitor Rp-cAMPs in post-contextual fear conditioning sleep produced a suppression of long-term fear memory, while injections of Rp-cAMPs during an awake state, at a similar time point, had no effect. In contrast, injections of the PKA activator Sp-cAMPs in awake state, rescued sleep deprivation-induced memory impairments. These results suggest that following learning, PKA activation specifically in sleep is required for the consolidation of long-term memory. © 2018 Cho et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Brain structure & function 15. Black AH, Young GA. 1972. Electrical activity of the hippocampus and cortex...0 Cara Olsen Statistician 0.12 0 SUBTOTALS 0
Do Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.; Li, Bo; Penzo, Mario A.
Fear conditioning researches have led to a comprehensive picture of the neuronal circuit underlying the formation of fear memories. In contrast, knowledge about the retrieval of fear memories is much more limited. This disparity may stem from the fact that fear memories are not rigid, but reorganize over time. To bring clarity and raise awareness on the time-dependent dynamics of retrieval circuits, we review current evidence on the neuronal circuitry participating in fear memory retrieval at both early and late time points after conditioning. We focus on the temporal recruitment of the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, and its BDNFergic efferents to the central nucleus of the amygdala, for the retrieval and maintenance of fear memories. Finally, we speculate as to why retrieval circuits change across time, and the functional benefits of recruiting structures such as the paraventricular nucleus into the retrieval circuit. PMID:27217148
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
In addition to the extensive evidence in animals, we previously showed that disrupting reconsolidation by noradrenergic blockade produced amnesia for the original fear response in humans. Interestingly, the declarative memory for the fear association remained intact. These results asked for a solid replication. Moreover, given the constructive nature of memories, the intact recollection of the fear association could eventually 'rebuild' the fear memory, resulting in the spontaneous recovery of the fear response. Yet, perseverance of the amnesic effects would have substantial clinical implications, as even the most effective treatments for psychiatric disorders display high percentages of relapse. Using a differential fear conditioning procedure in humans, we replicated our previous findings by showing that administering propranolol (40mg) prior to memory reactivation eliminated the startle fear response 24h later. But most importantly, this effect persisted at one month follow-up. Notably, the propranolol manipulation not only left the declarative memory for the acquired contingency untouched, but also skin conductance discrimination. In addition, a close association between declarative knowledge and skin conductance responses was found. These findings are in line with the supposed double dissociation of fear conditioning and declarative knowledge relative to the amygdala and hippocampus in humans. They support the view that skin conductance conditioning primarily reflects contingency learning, whereas the startle response is a rather specific measure of fear. Furthermore, the results indicate the absence of a causal link between the actual knowledge of a fear association and its fear response, even though they often operate in parallel. Interventions targeting the amygdalar fear memory may be essential in specifically and persistently dampening the emotional impact of fear. From a clinical and ethical perspective, disrupting reconsolidation points to promising
Desmedt, Aline; Marighetto, Aline; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo
For over a century, clinicians have consistently described the paradoxical co-existence in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of sensory intrusive hypermnesia and declarative amnesia for the same traumatic event. Although this amnesia is considered as a critical etiological factor of the development and/or persistence of PTSD, most current animal models in basic neuroscience have focused exclusively on the hypermnesia, i.e., the persistence of a strong fear memory, neglecting the qualitative alteration of fear memory. The latest is characterized by an underrepresentation of the trauma in the context-based declarative memory system in favor of its overrepresentation in a cue-based sensory/emotional memory system. Combining psychological and neurobiological data as well as theoretical hypotheses, this review supports the idea that contextual amnesia is at the core of PTSD and its persistence and that altered hippocampal-amygdalar interaction may contribute to such pathologic memory. In a first attempt to unveil the neurobiological alterations underlying PTSD-related hypermnesia/amnesia, we describe a recent animal model mimicking in mice some critical aspects of such abnormal fear memory. Finally, this line of argument emphasizes the pressing need for a systematic comparison between normal/adaptive versus abnormal/maladaptive fear memory to identify biomarkers of PTSD while distinguishing them from general stress-related, potentially adaptive, neurobiological alterations. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Alexander, Jon C; McDermott, Carmel M; Tunur, Tumay; Rands, Vicky; Stelly, Claire; Karhson, Debra; Bowlby, Mark R; An, W Frank; Sweatt, J David; Schrader, Laura A
Potassium channel interacting proteins (KChIPs) are members of a family of calcium binding proteins that interact with Kv4 potassium (K(+)) channel primary subunits and also act as transcription factors. The Kv4 subunit is a primary K(+) channel pore-forming subunit, which contributes to the somatic and dendritic A-type currents throughout the nervous system. These A-type currents play a key role in the regulation of neuronal excitability and dendritic processing of incoming synaptic information. KChIP3 is also known as calsenilin and as the transcription factor, downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), which regulates a number of genes including prodynorphin. KChIP3 and Kv4 primary channel subunits are highly expressed in hippocampus, an area of the brain important for learning and memory. Through its various functions, KChIP3 may play a role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. We evaluated the role of KChIP3 in a hippocampus-dependent memory task, contextual fear conditioning. Male KChIP3 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly enhanced memory 24 hours after training as measured by percent freezing. In addition, we found that membrane association and interaction with Kv4.2 of KChIP3 protein was significantly decreased and nuclear KChIP3 expression was increased six hours after the fear conditioning training paradigm with no significant change in KChIP3 mRNA. In addition, prodynorphin mRNA expression was significantly decreased six hours after fear conditioning training in wild-type (WT) but not in KO animals. These data suggest a role for regulation of gene expression by KChIP3/DREAM/calsenilin in consolidation of contextual fear conditioning memories.
van Ast, Vanessa A; Cornelisse, Sandra; Meeter, Martijn; Joëls, Marian; Kindt, Merel
The inability to store fearful memories into their original encoding context is considered to be an important vulnerability factor for the development of anxiety disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder. Altered memory contextualization most likely involves effects of the stress hormone cortisol, acting via receptors located in the memory neurocircuitry. Cortisol via these receptors induces rapid nongenomic effects followed by slower genomic effects, which are thought to modulate cognitive function in opposite, complementary ways. Here, we targeted these time-dependent effects of cortisol during memory encoding and tested subsequent contextualization of emotional and neutral memories. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 64 men were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) received 10 mg hydrocortisone 30 minutes (rapid cortisol effects) before a memory encoding task; 2) received 10 mg hydrocortisone 210 minutes (slow cortisol) before a memory encoding task; or 3) received placebo at both times. During encoding, participants were presented with neutral and emotional words in unique background pictures. Approximately 24 hours later, context dependency of their memories was assessed. Recognition data revealed that cortisol's rapid effects impair emotional memory contextualization, while cortisol's slow effects enhance it. Neutral memory contextualization remained unaltered by cortisol, irrespective of the timing of the drug. This study shows distinct time-dependent effects of cortisol on the contextualization of specifically emotional memories. The results suggest that rapid effects of cortisol may lead to impaired emotional memory contextualization, while slow effects of cortisol may confer protection against emotional memory generalization. © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry.
Maddox, Stephanie A.; Watts, Casey S.; Schafe, Glenn E.
Modifications in chromatin structure have been widely implicated in memory and cognition, most notably using hippocampal-dependent memory paradigms including object recognition, spatial memory, and contextual fear memory. Relatively little is known, however, about the role of chromatin-modifying enzymes in amygdala-dependent memory formation.…
Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is known to be context specific, and often referred to as more robustly contextually bound than the fear memory itself (Bouton, 2004. Yet, recent findings in rodents have challenged the notion that contextual fear retention is initially generalized. The context specificity of a cued-fear memory to the learning context has not been addressed in the human literature largely due to limitations in methodology. Here we adapt a novel technology to test the context specificity of cued fear conditioning using full immersion 3-dimensional virtual reality (VR. During acquisition training, healthy participants navigated through virtual environments containing dynamic snake and spider conditioned stimuli (CSs, one of which was paired with electrical wrist stimulation. During a 24-hour delayed retention test, one group returned to the same context as acquisition training whereas another group experienced the CSs in a novel context. Unconditioned stimulus (US expectancy ratings were assayed on-line during fear acquisition as an index of contingency awareness. Skin conductance responses (SCR time-locked to CS onset were the dependent measure of cued fear, and skin conductance levels during the interstimulus interval were an index of context fear. Findings indicate that early in acquisition training, participants express contingency awareness as well as differential contextual fear, whereas differential cued fear emerged later in acquisition. During the retention test, differential cued fear retention was enhanced in the group who returned to the same context as acquisition training relative to the context shift group. The results extend recent rodent work to illustrate differences in cued and context fear acquisition and the contextual specificity of recent fear memories. Findings support the use of full immersion VR as a novel tool in cognitive neuroscience to bridge rodent models of contextual phenomena underlying human
Full Text Available The metabolism of glucose is a nearly exclusive source of energy for maintaining neuronal survival, synaptic transmission and information processing in the brain. Two glucose metabolism pathways have been reported, direct neuronal glucose uptake and the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS, which can be involved in these functions simultaneously or separately. Although ANLS in the dorsal hippocampus (DH has been proved to be required for memory consolidation, the specific metabolic pathway involved during memory acquisition remains unclear. The DH and amygdala are two key brain regions for acquisition of contextual fear conditioning (CFC. In 2-NBDG experiments, we observed that 2-NBDG-positive neurons were significantly increased during the acquisition of CFC in the DH. However, in the amygdala and cerebellum, 2-NBDG-positive neurons were not changed during CFC training. Strikingly, microinjection of a glucose transporter (GLUT inhibitor into the DH decreased freezing values during CFC training and 1 h later, while injection of a monocarboxylate transporter (MCT inhibitor into the amygdala also reduced freezing values. Therefore, we demonstrated that direct neuronal glucose uptake was the primary means of energy supply in the DH, while ANLS might supply energy in the amygdala during acquisition. Furthermore, knockdown of GLUT3 by a lentivirus in the DH impaired the acquisition of CFC. Taken together, the results indicated that there were two different glucose metabolism pathways in the DH and amygdala during acquisition of contextual fear memory and that direct neuronal glucose uptake in the DH may be regulated by GLUT3.
Glenn, Daniel E; Risbrough, Victoria B; Simmons, Alan N; Acheson, Dean T; Stout, Daniel M
There has been a great deal of recent interest in human models of contextual fear learning, particularly due to the use of such paradigms for investigating neural mechanisms related to the etiology of posttraumatic stress disorder. However, the construct of "context" in fear conditioning research is broad, and the operational definitions and methods used to investigate contextual fear learning in humans are wide ranging and lack specificity, making it difficult to interpret findings about neural activity. Here we will review neuroimaging studies of contextual fear acquisition in humans. We will discuss the methodology associated with four broad categories of how contextual fear learning is manipulated in imaging studies (colored backgrounds, static picture backgrounds, virtual reality, and configural stimuli) and highlight findings for the primary neural circuitry involved in each paradigm. Additionally, we will offer methodological recommendations for human studies of contextual fear acquisition, including using stimuli that distinguish configural learning from discrete cue associations and clarifying how context is experimentally operationalized.
Birajara Soares Machado
Full Text Available Objective: The hippocampus has an important role in the acquisitionand recall of aversive memories. The objective of this study was toinvestigate the relationship among hippocampal rhythms. Methods:Microeletrodes arrays were implanted in the hippocampus of Wistarrats. The animals were trained and tested in a contextual fearconditioning task. The training consisted in applying shocks in thelegs. The memory test was performed 1 day (recent memory or 18days (remote memory after training. We proposed a measure basedon the FFT power spectrum, denominated “delta-theta ratio”, tocharacterize the different behaviors (active exploration and freezingand the memories types. Results: The delta-theta ratio was able todistinguish recent and remote memories. In this study, the ratio forthe 18-day group was smaller than for the 1-day group. Moreover,this measure was useful to distinguish the different behavior states– active exploration and freezing. Conclusions: The results suggestdelta-theta oscillations could reflect the demands on informationprocessing during recent and remote memory recalls.
Blundell, Jacqueline; Blaiss, Cory A; Lagace, Diane C; Eisch, Amelia J; Powell, Craig M
The pharmacology of traumatic memory extinction has not been fully characterized despite its potential as a therapeutic target for established, acquired anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here we examine the role of endogenous glucocorticoids in traumatic memory extinction. Male C57BL/6J mice were injected with corticosterone (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or metyrapone (50 mg/kg, s.c.) during re-activation of a contextual fear memory, and compared to vehicle groups (N=10-12 per group). To ensure that metyrapone was blocking corticosterone synthesis, we measured corticosterone levels following re-activation of a fear memory in metyrapone- and vehicle-treated animals. Corticosterone administration following extinction trials caused a long-lasting inhibition of the original fear memory trace. In contrast, blockade of corticosteroid synthesis with metyrapone prior to extinction trials enhanced retrieval and prevented extinction of context-dependent fear responses in mice. Further behavioral analysis suggested that the metyrapone enhancement of retrieval and prevention of extinction were not due to non-specific alterations in locomotor or anxiety-like behavior. In addition, the inhibition of extinction by metyrapone was rescued by exogenous administration of corticosterone following extinction trials. Finally, we confirmed that the rise in corticosterone during re-activation of a contextual fear memory was blocked by metyrapone. We demonstrate that extinction of a classical contextual fear memory is dependent on endogenous glucocorticoid synthesis during re-activation of a fear memory. Our data suggest that decreased glucocorticoids during fear memory re-activation may contribute to the inability to extinguish a fear memory, thus contributing to one of the core symptoms of PTSD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nakayama, Daisuke; Yamasaki, Yoshiko; Matsuki, Norio; Nomura, Hiroshi
Several studies have demonstrated the mechanisms involved in memory persistence after learning. However, little is known about memory persistence after retrieval. In this study, a protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin, was infused into the basolateral amygdala of mice 9.5 h after retrieval of contextual conditioned fear. Anisomycin attenuated…
Vetere, Gisella; Restivo, Leonardo; Novembre, Giovanni
Structural synaptic changes occur in medial prefrontal cortex circuits during remote memory formation. Whether extinction reverts or further reshapes these circuits is, however, unknown. Here we show that the number and the size of spines were enhanced in anterior cingulate (aCC) and infralimbic...... (ILC) cortices 36 d following contextual fear conditioning. Upon extinction, aCC spine density returned to baseline, but the enhanced proportion of large spines did not. Differently, ILC spine density remained elevated, but the size of spines decreased dramatically. Thus, extinction partially erases...
Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .
Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation within multiple memory systems including contextual fear extinction memory, but little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this process. Here, we show that fear extinction training in rats, which extinguished conditioned fear, increased both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Surprisingly, 24 h later, during memory testing, only 57% of the fear-extinguished animals retained fear extinction memory. We found that these animals exhibited an increase in phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity during post-training REM sleep, which was absent in the 43% of animals that failed to retain fear extinction memory. The results of this study provide evidence that brainstem activation, specifically potentiation of phasic P-wave activity, during post-training REM sleep is critical for consolidation of fear extinction memory. The results of this study also suggest that, contrary to the popular hypothesis of sleep and memory, increased sleep after training alone does not guarantee consolidation and/or retention of fear extinction memory. Rather, the potentiation of specific sleep-dependent physiological events may be a more accurate predictor for successful consolidation of fear extinction memory. Identification of this unique mechanism will significantly improve our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the sleep-dependent regulation of emotional memory. Additionally, this discovery may also initiate development of a new, more targeted treatment method for clinical disorders of fear and anxiety in humans that is more efficacious than existing methods such as exposure therapy that incorporate only fear extinction. PMID:23467372
Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.
Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561
Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E
Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sevenster, D.; de Oliveira Alvares, L.; D'Hooge, R.
The degree of generalization from a fearful context to other contexts is determined by precision of the original fear memory. Experiences before and after fear learning affect memory precision. Pre-exposure to a similar context before context conditioning results in increased generalization to the
Coelho, Laura Segismundo; Correa-Netto, Nelson Francisco; Masukawa, Marcia Yuriko; Lima, Ariadiny Caetano; Maluf, Samia; Linardi, Alessandra; Santos-Junior, Jair Guilherme
Although the current treatment for anxiety is effective, it promotes a number of adverse reactions and medical interactions. Inhaled essential oils have a prominent action on the central nervous system, with minimal systemic effects, primarily because of reduced systemic bioavailability. The effects of drugs on the consolidation of fear conditioning reflects its clinical efficacy in preventing a vicious cycle of anticipatory anxiety leading to fearful cognition and anxiety symptoms. In this study, we investigated the effects of inhaled Lavandula angustifolia essential oil on the consolidation of aversive memories and its influence on c-Fos expression. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to a fear conditioning protocol. Immediately after the training session, the rats were exposed to vaporized water or essential oil (1%, 2.5% and 5% solutions) for 4h. The next day, the rats underwent contextual- or tone-fear tests and 90min after the test they were euthanized and their brains processed for c-Fos immunohistochemistry. In the contextual-fear test, essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) reduced the freezing response and its respective c-Fos expression in the ventral hippocampus and amygdala. In the tone-fear test, essential oil did not reduce the freezing response during tone presentation. However, rats that inhaled essential oil at 2.5% and 5% (but not 1%) showed decreased freezing in the three minutes after tone presentation, as well as reduced c-Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. These results show that the inhalation of L. angustifolia essential oil inhibited the consolidation of contextual- but not tone-fear conditioning and had an anxiolytic effect in a conditioned animal model of anxiety. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kochli, Daniel E.; Thompson, Elaine C.; Fricke, Elizabeth A.; Postle, Abagail F.; Quinn, Jennifer J.
Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei…
Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark
There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…
Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu
Sleep deprivation immediately following an aversive event reduces fear by preventing memory consolidation during homeostatic sleep. This suggests that acute insomnia might act prophylactically against the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even though it is also a possible risk factor for PTSD. We examined total sleep deprivation and memory suppression to evaluate the effects of these interventions on subsequent aversive memory formation and fear conditioning. Active suppression of aversive memory impaired retention of event memory. However, although the remembered fear was more reduced in sleep-deprived than sleep-control subjects, suppressed fear increased, and seemed to abandon the sleep-dependent plasticity of fear. Active memory suppression, which provides a psychological model for Freud's ego defense mechanism, enhances fear and casts doubt on the potential of acute insomnia as a prophylactic measure against PTSD. Our findings bring into question the role of sleep in aversive-memory consolidation in clinical PTSD pathophysiology.
Keller, Samantha M; Schreiber, William B; Stanfield, Briana R; Knox, Dayan
Using the single prolonged stress (SPS) animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), previous studies suggest that enhanced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits. However, it is unknown how the endogenous ligand of GRs, corticosterone (CORT), may contribute to extinction retention deficits in the SPS model. Given that CORT synthesis during fear learning is critical for fear memory consolidation and SPS enhances GR expression, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation could strengthen fear memory in SPS rats by enhancing GR activation during fear learning. In turn, this could lead to cued fear extinction retention deficits. We tested the hypothesis that CORT synthesis during fear learning leads to cued fear extinction retention deficits in SPS rats by administering the CORT synthesis inhibitor metyrapone to SPS and control rats prior to fear conditioning, and observed the effect this had on extinction memory. Inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation in control rats tended to decrease cued freezing, though this effect never reached statistical significance. Contrary to our hypothesis, inhibiting CORT synthesis during fear memory formation disrupted extinction retention in SPS rats. This finding suggests that even though SPS exposure leads to cued fear extinction memory deficits, CORT synthesis during fear memory formation enhances extinction retention in SPS rats. This suggests that stress-induced CORT synthesis in previously stressed rats can be beneficial. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Tumolo, Jessica M; Cann, Courtney; Gould, Thomas J
Numerous studies have attributed the psychopathology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to maladaptive behavioral responses such as an inability to extinguish fear. While exposure therapies are mostly effective in treating these disorders by enhancing extinction learning, relapse of PTSD symptoms is common. Although several studies indicated a role for cholinergic transmission and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in anxiety and stress disorder symptomatology, very little is known about the specific contribution of nAChRs to fear extinction OBJECTIVES: In the present study, we examined the effects of inhibition and desensitization of α4β2 nAChRs via a full antagonist (Dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DhβE)) and two α4β2 nAChR partial-agonists (varenicline and sazetidine-A) on contextual fear extinction, locomotor activity, and spontaneous recovery of contextual fear in mice. We trained and tested the subjects in a contextual fear extinction as well as an open field paradigm and spontaneous recovery following injections of DhβE, varenicline, and sazetidine-A. Our results demonstrated that lower doses of DhβE (1 mg/kg) and sazetidine-A (0.01 mg/kg) enhanced contextual fear extinction whereas higher doses of varenicline (0.1 mg/kg) and sazetidine-A (0.1 mg/kg) resulted in impaired contextual fear extinction. However, the higher dose of sazetidine-A (0.1 mg/kg) decreased locomotor activity, which may contribute to increased freezing response observed during fear extinction. Finally, we found that the low dose of DhβE, but not sazetidine-A, also decreased spontaneous recovery of contextual fear following fear extinction. Overall, these results suggest that inhibition and desensitization of α4β2 nAChRs enhance extinction of contextual fear memories. This suggests that modulation of α4β2 nAChRs may be employed as an alternative pharmacological strategy to aid exposure therapies associated with PTSD by augmenting contextual fear extinction
Pratama, Ferdian; Mastrogiovanni, Fulvio; Chong, Nak Young
In this paper, we present a preliminary conceptual design for a robot long-term memory architecture based on the notion of context. Contextual information is used to organize the data flow between Working Memory (including Perceptual Memory) and Long-Term Memory components. We discuss the major influence of the notion of context within Episodic Memory on Semantic and Procedural Memory, respectively. We address how the occurrence of specific object-related events in time impacts on the semanti...
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R.
Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with th...
Bae, Sarah; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick
Four experiments used rats to study false context fear memories. In Experiment 1, rats were pre-exposed to a distinctive chamber (context A) or to a control environment (context C), shocked after a delay in a second chamber (context B) and tested either in B or A. Rats pre-exposed to A froze just as much as control rats in B but more than control…
Flores, África; Herry, Cyril; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando
Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides recently involved in the regulation of emotional memory. The basolateral amygdala, an area orchestrating fear memory processes, appears to be modulated by orexin transmission during fear extinction. However, the neuronal types within the basolateral amygdala involved in this modulation remain to be elucidated. We used retrograde tracing combined with immunofluorescence techniques in mice to identify basolateral amygdala projection neurons and cell subpopulations in this brain region influenced by orexin transmission during contextual fear extinction consolidation. Treatment with the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB334867 increased the activity of basolateral amygdala neurons projecting to infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex during fear extinction. GABAergic interneurons expressing calbindin, but not parvalbumin, were also activated by orexin-1 receptor antagonism in the basolateral amygdala. These data identify neuronal circuits and cell populations of the amygdala associated with the facilitation of fear extinction consolidation induced by the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB334867. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.
Full Text Available The formation and storage of fear memory is needed to adapt behavior and avoid danger during subsequent fearful events. However, fear memory may also play a significant role in stress and anxiety disorders. When fear becomes disproportionate to that necessary to cope with a given stimulus, or begins to occur in inappropriate situations, a fear or anxiety disorder exists. Thus, the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning fear memory may shed light on the formation of memory and on anxiety and stress related disorders. Evidence indicates that fear learning leads to changes in neuronal synaptic transmission and morphology in brain areas underlying fear memory formation including the amygdala and hippocampus. The actin cytoskeleton has been shown to participate in these key neuronal processes. Recent findings show that the actin cytoskeleton is needed for fear memory formation and extinction. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton is involved in synaptic plasticity and in neuronal morphogenesis in brain areas that mediate fear memory. The actin cytoskeleton may therefore mediate between synaptic transmission during fear learning and long-term cellular alterations mandatory for fear memory formation.
Lazaroni, Thiago Luiz do Nascimento; Bastos, Cristiane Perácio; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra; Santos, Robson Souza; Pereira, Grace Schenatto
Inappropriate defense-alerting reaction to fear is a common feature of neuropsychiatric diseases. Therefore, impairments in brain circuits, as well as in molecular pathways underlying the neurovegetative adjustments to fear may play an essential role on developing neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we tested the hypothesis that interfering with angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]/Mas receptor axis homeostasis, which appears to be essential to arterial pressure control, would affect fear memory and extinction. Mas knockout (MasKO) mice, in FVB/N background, showed normal cued fear memory and extinction, but increased freezing in response to context. Next, as FVB/N has poor performance in contextual fear memory, we tested MasKO in mixed 129xC57BL/6 background. MasKO mice behaved similarly to wild-type (WT), but memory extinction was slower in contextual fear conditioning to a weak protocol (1CS/US). In addition, delayed extinction in MasKO mice was even more pronounced after a stronger protocol (3CS/US). We showed previously that Angiotensin II receptor AT1 antagonist, losantan, rescued object recognition memory deficit in MasKO mice. Here, losartan was also effective. Memory extinction was accelerated in MasKO mice after treatment with losartan. In conclusion, we showed for the first time that Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis may modulate fear memory extinction. Furthermore, we suggest MasKO mice as an animal model to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Packard, Pau Alexander; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Stein, Lilian Milnitsky; Nicolás, Berta; Fuentemilla, Lluís
Recent accounts of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) suggest that the encoding of an episode within a fearful context generates different implicit and explicit memory representations. Whilst implicit memory traces include the associated emotional states, explicit traces include a recoding into an abstract or gist-based structural context of the episode. Theoretically, the long-term preservation of implicit memory traces may facilitate the often untreatable memory intrusions in PTSD. Here, we tracked in two experiments how implicit and explicit memory traces for fearful episodes dissociate and evolve over time. Subjects (N=86) were presented with semantically-related word-lists in a contextual fear paradigm and tested for explicit memories either immediately (i.e., 30 min) or after a delay (i.e., 1 or 2 weeks) with a verbal recognition task. Skin Conductance Response (SCR) was used to assess implicit memory responses. Subjects showed high memory accuracy for words when tested immediately after encoding. At test, SCR was higher during the presentation of verbatim but not gist-based words encoded in a fearful context, and remained unchanged after 2 weeks, despite subjects being unaware of words' encoding context. We found no clear evidence of accurate explicit memory traces for the fearful or neutral contexts of words presented during encoding, either 30 min or 2 weeks afterwards. These findings indicate that the implicit, but not the explicit, memory trace of a fearful context of an episode can be detected at long-term through SCR and is dissociated from the gist-based memory. They may have implicationstowards the understanding of how the processing of fearful memoriescould lead to PTSD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D; Molina, Victor A
GABAergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) plays a crucial role on the modulation of the stress influence on fear memory. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests that the dorsal hippocampus (DH) is a downstream target of BLA neurons in contextual fear. Given that hippocampal structural plasticity is proposed to provide a substrate for the storage of long-term memories, the main aim of this study is to evaluate the modulation of GABA neurotransmission in the BLA on spine density in the DH following stress on contextual fear learning. The present findings show that prior stressful experience promoted contextual fear memory and enhanced spine density in the DH. Intra-BLA infusion of midazolam, a positive modulator of GABAa sites, prevented the facilitating influence of stress on both fear retention and hippocampal dendritic spine remodeling. Similarly to the stress-induced effects, the blockade of GABAa sites within the BLA ameliorated fear memory emergence and induced structural remodeling in the DH. These findings suggest that GABAergic transmission in BLA modulates the structural changes in DH associated to the influence of stress on fear memory. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Santos, Thays Brenner; Kramer-Soares, Juliana Carlota; Favaro, Vanessa Manchim; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes
Time plays an important role in conditioning, it is not only possible to associate stimuli with events that overlap, as in delay fear conditioning, but it is also possible to associate stimuli that are discontinuous in time, as shown in trace conditioning for a discrete stimuli. The environment itself can be a powerful conditioned stimulus (CS) and be associated to unconditioned stimulus (US). Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the parameters in which contextual fear conditioning occurs by the maintenance of a contextual representation over short and long time intervals. The results showed that a contextual representation can be maintained and associated after 5s, even in the absence of a 15s re-exposure to the training context before US delivery. The same effect was not observed with a 24h interval of discontinuity. Furthermore, optimal conditioned response with a 5s interval is produced only when the contexts (of pre-exposure and shock) match. As the pre-limbic cortex (PL) is necessary for the maintenance of a continuous representation of a stimulus, the involvement of the PL in this temporal and contextual processing was investigated. The reversible inactivation of the PL by muscimol infusion impaired the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning with a 5s interval, but not with a 24h interval, and did not impair delay fear conditioning. The data provided evidence that short and long intervals of discontinuity have different mechanisms, thus contributing to a better understanding of PL involvement in contextual fear conditioning and providing a model that considers both temporal and contextual factors in fear conditioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Davis, Jennifer A.; James, John R.; Siegel, Steven J.; Gould, Thomas J.
The effects of acute nicotine administration (0.09 mg/kg nicotine), chronic nicotine administration (6.3 mg/kg/d nicotine for 14 d), and withdrawal from chronic nicotine administration on fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice were examined. Mice were trained using two coterminating conditioned stimulus (30 s; 85 dB white noise)– unconditioned stimulus (2 s; 0.57 mA foot shock) pairings and tested 24 h later for contextual and cued fear conditioning. Acute nicotine administration enhanced contextu...
Poole, Rachel L.; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J.
Chronic caffeine exerts negligible effects on learning and memory in normal adults, but it is unknown whether this is also true for children and adolescents. The hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, undergoes extensive structural and functional modifications during pre-adolescence and adolescence. As a result, chronic caffeine may have differential effects on hippocampus-dependent learning in pre-adolescents and adolescents compared with adults. Here, we characterized the effects of chronic caffeine and withdrawal from chronic caffeine on hippocampus-dependent (contextual) and hippocampus-independent (cued) fear conditioning in pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult mice. The results indicate that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence enhances or impairs contextual conditioning depending on concentration, yet has no effect on cued conditioning. In contrast, withdrawal from chronic caffeine impairs contextual conditioning in pre-adolescent mice only. No changes in learning were seen for adult mice for either the chronic caffeine or withdrawal conditions. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence can alter learning and memory and as changes were only seen in hippocampus-dependent learning, this suggests that the developing hippocampus may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine. PMID:25827925
Poole, Rachel L; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J
Chronic caffeine exerts negligible effects on learning and memory in normal adults, but it is unknown whether this is also true for children and adolescents. The hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, undergoes extensive structural and functional modifications during pre-adolescence and adolescence. As a result, chronic caffeine may have differential effects on hippocampus-dependent learning in pre-adolescents and adolescents compared with adults. Here, we characterized the effects of chronic caffeine and withdrawal from chronic caffeine on hippocampus-dependent (contextual) and hippocampus-independent (cued) fear conditioning in pre-adolescent, adolescent, and adult mice. The results indicate that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence enhances or impairs contextual conditioning depending on concentration, yet has no effect on cued conditioning. In contrast, withdrawal from chronic caffeine impairs contextual conditioning in pre-adolescent mice only. No changes in learning were seen for adult mice for either the chronic caffeine or withdrawal conditions. These findings support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to caffeine during pre-adolescence and adolescence can alter learning and memory and as changes were only seen in hippocampus-dependent learning, which suggests that the developing hippocampus may be sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Daviu, Núria; Andero, Raül; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser
In recent years, special attention is being paid to sex differences in susceptibility to disease. In this regard, there is evidence that male rats present higher levels of both cued and contextual fear conditioning than females. However, little is known about the concomitant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to those situations which are critical in emotional memories. Here, we studied the behavioural and HPA responses of male and female Wistar rats to context fear conditioning using electric footshock as the aversive stimulus. Fear-conditioned rats showed a much greater ACTH and corticosterone response than those merely exposed to the fear conditioning chamber without receiving shocks. Moreover, males presented higher levels of freezing whereas HPA axis response was greater in females. Accordingly, during the fear extinction tests, female rats consistently showed less freezing and higher extinction rate, but greater HPA activation than males. Exposure to an open-field resulted in lower activity/exploration in fear-conditioned males, but not in females, suggesting greater conditioned cognitive generalization in males than females. It can be concluded that important sex differences in fear conditioning are observed in both freezing and HPA activation, but the two sets of variables are affected in the opposite direction: enhanced behavioural impact in males, but enhanced HPA responsiveness in females. Thus, the role of sex differences on fear-related stimuli may depend on the variables chosen to evaluate it, the greater responsiveness of the HPA axis in females perhaps being an important factor to be further explored. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Piefke, Martina; Markowitsch, Hans J.
Episodic memory functions are highly context-dependent. This is true for both experimental and autobiographical episodic memory. We here review neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence for effects of differential encoding and retrieval contexts on episodic memory performance as well as the underlying neurofunctional mechanisms. In studies of laboratory episodic memory, the influence of context parameters can be assessed by experimental manipulations. Such experiments suggest that contextual variables mainly affect prefrontal functions supporting executive processes involved in episodic learning and retrieval. Context parameters affecting episodic autobiographical memory are far more complex and cannot easily be controlled. Data support the view that not only prefrontal, but also further medial temporal and posterior parietal regions mediating the re-experience and emotional evaluation of personal memories are highly influenced by changing contextual variables of memory encoding and retrieval. Based on our review of available data, we thus suggest that experimental and autobiographical episodic memories are influenced by both overlapping and differential context parameters.
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Holliday, Erica; Gould, Thomas J
Previously, studies from our lab have shown that while acute nicotine administered prior to training and testing enhances contextual fear conditioning, acute nicotine injections prior to extinction sessions impair extinction of contextual fear. Although there is also strong evidence showing that the acute nicotine's enhancing effects on contextual fear conditioning require high-affinity α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), it is unknown which nAChR subtypes are involved in the acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction. In this study, we investigated the effects of acute nicotine administration on contextual fear extinction in knock-out (KO) mice lacking α4, β2 or α7 subtypes of nAChRs and their wild-type (WT) littermates. Both KO and WT mice were first trained and tested for contextual fear conditioning and received a daily contextual extinction session for 4 days. Subjects received intraperitoneal injections of nicotine (0.18 mg/kg) or saline 2-4 min prior to each extinction session. Our results showed that the mice that lack α4 and β2 subtypes of nAChRs showed normal contextual fear extinction but not the acute nicotine-induced impairment while the mice that lack the α7 subtype showed both normal contextual extinction and nicotine-induced impairment of contextual extinction. In addition, control experiments showed that acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction persisted when nicotine administration was ceased and repeated acute nicotine administrations alone did not induce freezing behavior in the absence of context-shock learning. These results clearly demonstrate that high-affinity α4β2 nAChRs are necessary for the effects of acute nicotine on contextual fear extinction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Previous event-related potential (ERP studies have shown that the N170 to faces is modulated by the emotion of the face and its context. However, it is unclear how the encoding of emotional target faces as reflected in the N170 is modulated by the preceding contextual facial expression when temporal onset and identity of target faces are unpredictable. In addition, no study as yet has investigated whether contextual facial expression modulates later recognition of target faces. To address these issues, participants in the present study were asked to identify target faces (fearful or neutral that were presented after a sequence of fearful or neutral contextual faces. The number of sequential contextual faces was random and contextual and target faces were of different identities so that temporal onset and identity of target faces were unpredictable. Electroencephalography (EEG data was recorded during the encoding phase. Subsequently, participants had to perform an unexpected old/new recognition task in which target face identities were presented in either the encoded or the non-encoded expression. ERP data showed a reduced N170 to target faces in fearful as compared to neutral context regardless of target facial expression. In the later recognition phase, recognition rates were reduced for target faces in the encoded expression when they had been encountered in fearful as compared to neutral context. The present findings suggest that fearful compared to neutral contextual faces reduce the allocation of attentional resources towards target faces, which results in limited encoding and recognition of target faces.
Talukdar, Gourango; Inoue, Ran; Yoshida, Tomoyuki; Mori, Hisashi
Syntenin-1 is a PDZ domain-containing intracellular scaffold protein involved in exosome production, synapse formation, and synaptic plasticity. We tested whether syntenin-1 can regulate learning and memory through its effects on synaptic plasticity. Specifically, we investigated the role of syntenin-1 in contextual and cued fear conditioning and extinction of conditioned fear using syntenin-1 knockout (KO) mice. Genetic disruption of syntenin-1 had little effect on contextual and cued fear memory. However, syntenin-1 KO mice exhibited selective impairment in cued fear extinction retention. This extinction retention deficit in syntenin-1 KO mice was associated with reduced c-Fos-positive neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and infralimbic cortex (IL) after extinction training and increased c-Fos-positive neurons in the BLA after an extinction retention test. Our results suggest that syntenin-1 plays an important role in extinction of cued fear memory by modulating neuronal activity in the BLA and IL. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Khani-Abyaneh, Mozhgan; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
Accumulating evidence supports the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in modulating numerous cognitive functions. Despite the fact that tDCS has been used for the enhancement of memory and cognition, very few animal studies have addressed its impact on the modulation of fear memory. This study was designed to determine whether pre/post-training frontal tDCS application would alter fear memory acquisition and/or consolidation deficits induced by propranolol in NMRI mice. Results indicated that administration of β1-adrenoceptor blocker propranolol (0.1mg/kg) impaired fear memory retrieval. Pre/post-training application of anodal tDCS when propranolol was administered prior to training reversed contextual memory retrieval whereas only the anodal application prior to training could induce the same result in the auditory test. Meanwhile, anodal stimulation had no effect on fear memories by itself. Moreover, regardless of when cathode was applied and propranolol administered, their combination restored contextual memory retrieval, while only cathodal stimulation prior to training facilitated the contextual memory retrieval. Also, auditory memory retrieval was restored when cathodal stimulation and propranolol occurred prior to training but it was abolished when stimulation occurred after training and propranolol was administered prior to training. Collectively, our findings show that tDCS applied on the left frontal cortex of mice affects fear memory performance. This alteration seems to be task-dependent and varies depending on the nature and timing of the stimulation. In certain conditions, tDCS reverses the effect of propranolol. These results provide initial evidence to support the timely use of tDCS for the modulation of fear-related memories. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R.
Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with these processes will be examined. Animal and human studies suggest that sleep can serve to consolidate both fear and extinction memory. In humans, sleep also promotes generalization of extinction memory. Time-of-day effects on extinction learning and generalization are also seen. REM may be a sleep stage of particular importance for the consolidation of both fear and extinction memory as evidenced by selective REM deprivation experiments. REM sleep is accompanied by selective activation of the same limbic structures implicated in the learning and memory of fear and extinction. Preliminary evidence also suggests extinction learning can take place during slow wave sleep. Study of low-level processes such as conditioning, extinction and habituation may allow sleep effects on emotional memory to be identified and inform study of sleep’s effects on more complex, emotionally salient declarative memories. Anxiety disorders are marked by impairments of both sleep and extinction memory. Improving sleep quality may ameliorate anxiety disorders by strengthening naturally acquired extinction. Strategically timed sleep may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety by strengthening therapeutic extinction learned via exposure therapy. PMID:25894546
Golkar, A.; Tjaden, C.; Kindt, M.
Background: Previous studies have suggested that fear memories can be updated when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Given the beneficial effects of model-based safety learning (i.e. vicarious extinction) in preventing the recovery of short-term fear memory, we examined whether
Soya, Shingo; Shoji, Hirotaka; Hasegawa, Emi; Hondo, Mari; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Yanagisawa, Masashi; Mieda, Michihiro; Sakurai, Takeshi
The noradrenergic (NA) projections arising from the locus ceruleus (LC) to the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis have been implicated in the formation of emotional memory. Since NA neurons in the LC (LC-NA neurons) abundantly express orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) and receive prominent innervation by orexin-producing neurons, we hypothesized that an OX1R-mediated pathway is involved in the physiological fear learning process via regulation of LC-NA neurons. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined the phenotype of Ox1r(-/-) mice in the classic cued and contextual fear-conditioning test. We found that Ox1r(-/-) mice showed impaired freezing responses in both cued and contextual fear-conditioning paradigms. In contrast, Ox2r(-/-) mice showed normal freezing behavior in the cued fear-conditioning test, while they exhibited shorter freezing time in the contextual fear-conditioning test. Double immunolabeling of Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase showed that double-positive LC-NA neurons after test sessions of both cued and contextual stimuli were significantly fewer in Ox1r(-/-) mice. AAV-mediated expression of OX1R in LC-NA neurons in Ox1r(-/-) mice restored the freezing behavior to the auditory cue to a comparable level to that in wild-type mice in the test session. Decreased freezing time during the contextual fear test was not affected by restoring OX1R expression in LC-NA neurons. These observations support the hypothesis that the orexin system modulates the formation and expression of fear memory via OX1R in multiple pathways. Especially, OX1R in LC-NA neurons plays an important role in cue-dependent fear memory formation and/or retrieval.
Vlachos, Ioannis; Herry, Cyril; Lüthi, Andreas; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind
The basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA) is involved in the formation of context-dependent conditioned fear and extinction memories. To understand the underlying neural mechanisms we developed a large-scale neuron network model of the BA, composed of excitatory and inhibitory leaky-integrate-and-fire neurons. Excitatory BA neurons received conditioned stimulus (CS)-related input from the adjacent lateral nucleus (LA) and contextual input from the hippocampus or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We implemented a plasticity mechanism according to which CS and contextual synapses were potentiated if CS and contextual inputs temporally coincided on the afferents of the excitatory neurons. Our simulations revealed a differential recruitment of two distinct subpopulations of BA neurons during conditioning and extinction, mimicking the activation of experimentally observed cell populations. We propose that these two subgroups encode contextual specificity of fear and extinction memories, respectively. Mutual competition between them, mediated by feedback inhibition and driven by contextual inputs, regulates the activity in the central amygdala (CEA) thereby controlling amygdala output and fear behavior. The model makes multiple testable predictions that may advance our understanding of fear and extinction memories.
Full Text Available The basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA is involved in the formation of context-dependent conditioned fear and extinction memories. To understand the underlying neural mechanisms we developed a large-scale neuron network model of the BA, composed of excitatory and inhibitory leaky-integrate-and-fire neurons. Excitatory BA neurons received conditioned stimulus (CS-related input from the adjacent lateral nucleus (LA and contextual input from the hippocampus or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. We implemented a plasticity mechanism according to which CS and contextual synapses were potentiated if CS and contextual inputs temporally coincided on the afferents of the excitatory neurons. Our simulations revealed a differential recruitment of two distinct subpopulations of BA neurons during conditioning and extinction, mimicking the activation of experimentally observed cell populations. We propose that these two subgroups encode contextual specificity of fear and extinction memories, respectively. Mutual competition between them, mediated by feedback inhibition and driven by contextual inputs, regulates the activity in the central amygdala (CEA thereby controlling amygdala output and fear behavior. The model makes multiple testable predictions that may advance our understanding of fear and extinction memories.
Fraser T Sparks
Full Text Available Damage to the hippocampus (HPC using the excitotoxin N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA can cause retrograde amnesia for contextual fear memory. This amnesia is typically attributed to loss of cells in the HPC. However, NMDA is also known to cause intense neuronal discharge (seizure activity during the hours that follow its injection. These seizures may have detrimental effects on retrieval of memories. Here we evaluate the possibility that retrograde amnesia is due to NMDA-induced seizure activity or cell damage per se. To assess the effects of NMDA induced activity on contextual memory, we developed a lesion technique that utilizes the neurotoxic effects of NMDA while at the same time suppressing possible associated seizure activity. NMDA and tetrodotoxin (TTX, a sodium channel blocker, are simultaneously infused into the rat HPC, resulting in extensive bilateral damage to the HPC. TTX, co-infused with NMDA, suppresses propagation of seizure activity. Rats received pairings of a novel context with foot shock, after which they received NMDA-induced, TTX+NMDA-induced, or no damage to the HPC at a recent (24 hours or remote (5 weeks time point. After recovery, the rats were placed into the shock context and freezing was scored as an index of fear memory. Rats with an intact HPC exhibited robust memory for the aversive context at both time points, whereas rats that received NMDA or NMDA+TTX lesions showed a significant reduction in learned fear of equal magnitude at both the recent and remote time points. Therefore, it is unlikely that observed retrograde amnesia in contextual fear conditioning are due to disruption of non-HPC networks by propagated seizure activity. Moreover, the memory deficit observed at both time points offers additional evidence supporting the proposition that the HPC has a continuing role in maintaining contextual memories.
Maldonado, Noelia Martina; Martijena, Irene Delia; Molina, Víctor Alejandro
It is well known that an emotionally arousing experience usually results in a robust and persistent memory trace. The present study explored the potential mechanisms involved in the influence of stress on the consolidation of a contextual fear memory in animals subjected to a weak fear training protocol, and whether pretreatment with intra-basolateral amygdala or systemic administration of midazolam (MDZ) prevents the potential stress-induced influence on fear memory formation. A previous restraint session facilitated fear retention, this effect was not due to a sensitized effect of restraint on the footshock experience. MDZ, both systemically or intra-basolateral amygdala infusion prior to the restraint, attenuated the stress-induced promoting influence on fear memory formation. In addition, stress exposure activated the ERK1/2 pathway in basolateral amygdala (BLA) after the weak training procedure but not after the immediate footshock protocol. Similar to our behavioral findings, MDZ attenuated stress-induced elevation of phospho-ERK2 (p-ERK2) in BLA following the acquisition session. Given that the activation of ERK1/2 pathway is essential for associative learning, we propose that stress-induced facilitation of p-ERK2 in BLA is an important mechanism for the promoting influence of stress on the consolidation of contextual fear memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Harmatz, Elia S; Stone, Lauren; Lim, Seh Hong; Lee, Graham; McGrath, Anna; Gisabella, Barbara; Peng, Xiaoyu; Kosoy, Eliza; Yao, Junmei; Liu, Elizabeth; Machado, Nuno J; Weiner, Veronica S; Slocum, Warren; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Goosens, Ki A
There are many contradictory findings about the role of the hormone ghrelin in aversive processing, with studies suggesting that ghrelin signaling can both inhibit and enhance aversion. Here, we characterize and reconcile the paradoxical role of ghrelin in the acquisition of fearful memories. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure endogenous acyl-ghrelin and corticosterone at time points surrounding auditory fear learning. We used pharmacological (systemic and intra-amygdala) manipulations of ghrelin signaling and examined several aversive and appetitive behaviors. We also used biotin-labeled ghrelin to visualize ghrelin binding sites in coronal brain sections of amygdala. All work was performed in rats. In unstressed rodents, endogenous peripheral acyl-ghrelin robustly inhibits fear memory consolidation through actions in the amygdala and accounts for virtually all interindividual variability in long-term fear memory strength. Higher levels of endogenous ghrelin after fear learning were associated with weaker long-term fear memories, and pharmacological agonism of the ghrelin receptor during the memory consolidation period reduced fear memory strength. These fear-inhibitory effects cannot be explained by changes in appetitive behavior. In contrast, we show that chronic stress, which increases both circulating endogenous acyl-ghrelin and fear memory formation, promotes profound loss of ghrelin binding sites in the amygdala and behavioral insensitivity to ghrelin receptor agonism. These studies provide a new link between stress, a novel type of metabolic resistance, and vulnerability to excessive fear memory formation and reveal that ghrelin can regulate negative emotionality in unstressed animals without altering appetite. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sharpe, Melissa; Killcross, Simon
Previous research suggests the prelimbic (PL) cortex is involved in expression of conditioned fear (Burgos-Robles, Vidal-Gonzalez, & Quirk, 2009; Corcoran & Quirk, 2007). However, there is a long history of research in the appetitive domain which implicates this region in using higher-order cues to modulate a behavioural response (Birrell & Brown, 2000; Floresco, Block, & Tse, 2008; Marquis, Killcross, & Haddon, 2007; Sharpe & Killcross, 2014). For example, the PL cortex is necessary to allow animals to use contextual cues to disambiguate response conflict in ambiguous circumstances (Marquis et al., 2007). Using an ABA fear renewal procedure, we assessed the role of the PL cortex in using contextual cues to modulate a response towards a conditioned stimulus (CS) in an aversive setting. We found that pre-training lesions of the PL cortex did not impact on the expression or extinction of conditioned fear. Rather, they selectively abolished renewal. Functional inactivation of the PL cortex during extinction did not disrupt the subsequent renewal of conditioned fear or the ability of animals to exhibit fear towards a CS during the extinction session. However, PL inactivation during the renewal test session disrupted the ability of animals to demonstrate a reinstatement of responding in the renewal context. An analysis of orienting responses showed that renewal deficits were accompanied by a lack of change in attentional responding towards the CS. These data suggest the PL cortex uses contextual cues to modulate both a behavioural and an attentional response during aversive procedures. We argue that the role of the PL cortex in the expression of conditioned fear is to use higher-order information to modulate responding towards predictive cues in ambiguous circumstance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Amadi, Ugwechi; Lim, Seh Hong; Liu, Elizabeth; Baratta, Michael V; Goosens, Ki A
Despite the ubiquitous use of Pavlovian fear conditioning as a model for fear learning, the highly predictable conditions used in the laboratory do not resemble real-world conditions, in which dangerous situations can lead to unpleasant outcomes in unpredictable ways. In the current experiments, we varied the timing of aversive events after predictive cues in rodents and discovered that temporal ambiguity of aversive events greatly enhances fear. During fear conditioning with unpredictably timed aversive events, pharmacological inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus or optogenetic silencing of cornu ammonis 1 cells during aversive negative prediction errors prevented this enhancement of fear without affecting fear learning for predictable events. Dorsal hippocampal inactivation also prevented ambiguity-related enhancement of fear during auditory fear conditioning under a partial-reinforcement schedule. These results reveal that information about the timing and occurrence of aversive events is rapidly acquired and that unexpectedly timed or omitted aversive events generate hippocampal signals to enhance fear learning.
Judith R. Homberg
Full Text Available Conditioned fear plays a key role in anxiety disorders as well as depression and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Understanding how neuromodulators drive the associated learning and memory processes, including memory consolidation, retrieval/expression, and extinction (recall, is essential in the understanding of (individual differences in vulnerability to these disorders and their treatment. The human and rodent studies I review here together reveal, amongst others, that acute selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI treatment facilitates fear conditioning, reduces contextual fear, and increases cued fear, chronic SSRI treatment reduces both contextual and cued fear, 5-HT1A receptors inhibit the acquisition and expression of contextual fear, 5-HT2A receptors facilitates the consolidation of cued and contextual fear, inactivation of 5-HT2C receptors facilitate the retrieval of cued fear memory, the 5-HT3 receptor mediates contextual fear, genetically induced increases in serotonin levels are associated with increased fear conditioning, impaired cued fear extinction, or impaired extinction recall, and that genetically induced 5-HT depletion increases fear conditioning and contextual fear. Several explanations are presented to reconcile seemingly paradoxical relationships between serotonin levels and conditioned fear.
Golkar, Armita; Tjaden, Cathelijn; Kindt, Merel
Previous studies have suggested that fear memories can be updated when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Given the beneficial effects of model-based safety learning (i.e. vicarious extinction) in preventing the recovery of short-term fear memory, we examined whether consolidated long-term fear memories could be updated with safety learning accomplished through vicarious extinction learning initiated within the reconsolidation time-window. We assessed this in a final sample of 19 participants that underwent a three-day within-subject fear-conditioning design, using fear-potentiated startle as our primary index of fear learning. On day 1, two fear-relevant stimuli (reinforced CSs) were paired with shock (US) and a third stimulus served as a control (CS). On day 2, one of the two previously reinforced stimuli (the reminded CS) was presented once in order to reactivate the fear memory 10 min before vicarious extinction training was initiated for all CSs. The recovery of the fear memory was tested 24 h later. Vicarious extinction training conducted within the reconsolidation time window specifically prevented the recovery of the reactivated fear memory (p = 0.03), while leaving fear-potentiated startle responses to the non-reactivated cue intact (p = 0.62). These findings are relevant to both basic and clinical research, suggesting that a safe, non-invasive model-based exposure technique has the potential to enhance the efficiency and durability of anxiolytic therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Learning to predict danger via associative learning processes is critical for adaptive behaviour. After successful extinction, persisting fear memories often emerge as returning fear. Investigation of return of fear phenomena, e.g. reinstatement, have only recently began and to date, many critical questions with respect to reinstatement in human populations remain unresolved. Few studies have separated experimental phases in time even though increasing evidence shows that allowing for passage of time (and consolidation between experimental phases has a major impact on the results. In addition, studies have relied on a single psychophysiological dimension only (SCRs/SCL or FPS which hampers comparability between different studies that showed both differential or generalized return of fear following a reinstatement manipulation. In 93 participants, we used a multimodal approach (fear-potentiated startle, skin conductance responses, fear ratings to asses fear conditioning (day 1, extinction (day 2 as well as delayed memory recall and reinstatement (day 8 in a paradigm that probed contextual and cued fear intra-individually. Our findings show persistence of conditioning and extinction memory over time and demonstrate that reinstated fear responses were qualitatively different between dependent variables (subjective fear ratings, FPS, SCRs as well as between cued and contextual CSs. While only the arousal-related measurement (SCRs showed increasing reactions following reinstatement to the cued CSs, no evidence of reinstatement was observed for the subjective ratings and fear-related measurement (FPS. In contrast, for contextual CSs, reinstatement was evident as differential and generalized reinstatement in fear ratings as well as generally elevated physiological fear (FPS and arousal (SCRs related measurements to all contextual CSs (generalized non-differential reinstatement. Returning fear after reinstatement likely depends on a variety of variables
D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Van der Linden, Martial
In 4 experiments, the authors investigated the influence of the affective meaning of words on memory for 2 kinds of contextual features that differ in the amount of effortful processes they require to be encoded in memory (i.e., color and spatial location). The main results showed that memory for color, in which words were typed, was better for emotional than for neutral words, but only when color information was learned incidentally. In contrast, spatial location of the words was better remembered for emotional than for neutral words whatever the encoding conditions (intentional vs. incidental). It is suggested that the influence of affective meaning on context memory may involve an automatic attraction of attention to contextual features associated with emotional words. Copyright 2004 American Psychological Association
Nagaya, Naomi; Acca, Gillian M; Maren, Stephen
Trauma- and stress-related disorders are among the most common types of mental illness affecting the U.S. population. For many of these disorders, there is a striking sex difference in lifetime prevalence; for instance, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Gonadal steroids and their metabolites have been implicated in sex differences in fear and anxiety. One example, allopregnanolone (ALLO), is a neuroactive metabolite of progesterone that allosterically enhances GABAA receptor activity and has anxiolytic effects. Like other ovarian hormones, it not only occurs at different levels in males and females but also fluctuates over the female reproductive cycle. One brain structure that may be involved in neuroactive steroid regulation of fear and anxiety is the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). To explore this question, we examined the consequences of augmenting or reducing ALLO activity in the BNST on the expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats. In Experiment 1, intra-BNST infusions of ALLO in male rats suppressed freezing behavior (a fear response) to the conditioned context, but did not influence freezing to a discrete tone conditioned stimulus (CS). In Experiment 2, intra-BNST infusion of either finasteride (FIN), an inhibitor of ALLO synthesis, or 17-phenyl-(3α,5α)-androst-16-en-3-ol, an ALLO antagonist, in female rats enhanced contextual freezing; neither treatment affected freezing to the tone CS. These findings support a role for ALLO in modulating contextual fear via the BNST and suggest that sex differences in fear and anxiety could arise from differential steroid regulation of BNST function. The susceptibility of women to disorders such as PTSD may be linked to cyclic declines in neuroactive steroid activity within fear circuitry.
Full Text Available Trauma- and stress-related disorders are among the most common types of mental illness affecting the U.S. population. For many of these disorders, there is a striking sex difference in lifetime prevalence; for instance, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Gonadal steroids and their metabolites have been implicated in sex differences in fear and anxiety. One example, allopregnanolone (ALLO, is a neuroactive metabolite of progesterone that allosterically enhances GABAA receptor activity and has anxiolytic effects. Like other ovarian hormones, it not only occurs at different levels in males and females but also fluctuates over the female reproductive cycle. One brain structure that may be involved in neuroactive steroid regulation of fear and anxiety is the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST. To explore this question, we examined the consequences of augmenting or reducing ALLO activity in the BNST on the expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats. In Experiment 1, intra-BNST infusions of ALLO in male rats suppressed freezing behavior (a fear response to the conditioned context, but did not influence freezing to a discrete tone conditioned stimulus (CS. In Experiment 2, intra-BNST infusion of either finasteride, an inhibitor of ALLO synthesis, or 17-phenyl-(3α,5α-androst-16-en-3-ol, an ALLO antagonist, in female rats enhanced contextual freezing; neither treatment affected freezing to the tone CS. These findings support a role for ALLO in modulating contextual fear via the BNST and suggest that sex differences in fear and anxiety could arise from differential steroid regulation of BNST function. The susceptibility of women to disorders such as PTSD may be linked to cyclic declines in neuroactive steroid activity within fear circuitry.
Full Text Available Abstract Galectins are a 15 member family of carbohydrate-binding proteins that have been implicated in cancer, immunity, inflammation and development. While galectins are expressed in the central nervous system, little is known about their function in the adult brain. Previously we have shown that galectin-1 (gal-1 is expressed in the adult hippocampus, and, in particular, in putative neural stem cells in the subgranular zone. To evaluate how gal-1 might contribute to hippocampal memory function here we studied galectin-1 null mutant (gal-1-/- mice. Compared to their wildtype littermate controls, gal-1-/- mice exhibited impaired spatial learning in the water maze and contextual fear learning. Interestingly, tone fear conditioning was normal in gal-1-/- mice suggesting that loss of gal-1 might especially impact hippocampal learning and memory. Furthermore, gal-1-/- mice exhibited normal motor function, emotion and sensory processing in a battery of other behavioral tests, suggesting that non-mnemonic performance deficits are unlikely to account for the spatial and contextual learning deficits. Together, these data reveal a role for galectin-carbohydrate signalling in hippocampal memory function.
Pace-Schott, Edward F; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R
Learning and memory for extinction of conditioned fear is a basic mammalian mechanism for regulating negative emotion. Sleep promotes both the consolidation of memory and the regulation of emotion. Sleep can influence consolidation and modification of memories associated with both fear and its extinction. After brief overviews of the behavior and neural circuitry associated with fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction memory in the rodent and human, interactions of sleep with these processes will be examined. Animal and human studies suggest that sleep can serve to consolidate both fear and extinction memory. In humans, sleep also promotes generalization of extinction memory. Time-of-day effects on extinction learning and generalization are also seen. Rapid eye movement (REM) may be a sleep stage of particular importance for the consolidation of both fear and extinction memory as evidenced by selective REM deprivation experiments. REM sleep is accompanied by selective activation of the same limbic structures implicated in the learning and memory of fear and extinction. Preliminary evidence also suggests extinction learning can take place during slow wave sleep. Study of low-level processes such as conditioning, extinction, and habituation may allow sleep effects on emotional memory to be identified and inform study of sleep's effects on more complex, emotionally salient declarative memories. Anxiety disorders are marked by impairments of both sleep and extinction memory. Improving sleep quality may ameliorate anxiety disorders by strengthening naturally acquired extinction. Strategically timed sleep may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety by strengthening therapeutic extinction learned via exposure therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to
Edward G Meloni
Full Text Available Xenon (Xe is a noble gas that has been developed for use in people as an inhalational anesthestic and a diagnostic imaging agent. Xe inhibits glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors involved in learning and memory and can affect synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and hippocampus, two brain areas known to play a role in fear conditioning models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Because glutamate receptors also have been shown to play a role in fear memory reconsolidation--a state in which recalled memories become susceptible to modification--we examined whether Xe administered after fear memory reactivation could affect subsequent expression of fear-like behavior (freezing in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for contextual and cued fear conditioning and the effects of inhaled Xe (25%, 1 hr on fear memory reconsolidation were tested using conditioned freezing measured days or weeks after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe administration immediately after fear memory reactivation significantly reduced conditioned freezing when tested 48 h, 96 h or 18 d after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe did not affect freezing when treatment was delayed until 2 h after reactivation or when administered in the absence of fear memory reactivation. These data suggest that Xe substantially and persistently inhibits memory reconsolidation in a reactivation and time-dependent manner, that it could be used as a new research tool to characterize reconsolidation and other memory processes, and that it could be developed to treat people with PTSD and other disorders related to emotional memory.
Full Text Available It is well recognized that stressful experiences promote robust emotional memories, which are well remembered. The amygdaloid complex, principally the basolateral complex (BLA, plays a pivotal role in fear memory and in the modulation of stress-induced emotional responses. A large number of reports have revealed that GABAergic interneurons provide a powerful inhibitory control of the activity of projecting glutamatergic neurons in the BLA. Indeed, a reduced GABAergic control in the BLA is essential for the stress-induced influence on the emergence of associative fear memory and on the generation of long-term potentiation (LTP in BLA neurons. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK subfamily of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathway in the BLA plays a central role in the consolidation process and synaptic plasticity. In support of the view that stress facilitates long-term fear memory, stressed animals exhibited a phospho-ERK2 (pERK2 increase in the BLA, suggesting the involvement of this mechanism in the promoting influence of threatening stimuli on the consolidation fear memory. Moreover, the occurrence of reactivation-induced lability is prevented when fear memory is encoded under intense stressful conditions since the memory trace remains immune to disruption after recall in previously stressed animals. Thus, the underlying mechanism in retrieval-induced instability seems not to be functional in memories formed under stress. All these findings are indicative that stress influences both the consolidation and reconsolidation fear memory processes. Thus, it seems reasonable to propose that the emotional state generated by an environmental challenge critically modulates the formation and maintenance of long-term fear memory.
Castelló, Stefanía; Molina, Juan Carlos; Arias, Carlos
Conditioned tolerance can be conceptualized as a particular case of Pavlovian conditioning in which contextual cues play the role of the conditioned stimulus. Although the evidence is contradictory, it is frequently assumed that long-term contextual conditioning in pre-weanling rats is weak or even absent. This hypothesis comes from and is sustained mainly by behavioral studies that explored different contextual effects in 16-18day-old rats using a fear-conditioning paradigm, but their conclusions are stated in terms of an immature (hippocampal-dependent) declarative memory system. The main goal of the present manuscript was based on a recent antecedent from our laboratory, to analyze whether context-dependent tolerance induced by ethanol during the pre-weanling period persists over time. Results showed that the context was able to modulate ethanol-induced tolerance in 2- and 3-week-old rats. Interestingly, contextual conditioned tolerance was stronger (in terms of persistence) during the third than during the second postnatal week. When subjects were tested 8days after training, when the context presumably lost its influence over tolerance, the opposite effect emerged (sensitization). These results are important for the ethanol literature, adding new evidence of long-term retention of ethanol effects acquired during infancy, whilst also showing striking ontogenetic differences in the sensitivity to ethanol between the 2nd and 3rd postnatal weeks. Importantly, contextual information modulates the expression of these ethanol effects even eight days after training, a result that is particularly relevant to the discussion of the ontogeny of contextual memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Liu, Xu; Ramirez, Steve; Pang, Petti T; Puryear, Corey B; Govindarajan, Arvind; Deisseroth, Karl; Tonegawa, Susumu
A specific memory is thought to be encoded by a sparse population of neurons. These neurons can be tagged during learning for subsequent identification and manipulation. Moreover, their ablation or inactivation results in reduced memory expression, suggesting their necessity in mnemonic processes. However, the question of sufficiency remains: it is unclear whether it is possible to elicit the behavioural output of a specific memory by directly activating a population of neurons that was active during learning. Here we show in mice that optogenetic reactivation of hippocampal neurons activated during fear conditioning is sufficient to induce freezing behaviour. We labelled a population of hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons activated during fear learning with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and later optically reactivated these neurons in a different context. The mice showed increased freezing only upon light stimulation, indicating light-induced fear memory recall. This freezing was not detected in non-fear-conditioned mice expressing ChR2 in a similar proportion of cells, nor in fear-conditioned mice with cells labelled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein instead of ChR2. Finally, activation of cells labelled in a context not associated with fear did not evoke freezing in mice that were previously fear conditioned in a different context, suggesting that light-induced fear memory recall is context specific. Together, our findings indicate that activating a sparse but specific ensemble of hippocampal neurons that contribute to a memory engram is sufficient for the recall of that memory. Moreover, our experimental approach offers a general method of mapping cellular populations bearing memory engrams.
Miller, Lisa M Soederberg; Cohen, Jason A; Wingfield, Arthur
An experiment is reported in which young, middle-aged, and older adults read and recalled ambiguous texts either with or without the topic title that supplied contextual knowledge. Within each of the age groups, the participants were divided into those with high or low working memory (WM) spans, with available WM capacity further manipulated by the presence or absence of an auditory target detection task concurrent with the reading task. Differences in reading efficiency (reading time per proposition recalled) between low WM span and high WM span groups were greater among readers who had access to contextual knowledge relative to those who did not, suggesting that contextual knowledge reduces demands on WM capacity. This position was further supported by the finding that increased age and attentional demands, two factors associated with reduced WM capacity, exaggerated the benefits of contextual knowledge on reading efficiency. The relative strengths of additional potential predictors of reading efficiency (e.g., interest, effort, and memory beliefs), along with knowledge, WM span, and age, are reported. Findings showed that contextual knowledge was the strongest predictor of reading efficiency even after controlling for the effects of all of the other predictors.
Full Text Available Fear is an emotion that is well studied due to its importance for animal survival. Experimental animals, such as rats and mice, have been widely used to model fear. However, higher animals such as nonhuman primates have rarely been used to study fear due to ethical issues and high costs. Tree shrews are small mammals that are closely related to primates; they have been used to model human-related psychosocial conditions such as stress and alcohol tolerance. Here, we describe an experimental paradigm to study the formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews. We designed an experimental apparatus of a light/dark box with a voltage foot shock. We found that tree shrews preferred staying in the dark box in the daytime without stimulation and showed avoidance to voltage shocks applied to the footplate in a voltage-dependent manner. Foot shocks applied to the dark box for 5 days (10 minutes per day effectively reversed the light–dark preference of the tree shrews, and this memory lasted for more than 50 days without any sign of memory decay (extinction in the absence of further stimulation. However, this fear memory was reversed with 4 days of reverse training by applying the same stimulus to the light box. When reducing the stimulus intensity during the training period, a memory extinction and subsequently reinstatement effects were observed. Thus, our results describe an efficient method of monitoring fear memory formation and extinction in tree shrews.
Fuentes, Sílvia; Daviu, Núria; Gagliano, Humberto; Belda, Xavier; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser
Exposure to electric foot-shocks can induce in rodents contextual fear conditioning, generalization of fear to other contexts and sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to further stressors. All these aspects are relevant for the study of post-traumatic stress disorder. In the present work we evaluated in rats the sex differences and the role of early life stress (ELS) in fear memories, generalization and sensitization. During the first postnatal days subjects were exposed to restriction of nesting material along with exposure to a "substitute" mother. In the adulthood they were exposed to (i) a contextual fear conditioning to evaluate long-term memory and extinction and (ii) to a novel environment to study cognitive fear generalization and HPA axis heterotypic sensitization. ELS did not alter acquisition, expression or extinction of context fear conditioned behavior (freezing) in either sex, but reduced activity in novel environments only in males. Fear conditioning associated hypoactivity in novel environments (cognitive generalization) was greater in males than females but was not specifically affected by ELS. Although overall females showed greater basal and stress-induced levels of ACTH and corticosterone, an interaction between ELS, shock exposure and sex was found regarding HPA hormones. In males, ELS did not affect ACTH response in any situation, whereas in females, ELS reduced both shock-induced sensitization of ACTH and its conditioned response to the shock context. Also, shock-induced sensitization of corticosterone was only observed in males and ELS specifically reduced corticosterone response to stressors in males but not females. In conclusion, ELS seems to have only a minor impact on shock-induced behavioral conditioning, while affecting the unconditioned and conditioned responses of HPA hormones in a sex-dependent manner. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Cole, Robert D; Connor, David A; Natwora, Brendan; Gould, Thomas J
Anxiety and stress disorders have been linked to deficits in fear extinction. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that acute nicotine impairs contextual fear extinction, suggesting that nicotine exposure may have negative effects on anxiety and stress disorder symptomatology. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction are unknown. Therefore, based on the previous studies showing that brain-derived neurotrophic factor is central for fear extinction learning and acute nicotine dysregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling, we hypothesized that the nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction may involve changes in tyrosine receptor kinase B signaling. To test this hypothesis, we systemically, intraperitoneally, injected C57BL/6J mice sub-threshold doses (2.5 and 4.0 mg/kg) of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, a small-molecule tyrosine receptor kinase B agonist that fully mimics the effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or vehicle an hour before each contextual fear extinction session. Mice also received injections, intraperitoneally, of acute nicotine (0.18 mg/kg) or saline 2-4 min before extinction sessions. While the animals that received only 7,8-dihydroxyflavone did not show any changes in contextual fear extinction, 4.0 mg/kg of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone ameliorated the extinction deficits in mice administered acute nicotine. Overall, these results suggest that acute nicotine-induced impairment of context extinction may be related to a disrupted brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling.
Starosta, Sarah; Bartetzko, Isabelle; Stüttgen, Maik C; Güntürkün, Onur
Every learning event is embedded in a context, but not always does the context become an integral part of the memory; however, for extinction learning it usually does, resulting in context-specific conditioned responding. The neuronal mechanisms underlying contextual control have been mainly investigated for Pavlovian fear extinction with a focus on hippocampal structures. However, the initial acquisition of novel responses can be subject to contextual control as well, although the neuronal mechanisms are mostly unknown. Here, we tested the hypothesis that contextual control of acquisition depends on glutamatergic transmission underlying executive functions in forebrain areas, e.g. by shifting attention to critical cues. Thus, we antagonized N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors with 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (AP5) in the pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale, the functional analogue of mammalian prefrontal cortex, during the concomitant acquisition and extinction of conditioned responding to two different stimuli. This paradigm has previously been shown to lead to contextual control over extinguished as well as non-extinguished responding. NMDA receptor blockade resulted in an impairment of extinction learning, but left the acquisition of responses to a novel stimulus unaffected. Critically, when responses were tested in a different context in the retrieval phase, we observed that NMDA receptor blockade led to the abolishment of contextual control over acquisition performance. This result is predicted by a model describing response inclination as the product of associative strength and contextual gain. In this model, learning under AP5 leads to a change in the contextual gain on the learned association, possibly via the modulation of attentional mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ye, Xiaojing; Kapeller-Libermann, Dana; Travaglia, Alessio; Inda, M Carmen; Alberini, Cristina M
The ability to regulate the consolidation and strengthening of memories for threatening experiences is critical for mental health, and its dysregulation may lead to psychopathologies. Re-exposure to the context in which the threat was experienced can either increase or decrease fear response through distinct processes known, respectively, as reconsolidation or extinction. Using a context retrieval-dependent memory-enhancement model in rats, we report that memory strengthens through activation of direct projections from dorsal hippocampus to prelimbic (PL) cortex and activation of critical PL molecular mechanisms that are not required for extinction. Furthermore, while sustained PL brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression is required for memory consolidation, retrieval engages PL BDNF to regulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins neuroligin 1 and neuroligin 2, which promote memory strengthening while inhibiting extinction. Thus, context retrieval-mediated fear-memory enhancement results from a concerted action of mechanisms that strengthen memory through reconsolidation while suppressing extinction.
Vetere, Gisella; Restivo, Leonardo; Novembre, Giovanni
Structural synaptic changes occur in medial prefrontal cortex circuits during remote memory formation. Whether extinction reverts or further reshapes these circuits is, however, unknown. Here we show that the number and the size of spines were enhanced in anterior cingulate (aCC) and infralimbic...... the remote memory network, suggesting that the preserved network properties might sustain reactivation of extinguished conditioned fear....
McDermott, Carmel M; Liu, Dan; Ade, Catherine; Schrader, Laura A
Females experience depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders at approximately twice the rate of males, but the mechanisms underlying this difference remain undefined. The effect of sex hormones on neural substrates presents a possible mechanism. We investigated the effect of ovariectomy at two ages, before puberty and in adulthood, and 17β-estradiol (E2) replacement administered chronically in drinking water on anxiety level, fear memory formation, and extinction. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that estradiol replacement would impair fear memory formation and enhance extinction rate. Females, age 4 weeks and 10 weeks, were divided randomly into 4 groups; sham surgery, OVX, OVX+low E2 (200nM), and OVX+high E2 (1000nM). Chronic treatment with high levels of E2 significantly increased anxiety levels measured in the elevated plus maze. In both age groups, high levels of E2 significantly increased contextual fear memory but had no effect on cued fear memory. In addition, high E2 decreased the rate of extinction in both ages. Finally, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is important for regulation of catecholamine levels, which play a role in fear memory formation and extinction. COMT expression in the hippocampus was significantly reduced by high E2 replacement, implying increased catecholamine levels in the hippocampus of high E2 mice. These results suggest that estradiol enhanced fear memory formation, and inhibited fear memory extinction, possibly stabilizing the fear memory in female mice. This study has implications for a neurobiological mechanism for PTSD and anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Holliday, Erica D; Gould, Thomas J
Adolescent onset of nicotine abuse is correlated with worse chances at successful abstinence in adulthood. One reason for this may be due to enduring learning deficits resulting from nicotine use during adolescence. Previous work has indicated that chronic nicotine administration beginning in late adolescence (PND38) caused learning deficits in contextual fear when tested in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to determine if chronic nicotine treatment during adolescence would alter sensitivity to nicotine's cognitive enhancing properties in adulthood. C57BL/6J mice received saline or chronic nicotine (12.6mg/kg/day) during adolescence (postnatal day 38) or adulthood (postnatal day 54) for a period of 12 days. Following a 30-day protracted abstinence, mice received either an acute injection of saline or nicotine (0.045, 0.18, and 0.36mg/kg) prior to training and testing a mouse model of contextual fear. It was found that chronic nicotine administration in adult mice did not alter sensitivity to acute nicotine following a protracted abstinence. In adolescent mice, chronic nicotine administration disrupted adult learning and decreased sensitivity to acute nicotine in adulthood as only the highest dose tested (0.36mg/kg) was able to enhance contextual fear learning. These results suggest that adolescent nicotine exposure impairs learning in adulthood, which could increase the risk for continued nicotine use in adulthood by requiring administration of higher doses of nicotine to reverse learning impairments caused by adolescent nicotine exposure. Results from this study add to the growing body of literature suggesting chronic nicotine exposure during adolescence leads to impaired learning in adulthood and demonstrates that nicotine exposure during adolescence attenuates the cognitive enhancing effects of acute nicotine in adulthood, which suggests altered cholinergic function. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for
Maples-Keller, Jessica L; Price, Matthew; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Odenat, Lydia; Post, Loren; Zwiebach, Liza; Breazeale, Kathryn; Gross, Robin; Kim, Sae-Jin; Rothbaum, Barbara Olasov
When a memory is recalled, it may again exist in a labile state and stored information becomes amenable to change, a psychobiological process known as reconsolidation. Exposure therapy for anxiety disorders involves accessing a fear memory and modifying it with less fearful information. A preclinical study reported that providing a reminder of a fear memory 10 min prior to extinction training in humans decreased fear up to 1 year later (Schiller et al., 2010). For this pilot clinical study, we used virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) for fear of flying (FoF) to determine if using a cue to reactivate the memory of the feared stimulus 10 min prior to exposure sessions leads to fewer anxiety-related behaviors and a more durable response compared to a neutral cue. FoF participants (N = 89) received four sessions of anxiety management training followed by four sessions of VRE. Participants were randomly assigned to receive an FoF cue (reactivation group) or a neutral cue (control group) prior to the VRE sessions. Heart rate (HR) and skin conductance levels (SCLs) were collected during posttreatment and 3-month follow-up assessments as objective markers of fear responding. Treatment was effective and all clinical measures improved equally between groups at posttreatment with maintained gains through follow-ups. Significant differences were identified with regard to HR and SCL indices. These results suggest that memory reactivation prior to exposure therapy did not have an impact on clinical measures but may enhance the effect of exposure therapy at the physiological level. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Elisa Mari Akagi Jordão
Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala complex (BLA, including the lateral (LA, basal (BA and accessory basal (AB nuclei, is involved in acquisition of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. The BA is one of the main targets for hippocampal information, a brain structure critical for contextual learning, which integrates several discrete stimuli into a single configural representation. Congruent with the hodology, selective neurotoxic damage to the BA results in impairments in contextual, but not auditory, fear conditioning, similarly to the behavioral impairments found after hippocampal damage. This study evaluated the effects of muscimol-induced reversible inactivation of the BA during a simultaneous contextual and auditory fear conditioning training on later fear responses to both the context and the tone, tested separately, without muscimol administration. As compared to control rats micro-infused with vehicle, subjects micro-infused with muscimol before training exhibited, during testing without muscimol, significant reduction of freezing responses to the conditioned context, but not to the conditioned tone. Therefore, reversible inactivation of the BA during training impaired contextual, but not auditory fear conditioning, thus confirming and extending similar behavioral observations following selective neurotoxic damage to the BA and, in addition, revealing that this effect is not related to the lack of a functional BA during testing.
Orsini, Caitlin A.; Maren, Stephen
Over the course of natural history, countless animal species have evolved adaptive behavioral systems to cope with dangerous situations and promote survival. Emotional memories are central to these defense systems because they are rapidly acquired and prepare organisms for future threat. Unfortunately, the persistence and intrusion of memories of fearful experiences are quite common and can lead to pathogenic conditions, such as anxiety and phobias. Over the course of the last thirty years, neuroscientists and psychologists alike have attempted to understand the mechanisms by which the brain encodes and maintains these aversive memories. Of equal interest, though, is the neurobiology of extinction memory formation as this may shape current therapeutic techniques. Here we review the extant literature on the neurobiology of fear and extinction memory formation, with a strong focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. PMID:22230704
Dennis R. Sparta
Full Text Available The development of excessive fear and/or stress responses to environmental cues such as contexts associated with a traumatic event is a hallmark of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. The basolateral amygdala (BLA has been implicated as a key structure mediating contextual fear conditioning. In addition, the hippocampus has an integral role in the encoding and processing of contexts associated with strong, salient stimuli such as fear. Given that both the BLA and hippocampus play an important role in the regulation of contextual fear conditioning, examining the functional connectivity between these two structures may elucidate a role for this pathway in the development of PTSD. Here, we used optogenetic strategies to demonstrate that the BLA sends a strong glutamatergic projection to the hippocampal formation through the entorhinal cortex (EC. Next, we photoinhibited glutamatergic fibers from the BLA terminating in the EC during the acquisition or expression of contextual fear conditioning. In mice that received optical inhibition of the BLA-to-EC pathway during the acquisition session, we observed a significant decrease in freezing behavior in a context re-exposure session. In contrast, we observed no differences in freezing behavior in mice that were only photoinhibited during the context re-exposure session. These data demonstrate an important role for the BLA-to-EC glutamatergic pathway in the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning.
Li, Jay-Shake; Hsiao, Kun-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Min
Previous animal studies have defined the ability to remember the details of what, where, and when of an event as an episodic-like memory to be used to model episodic memory in humans. Numerous findings indicate that the hippocampal-frontal cortical circuitry plays a major part in its neural mechanism. Researchers have intensively studied roles of diverse hippocampus sub-regions using animal models. By contrast, the impact of prefrontal cortex lesions on episodic-like memory in animals is still unknown. Here we show that Wistar rats with bilateral medial prefrontal cortex lesions failed to use the temporal-contextual information to retrieve memory of a fear-conditioning event, indicating impairments in their episodic-like memory. Subsequent experiments excluded alternative interpretations that the manipulation impaired the fear-conditioning per se, or interfered with the sensory preconditioning process. We concluded that damages in this area might impair temporal information processing, or interfere with integrating temporal and contextual elements of fear-conditioning events to form a conjunctive entity. These findings can help understand how the medial prefrontal cortex contributes to episodic-like memory. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Liao, Zhaohui; Tao, Yezheng; Guo, Xiaomu; Cheng, Deqin; Wang, Feifei; Liu, Xing; Ma, Lan
Astrocytes are well known to scale synaptic structural and functional plasticity, while the role in learning and memory, such as conditioned fear memory, is poorly elucidated. Here, using pharmacological approach, we find that fluorocitrate (FC) significantly inhibits the acquisition of fear memory, suggesting that astrocyte activity is required for fear memory formation. We further demonstrate that fear conditioning downregulates astrocytic Rac1 activity in basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mice and promotes astrocyte structural plasticity. Ablation of astrocytic Rac1 in BLA promotes fear memory acquisition, while overexpression or constitutive activation of astrocytic Rac1 attenuates fear memory acquisition. Furthermore, temporal activation of Rac1 by photoactivatable Rac1 (Rac1-PA) induces structural alterations in astrocytes and in vivo activation of Rac1 in BLA astrocytes during fear conditioning attenuates the formation of fear memory. Taken together, our study demonstrates that fear conditioning-induced suppression of BLA astrocytic Rac1 activity, associated with astrocyte structural plasticity, is required for the formation of conditioned fear memory.
Schmidt, S D; Furini, C R G; Zinn, C G; Cavalcante, L E; Ferreira, F F; Behling, J A K; Myskiw, J C; Izquierdo, I
The process of memory formation is complex and highly dynamic. During learning, the newly acquired information is found in a fragile and labile state. Through a process known as consolidation, which requires specific mechanisms such as protein synthesis, the memory trace is stored and stabilized. It is known that when a consolidated memory is recalled, it again becomes labile and sensitive to disruption. To be maintained, this memory must undergo an additional process of restabilization called reconsolidation, which requires another phase of protein synthesis. Memory consolidation has been studied for more than a century, while the molecular mechanisms underlying the memory reconsolidation are starting to be elucidated. For this, is essential compare the participation of important neurotransmitters and its receptors in both processes in brain regions that play a central role in the fear response learning. With focus on serotonin (5-HT), a well characterized neurotransmitter that has been strongly implicated in learning and memory, we investigated, in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus, whether the latest discovered serotonergic receptors, 5-HT 5A , 5-HT 6 and 5-HT 7 , are involved in the consolidation and reconsolidation of contextual fear conditioning (CFC) memory. For this, male rats with cannulae implanted in the CA1 region received immediately after the training or reactivation session, or 3h post-reactivation of the CFC, infusions of agonists or antagonists of the 5-HT 5A , 5-HT 6 and 5-HT 7 receptors. After 24h, animals were subjected to a 3-min retention test. The results indicated that in the CA1 region of the hippocampus the 5-HT 5A , 5-HT 6 and 5-HT 7 serotonin receptors participate in the reconsolidation of the CFC memory 3h post-reactivation. Additionally, the results suggest that the 5-HT 6 and 5-HT 7 receptors also participate in the consolidation of the CFC memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zhang, D; Wang, X; Wang, B; Garza, J C; Fang, X; Wang, J; Scherer, P E; Brenner, R; Zhang, W; Lu, X-Y
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by exaggerated fear expression and impaired fear extinction. The underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of PTSD are largely unknown. The current pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for PTSD are either ineffective or temporary with high relapse rates. Here we report that adiponectin-deficient mice exhibited normal contextual fear conditioning but displayed slower extinction learning. Infusions of adiponectin into the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus in fear-conditioned mice facilitated extinction of contextual fear. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices revealed that intrinsic excitability of DG granule neurons was enhanced by adiponectin deficiency and suppressed after treatment with the adiponectin mimetic AdipoRon, which were associated with increased input resistance and hyperpolarized resting membrane potential, respectively. Moreover, deletion of AdipoR2, but not AdipoR1 in the DG, resulted in augmented fear expression and reduced extinction, accompanied by intrinsic hyperexcitability of DG granule neurons. Adiponectin and AdipoRon failed to induce facilitation of fear extinction and elicit inhibition of intrinsic excitability of DG neurons in AdipoR2 knockout mice. These results indicated that adiponectin action via AdipoR2 was both necessary and sufficient for extinction of contextual fear and intrinsic excitability of DG granule neurons, implying that enhancing or dampening DG neuronal excitability may cause resistance to or facilitation of extinction. Therefore, our findings provide a functional link between adiponectin/AdipoR2 activation, DG neuronal excitability and contextual fear extinction, and suggest that targeting adiponectin/AdipoR2 may be used to strengthen extinction-based exposure therapies for PTSD.
Vetere, Gisella; Restivo, Leonardo; Novembre, Giovanni; Aceti, Massimiliano; Lumaca, Massimo; Ammassari-Teule, Martine
Structural synaptic changes occur in medial prefrontal cortex circuits during remote memory formation. Whether extinction reverts or further reshapes these circuits is, however, unknown. Here we show that the number and the size of spines were enhanced in anterior cingulate (aCC) and infralimbic (ILC) cortices 36 d following contextual fear…
Melody V. Wu
Full Text Available Normal aging and exercise exert extensive, often opposing, effects on the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus altering volume, synaptic function, and behaviors. The DG is especially important for behaviors requiring pattern separation—a cognitive process that enables animals to differentiate between highly similar contextual experiences. To determine how age and exercise modulate pattern separation in an aversive setting, young, aged, and aged mice provided with a running wheel were assayed on a fear-based contextual discrimination task. Aged mice showed a profound impairment in contextual discrimination compared to young animals. Voluntary exercise rescued this deficit to such an extent that behavioral pattern separation of aged-run mice was now similar to young animals. Running also resulted in a significant increase in the number of immature neurons with tertiary dendrites in aged mice. Despite this, neurogenesis levels in aged-run mice were still considerably lower than in young animals. Thus, mechanisms other than DG neurogenesis likely play significant roles in improving behavioral pattern separation elicited by exercise in aged animals.
Wang, Huiying; Li, Sa; Kirouac, Gilbert J
Orexin (hypocretin) neurons located in the posterior hypothalamus send projections to multiple areas of the brain involved in arousal and experimental evidence indicates that these neurons play a role in the physiological and behavioral responses to stress. This study was done to determine if the orexin system was involved in mediating the fear associated with shock context (5×2s of 1.5mA). First, real-time RT-PCR was used to examine changes in the mRNA levels for prepro-orexin (ppOX), the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) and the orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) at two weeks post-shock. We found that the mRNA levels for ppOX and OX1R were increased in the posterior hypothalamus of shocked rats. In contrast, no significant difference was found in the midline thalamus or the locus coeruleus/parabrachial region. Second, the study examined if systemic injections of antagonists for orexin receptors attenuated the freezing related to contextual fear. The OX1R antagonist SB334867 (20 or 30mg/kg; i.p.) decreased freezing while the same doses of the OX2R antagonist TCSOX229 had no effect. The dual orexin antagonist TCS1102 (20mg/kg; i.p.) also decreased the freezing to the shock context. The results of the present study show upregulation of orexin activity and of the OX1R in the hypothalamus following exposure of rats to footshocks and highlight a specific role of OX1R in contextual fear. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT and neuropeptide S (NPS systems are discussed as important genetic modulators of fear and sustained anxiety contributing to the etiology of anxiety disorders. Sustained anxiety is a crucial characteristic of most anxiety disorders which likely develops through context conditioning. This study investigated if and how genetic alterations of the 5-HT and the NPS systems as well as their interaction modulate contextual fear conditioning; specifically, function polymorphic variants in the genes coding for the 5-HT transporter (5HTT and the NPS receptor (NPSR1 were studied. A large group of healthy volunteers was therefore stratified for 5HTTLPR (S+ vs. LL carriers and NPSR1 rs324981 (T+ vs. AA carriers polymorphisms resulting in four genotype groups (S+/T+, S+/AA, LL/T+, LL/AA of 20 participants each. All participants underwent contextual fear conditioning and extinction using a virtual reality paradigm. During acquisition, one virtual office room (anxiety context, CXT+ was paired with an unpredictable electric stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US, whereas another virtual office room was not paired with any US (safety context, CXT-. During extinction no US was administered. Anxiety responses were quantified by fear-potentiated startle and ratings. Most importantly, we found a gene × gene interaction on fear-potentiated startle. Only carriers of both risk alleles (S+/T+ exhibited higher startle responses in CXT+ compared to CXT-. In contrast, anxiety ratings were only influenced by the NPSR1 polymorphism with AA carriers showing higher anxiety ratings in CXT+ as compared to CXT-. Our results speak in favor of a two level account of fear conditioning with diverging effects on implicit vs. explicit fear responses. Contextual fear reflected in potentiated startle responses may be an endophenotype for anxiety disorders.
Liu, Jianfeng; Zhao, Liyan; Xue, Yanxue; Shi, Jie; Suo, Lin; Luo, Yixiao; Chai, Baisheng; Yang, Chang; Fang, Qin; Zhang, Yan; Bao, Yanping; Pickens, Charles L; Lu, Lin
Conditioned fear memories can be updated by extinction during reconsolidation, and this effect is specific to the reactivated conditioned stimulus (CS). However, a traumatic event can be associated with several cues, and each cue can potentially trigger recollection of the event. We introduced a technique to target all diverse cues associated with an aversive event that causes fear. In human experiments, 161 subjects underwent modified fear conditioning, in which they were exposed to an unconditioned stimulus (US) or unreinforced CS to reactivate the memory and then underwent extinction, spontaneous recovery, and reinstatement. In animal experiments, 343 rats underwent contextual fear conditioning under a similar protocol as that used in the human experiments. We also explored the molecular alterations after US reactivation in rats. Presentation of a lower intensity US before extinction disrupted the associations between the different CS and reactivated US in both humans and rats. This effect persisted for at least 6 months in humans and was selective to the reactivated US. This procedure was also effective for remote memories in both humans and rats. Compared with the CS, the US induced stronger endocytosis of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid glutamate receptors 1 and 2 and stronger activation of protein kinase A, p70S6 kinase, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element binding protein in the dorsal hippocampus in rats. These findings demonstrate that a modified US retrieval extinction strategy may have a potential impact on therapeutic approaches to prevent the return of fear. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This project follows two years of successful research under project 102661 on forced migration of Colombians within Colombia and to Ecuador and Canada. Researchers in Colombia and Canada investigated the ways in which fear, historical memory and social representation by and about forced migrants influence their ...
The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) also acts as a neurogenic compound in the developing brain. Early administration of a 5-HT agonist could alter the development of the serotonergic circuitry, altering behaviors mediated by 5-HT signaling, such as memory, fear and aggression. White leghorn chicks...
Giachero, Marcelo; Bustos, Silvia G; Calfa, Gaston; Molina, Victor A
The present study investigates the fear memory resulting from the interaction of a stressful experience and the retrieval of an established fear memory trace. Such a combination enhanced both fear expression and fear retention in adult Wistar rats. Likewise, midazolam intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion prior to stress attenuated the enhancement of fear memory thus suggesting the involvement of a stress-induced reduction of the GABAergic transmission in BLA in the stress-induced enhancing effect. It has been suggested that, unlike the immediate-early gene Zif268 which is related to the reconsolidation process, the expression of hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is highly correlated with consolidation. We therefore evaluate the relative contribution of these two neurobiological processes to the fear memory resulting from the above-mentioned interaction. Intra-dorsal hippocampus (DH) infusions of either the antisense Zif268 or the inhibitor of the protein degradation (Clasto-Lactacystin β-Lactone), suggested to be involved in the retrieval-dependent destabilization process, did not affect the resulting contextual memory. In contrast, the knockdown of hippocampal BDNF mitigated the stress-induced facilitating influence on fear retention. In addition, the retrieval experience elevated BDNF level in DH at 60 min after recall exclusively in stressed animals. These findings suggest the involvement of a hippocampal BDNF sensitive mechanism in the stress-promoting influence on the fear memory following retrieval.
Baratta, Michael V; Kodandaramaiah, Suhasa B; Monahan, Patrick E; Yao, Junmei; Weber, Michael D; Lin, Pei-Ann; Gisabella, Barbara; Petrossian, Natalie; Amat, Jose; Kim, Kyungman; Yang, Aimei; Forest, Craig R; Boyden, Edward S; Goosens, Ki A
Prior exposure to stress is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to trauma, yet the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. Using a rodent model of stress-based susceptibility to PTSD, we investigated the role of serotonin in this phenomenon. Adult mice were exposed to repeated immobilization stress or handling, and the role of serotonin in subsequent fear learning was assessed using pharmacologic manipulation and western blot detection of serotonin receptors, measurements of serotonin, high-speed optogenetic silencing, and behavior. Both dorsal raphe serotonergic activity during aversive reinforcement and amygdala serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) activity during memory consolidation were necessary for stress enhancement of fear memory, but neither process affected fear memory in unstressed mice. Additionally, prior stress increased amygdala sensitivity to serotonin by promoting surface expression of 5-HT2CR without affecting tissue levels of serotonin in the amygdala. We also showed that the serotonin that drives stress enhancement of associative cued fear memory can arise from paired or unpaired footshock, an effect not predicted by theoretical models of associative learning. Stress bolsters the consequences of aversive reinforcement, not by simply enhancing the neurobiological signals used to encode fear in unstressed animals, but rather by engaging distinct mechanistic pathways. These results reveal that predictions from classical associative learning models do not always hold for stressed animals and suggest that 5-HT2CR blockade may represent a promising therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive fear responses such as that observed in PTSD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
de Oliveira, Daniela Rodrigues; Zamberlam, Cláudia R; Gaiardo, Renan Barreta; Rêgo, Gizelda Maia; Cerutti, Janete M; Cavalheiro, Alberto J; Cerutti, Suzete M
Flavonoids, which have been identified in a variety of plants, have been demonstrated to elicit beneficial effects on memory. Some studies have reported that flavonoids derived from Erythrina plants can provide such beneficial effects on memory. The aim of this study was to identify the flavonoids present in the stem bark crude extract of Erythrina falcata (CE) and to perform a bioactivity-guided study on conditioned fear memory. The secondary metabolites of CE were identified by high performance liquid chromatography combined with a diode array detector, electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-ESI/MSn) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The buthanolic fraction (BuF) was obtained by partitioning. Subfractions from BuF (BuF1 - BuF6) and fraction flavonoidic (FfA and FfB) were obtained by flash chromatography. The BuF3 and BuF4 fractions were used for the isolation of flavonoids, which was performed using HPLC-PAD. The isolated substances were quantified by HPLC-DAD and their structures were confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The activities of CE and the subfractions were monitored using a one-trial, step-down inhibitory avoidance (IA) task to identify the effects of these substances on the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear in rats. Six subclasses of flavonoids were identified for the first time in CE. According to our behavioral data, CE, BuF, BuF3 and BuF4, the flavonoidic fractions, vitexin, isovitexin and 6-C-glycoside-diosmetin improved the acquisition of fear memory. Rats treated with BuF, BuF3 and BuF4 were particularly resistant to extinction. Nevertheless, rats treated with FfA and FfB, vitexin, isovitexin and 6-C-glycoside-diosmetin exhibited gradual reduction in conditioned fear response during the extinction retest session, which was measured at 48 to 480 h after conditioning. Our results demonstrate that vitexin, isovitexin and diosmetin-6-C-glucoside and flavonoidic fractions resulted in a significant
Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Jhang, Jinho; Kim, Hyung-Su; Lee, Sujin; Han, Jin-Hee
Memory is thought to be sparsely encoded throughout multiple brain regions forming unique memory trace. Although evidence has established that the amygdala is a key brain site for memory storage and retrieval of auditory conditioned fear memory, it remains elusive whether the auditory brain regions may be involved in fear memory storage or…
Jesse Daniel Cushman
Full Text Available Postnatal-neurogenesis (PNN contributes neurons to olfactory bulb (OB and dentate gyrus (DG throughout juvenile development, but the quantitative amount, temporal dynamics and functional roles of this contribution have not been defined. By using transgenic mouse models for cell lineage tracing and conditional cell ablation, we found that juvenile neurogenesis gradually increased the total number of granule neurons by approximately 40% in OB, and by 25% in DG, between two weeks and two months of age, and that total numbers remained stable thereafter. These findings indicate that the overwhelming majority of net postnatal neuronal addition in these regions occurs during the juvenile period and that adult neurogenesis contributes primarily to replacement of granule cells in both regions. Behavioral analysis in our conditional cell ablation mouse model showed that complete loss of PNN throughout both the juvenile and adult period produced a specific set of sex-dependent cognitive changes. We observed normal hippocampus-independent delay fear conditioning, but excessive generalization of fear to a novel auditory stimulus, which is consistent with a role for PNN in psychopathology. Standard contextual fear conditioning was intact, however, pre-exposure dependent contextual fear was impaired suggesting a specific role for PNN in incidental contextual learning. Contextual discrimination between two highly similar contexts was enhanced; suggesting either enhanced contextual pattern separation or impaired temporal integration. We also observed a reduced reliance on olfactory cues, consistent with a role for OB PNN in the efficient processing of olfactory information. Thus, juvenile neurogenesis adds substantively to the total numbers of granule neurons in OB and DG during periods of critical juvenile behavioral development, including weaning, early social interactions and sexual maturation, and plays a sex-dependent role in fear memories.
Armita eGolkar; Martin eBellander; Andreas eOlsson; Arne eÖhman
Recent advances in the field of fear learning have demonstrated that a single reminder exposure prior to extinction training can prevent the return of extinguished fear by disrupting the process of reconsolidation. These findings have however proven hard to replicate in humans. Given the significant implications of preventing the return of fear, the purpose of the present study was to further study the prerequisites for the putative effects of disrupting reconsolidation. In two experiments, w...
Gil, N; Josman, N
The purpose of the present study was to examine the ability of the Contextual Memory Test (CMT) to differentiate between elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) in comparison to healthy elderly people. Specifically, the objectives were to compare for differences between and within the groups on components of memory, including immediate and delayed recall as well as recognition. In addition, parameters of metamemory skills, such as general awareness, self-prediction of memory capacity, self-estimation, strategy use and use of contextual information, as well as the correlation between self-awareness and actual performance in both groups, were investigated. The sample consisted of 60 elderly participants, including 30 people diagnosed with AD who were assigned to the research group and 30 people matched for age, gender and educational level who were assigned to the control group. The results provide support for the hypothesis positing differences in memory performance between healthy elderly participants and those suffering from AD, particularly in immediate and delayed recall as well as in recognition. Moreover, findings indicate an improvement in memory performance under the cued condition (contextual), whereas improvement in the AD group proved to be significant only for immediate recall. The findings point to a distinct overestimation of memory ability predicted by both the AD and control groups. Following the memory task, however, the participants accurately estimated the number of items they remembered. In addition, significant correlations between the use of contextual and association strategies and the number of items remembered by both groups were obtained, in immediate as well as in delayed recall. Therefore, these findings support the CMT as a valuable memory and metamemory assessment tool for use with the AD population.
Full Text Available Takahiro Masuda,1,2 Takeshi Inoue,1 Yan An,1 Naoki Takamura,1,3 Shin Nakagawa,1 Yuji Kitaichi,1 Tsukasa Koyama,1 Ichiro Kusumi1 1Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo Japan; 2Medical Affairs, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan; 3Regenerative and Cellular Medicine Office, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Co, Ltd, Osaka, Japan Background: Mirtazapine, a noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant, which blocks the α2-adrenergic autoreceptors and heteroreceptors, has shown anxiolytic properties in clinical trials and preclinical animal experiments. The addition of mirtazapine to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs is clinically suggested to be more effective for anxiety disorders. In this study, we examined the combined effects of mirtazapine and citalopram, an SSRI, on the freezing behavior of rats, which was induced by contextual conditioned fear as an index of anxiety or fear. Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats individually received footshocks in a shock chamber, and 24 hours later, they were given citalopram and/or mirtazapine injections. One hour after citalopram and 30 minutes after mirtazapine administration, freezing behavior was analyzed in the same shock chamber without shocks. Results: Mirtazapine decreased freezing in a dose-dependent manner, which is consistent with a previous report; it also enhanced an anxiolytic-like effect at a high dose (30 mg/kg of citalopram. Because mirtazapine blocks α2-adrenoreceptors, the combined effect of atipamezole, a selective α2 receptor antagonist, with citalopram was also examined. Similar to mirtazapine, atipamezole reduced freezing dose-dependently, but the enhancement of citalopram's effects by atipamezole was not clear when compared with mirtazapine. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that mirtazapine has an anxiolytic-like effect and may enhance the anxiolytic-like effect of SSRIs, but this enhancement may not be
Zhang, W.; Ast, V.A. van; Klumpers, F.; Roelofs, K.; Hermans, E.
Memory recall is facilitated when retrieval occurs in the original encoding context. This context dependency effect likely results from the automatic binding of central elements of an experience with contextual features (i.e., memory "contextualization") during encoding. However, despite a vast body
Robin, Jessica; Moscovitch, Morris
Several recent studies have explored the effect of contextual familiarity on remembered and imagined events. The aim of this study was to examine the extent of this effect by comparing the effect of cuing spatial memories, episodic memories, and imagined future events with spatial contextual cues of varying levels of familiarity. We used…
Full Text Available Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF dysregulation is implicated in mood and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. CRF is expressed in areas engaged in fear and anxiety processing including the central amygdala (CeA. Complicating our ability to study the contribution of CRF-containing neurons to fear and anxiety behavior is the wide variety of cell types in which CRF is expressed. To manipulate specific subpopulations of CRF containing neurons, our lab has developed a mouse with a Cre recombinase gene driven by a CRF promoter (CRFp3.0Cre (Martin et al., 2010. In these studies, mice that have the gene that encodes NR1 (Grin1 flanked by loxP sites (floxed were crossed with our previously developed CRFp3.0Cre mouse to selectively disrupt Grin1 within CRF containing neurons (Cre+/fGrin1+. We find that disruption of Grin1 in CRF neurons did not affect baseline levels of anxiety, locomotion, pain sensitivity or exploration of a novel object. However, baseline expression of Grin1 was decreased in Cre+/fGrin1+ mice as measured by RTPCR. Cre+/fGrin1+ mice showed enhanced auditory fear acquisition and retention without showing any significant effect on fear extinction. We measured Gria1, the gene that encodes AMPAR1 and the CREB activator Creb1 in the amygdala of Cre+/fGrin1+ mice after fear conditioning. Both Gria1 and Creb1 were enhanced in the amygdala after training. To determine if the Grin1-expressing CRF neurons within the CeA are responsible for the enhancement of fear memory in adults, we infused a lentivirus with Cre driven by a CRF promoter (LV pCRF-Cre/fGrin1+ into the CeA of floxed Grin1 mice. Cre driven deletion of Grin1 specifically within CRF expressing cells in the CeA also resulted in enhanced fear memory acquisition and retention. Altogether, these findings suggest that selective disruption of Grin1 within CeA CRF neurons strongly enhances fear memory.
Glazer, Daniel A; Mason, Oliver; King, John A; Brewin, Chris R
This study tested the hypothesis that the presence and characteristics of naturally occurring involuntary imagery would be related to poorer context-dependent spatial memory and higher levels of proneness to psychotic experiences. Poorer contextual memory was also predicted to be associated with a greater sense of "nowness". Participants completed a virtual environment task that assessed contextual memory through responses that required allocentric and egocentric processing of virtual stimuli. Two questionnaires assessing predisposition to psychotic experiences were employed. Finally, participants completed an interview that required details of recent, naturally occurring involuntary images. Reports of involuntary imagery were associated with greater proneness to psychotic experiences but not with memory. In those participants who reported imagery, however, poorer memory performance was associated with more vivid and detailed intrusive imagery. Poorer contextual memory was specifically associated with a greater sense of "nowness". Possible links between contextual memory and proneness to psychosis are discussed.
Oudman, Erik; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Wester, Arie J.; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Postma, Albert
Implicit contextual learning is the ability to acquire contextual information from our surroundings without conscious awareness. Such contextual information facilitates the localization of objects in space. In a typical implicit contextual learning paradigm, subjects need to find a target among a
Oudman, E.; Stigchel, S. van der; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.; Postma, A.
Implicit contextual learning is the ability to acquire contextual information from our surroundings without conscious awareness. Such contextual information facilitates the localization of objects in space. In a typical implicit contextual learning paradigm, subjects need to find a target among a
Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
Extinction training during reconsolidation has been shown to persistently diminish conditioned fear responses across species. We investigated in humans if older fear memories can benefit similarly. Using a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm we compared standard extinction and extinction after memory reactivation 1 d or 7 d following acquisition.…
Full Text Available Fear memories can be attenuated by reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we recently showed that reactivation and reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory trace in the basolateral amygdala predicts subsequent fear expression over two days, while reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation abolishes the memory trace and suppresses fear. In this follow-up study we demonstrate that the behavioral effect persists over 18 months reflected in superior reacquisition after undisrupted, as compared to disrupted reconsolidation, and that neural activity in the basolateral amygdala representing the initial fear memory predicts return of fear. We conclude that disrupting reconsolidation have long lasting behavioral effects and may permanently erase the fear component of an amygdala-dependent memory.
Schlagbauer, Bernhard; Mink, Maurice; Müller, Hermann J; Geyer, Thomas
Observers are able to resume an interrupted search trial faster relative to responding to a new, unseen display. This finding of rapid resumption is attributed to short-term perceptual hypotheses generated on the current look and confirmed upon subsequent looks at the same display. It has been suggested that the contents of perceptual hypotheses are similar to those of other forms of memory acquired long-term through repeated exposure to the same search displays over the course of several trials, that is, the memory supporting "contextual cueing." In three experiments, we investigated the relationship between short-term perceptual hypotheses and long-term contextual memory. The results indicated that long-term, contextual memory of repeated displays neither affected the generation nor the confirmation of short-term perceptual hypotheses for these displays. Furthermore, the analysis of eye movements suggests that long-term memory provides an initial benefit in guiding attention to the target, whereas in subsequent looks guidance is entirely based on short-term perceptual hypotheses. Overall, the results reveal a picture of both long- and short-term memory contributing to reliable performance gains in interrupted search, while exerting their effects in an independent manner.
Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Daviu, Nuria; Rabasa, Cristina; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
A single exposure to a cat or cat odors has been reported by some groups to induce contextual and auditory fear conditioning and long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour, but there is no evidence for parallel changes in biological stress markers. In the present study we demonstrated in male rats that exposure to a novel environment containing a cloth impregnated with cat fur odor resulted in avoidance of the odor, lower levels of activity and higher pituitary-adrenal (PA) response as compared to those exposed to the novel environment containing a clean cloth, suggesting increased levels of stress in the former animals. When re-exposed 9 days later to the same environment with a clean cloth, previously cat fur exposed rats again showed avoidance of the cloth area and lower levels of activity, suggesting development of contextual fear conditioning, which again was associated with a higher PA activation. In contrast, unaltered both anxiety-like behaviour and PA responsiveness to an elevated plus-maze were found 7 days after cat odor exposure. It is concluded that: (i) PA activation is able to reflect both the stressful properties of cat fur odor and odor-induced contextual fear conditioning; (ii) development of cat odor-induced contextual fear conditioning is independent of the induction of long-lasting changes in anxiety-like behaviour; and (iii) greater PA activation during exposure to the odor context is not explained by non-specific sensitization of the PA axis caused by previous exposure to cat fur odor.
Raber, Jacob; Weber, Sydney J.; Kronenberg, Amy; Turker, Mitchell S.
The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to 28Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET = 78keV / μ m ; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to 48Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET = 107keV / μ m ; 0.2 or 0.4 Gy). As an increased understanding of the impact of charged particle exposures is critical for assessment of risk to the CNS of astronauts during and following missions, in this study we used 40Ca ion beams (942 MeV/n, LET = 90keV / μm) to determine the behavioral and cognitive effects for the LET region between that of Si ions and Ti ions. 40Ca ion exposure reduced baseline activity in a novel environment in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests reduced motivation to explore and/or a diminished level of curiosity in a novel environment. In addition, exposure to 40Ca ions had sex-dependent effects on response to shock. 40Ca ion irradiation reduced the response to shock in female, but not male, mice. In contrast, 40Ca ion irradiation did not affect fear learning, memory, or extinction of fear memory for either gender at the doses employed in this study. Thus 40Ca ion irradiation affected behavioral, but not cognitive, performance. The effects of 40Ca ion irradiation on behavioral performance are relevant, as a combination of novelty and aversive environmental stimuli is pertinent to conditions experienced by astronauts during and following space missions.
Tielemans, N.S.; Hendriks, M.P.; Talamini, L.; Wester, A.J.; Meeter, M.; Kessels, R.P.C.
Item-context binding is crucial for successful episodic memory formation, and binding deficits have been suggested to underlie episodic-memory deficits. Here, our research investigated the facilitation of cued recall and recognition memory by contextual cues in 20 patients with Korsakoff's amnesia,
Tielemans, N.S.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Talamini, L.; Wester, A.J.; Meeter, M.; Kessels, R.P.C.
Item-context binding is crucial for successful episodic memory formation, and binding deficits have been suggested to underlie episodic-memory deficits. Here, our research investigated the facilitation of cued recall and recognition memory by contextual cues in 20 patients with Korsakoff's amnesia,
Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana
Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.
Full Text Available Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment.
Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana
Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this experimental model, learning acquisition was not impaired, fear memory was enhanced, memory extinction was delayed and spontaneous recovery of fear memory was exacerbated in hypothyroid rats. The potentiation of emotional memory under hypothyroidism was associated with an increase of corticosterone release after fear conditioning and with higher expression of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, nuclei that are critically involved in the circuitry of fear memory. Our results demonstrate for the first time that adult-onset hypothyroidism potentiates fear memory and also increases vulnerability to develop emotional memories. Furthermore, our findings suggest that enhanced corticosterone signaling in the amygdala is involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of fear memory potentiation. Therefore, we recommend evaluating whether inappropriate regulation of fear in patients with post-traumatic stress and other mental disorders is associated with abnormal levels of thyroid hormones, especially those patients refractory to treatment. PMID:22039511
Mark P DeAndrade
Full Text Available Polymorphisms in BTBD9 have recently been associated with higher risk of restless legs syndrome (RLS, a neurological disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs at rest that are relieved by movement. The BTBD9 protein contains a BTB/POZ domain and a BACK domain, but its function is unknown. To elucidate its function and potential role in the pathophysiology of RLS, we generated a line of mutant Btbd9 mice derived from a commercial gene-trap embryonic stem cell clone. Btbd9 is the mouse homolog of the human BTBD9. Proteins that contain a BTB/POZ domain have been reported to be associated with synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that Btbd9 is naturally expressed in the hippocampus of our mutant mice, a region critical for learning and memory. As electrophysiological characteristics of CA3-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus are well characterized, we performed electrophysiological recordings in this region. The mutant mice showed normal input-output relationship, a significant impairment in pre-synaptic activity, and an enhanced long-term potentiation. We further performed an analysis of fear memory and found the mutant mice had an enhanced cued and contextual fear memory. To elucidate a possible molecular basis for these enhancements, we analyzed proteins that have been associated with synaptic plasticity. We found an elevated level of dynamin 1, an enzyme associated with endocytosis, in the mutant mice. These results suggest the first identified function of Btbd9 as being involved in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory. Recent studies have suggested that enhanced synaptic plasticity, analogous to what we have observed, in other regions of the brain could enhance sensory perception similar to what is seen in RLS patients. Further analyses of the mutant mice will help shine light on the function of BTBD9 and its role in RLS.
DeAndrade, Mark P; Zhang, Li; Doroodchi, Atbin; Yokoi, Fumiaki; Cheetham, Chad C; Chen, Huan-Xin; Roper, Steven N; Sweatt, J David; Li, Yuqing
Polymorphisms in BTBD9 have recently been associated with higher risk of restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs at rest that are relieved by movement. The BTBD9 protein contains a BTB/POZ domain and a BACK domain, but its function is unknown. To elucidate its function and potential role in the pathophysiology of RLS, we generated a line of mutant Btbd9 mice derived from a commercial gene-trap embryonic stem cell clone. Btbd9 is the mouse homolog of the human BTBD9. Proteins that contain a BTB/POZ domain have been reported to be associated with synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that Btbd9 is naturally expressed in the hippocampus of our mutant mice, a region critical for learning and memory. As electrophysiological characteristics of CA3-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus are well characterized, we performed electrophysiological recordings in this region. The mutant mice showed normal input-output relationship, a significant impairment in pre-synaptic activity, and an enhanced long-term potentiation. We further performed an analysis of fear memory and found the mutant mice had an enhanced cued and contextual fear memory. To elucidate a possible molecular basis for these enhancements, we analyzed proteins that have been associated with synaptic plasticity. We found an elevated level of dynamin 1, an enzyme associated with endocytosis, in the mutant mice. These results suggest the first identified function of Btbd9 as being involved in regulating synaptic plasticity and memory. Recent studies have suggested that enhanced synaptic plasticity, analogous to what we have observed, in other regions of the brain could enhance sensory perception similar to what is seen in RLS patients. Further analyses of the mutant mice will help shine light on the function of BTBD9 and its role in RLS.
Dawn H Loh
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian rhythms govern many aspects of physiology and behavior including cognitive processes. Components of neural circuits involved in learning and memory, e.g., the amygdala and the hippocampus, exhibit circadian rhythms in gene expression and signaling pathways. The functional significance of these rhythms is still not understood. In the present study, we sought to determine the impact of transiently disrupting the circadian system by shifting the light/dark (LD cycle. Such "jet lag" treatments alter daily rhythms of gene expression that underlie circadian oscillations as well as disrupt the synchrony between the multiple oscillators found within the body. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We subjected adult male C57Bl/6 mice to a contextual fear conditioning protocol either before or after acute phase shifts of the LD cycle. As part of this study, we examined the impact of phase advances and phase delays, and the effects of different magnitudes of phase shifts. Under all conditions tested, we found that recall of fear conditioned behavior was specifically affected by the jet lag. We found that phase shifts potentiated the stress-evoked corticosterone response without altering baseline levels of this hormone. The jet lag treatment did not result in overall sleep deprivation, but altered the temporal distribution of sleep. Finally, we found that prior experience of jet lag helps to compensate for the reduced recall due to acute phase shifts. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Acute changes to the LD cycle affect the recall of fear-conditioned behavior. This suggests that a synchronized circadian system may be broadly important for normal cognition and that the consolidation of memories may be particularly sensitive to disruptions of circadian timing.
Full Text Available It is known that sleep reshapes the neural representations that subtend the memories acquired while navigating in a virtual environment. However, navigation is not process-pure, as manifold learning components contribute to performance, notably the spatial and contextual memory constituents. In this context, it remains unclear whether post-training sleep globally promotes consolidation of all of the memory components embedded in virtual navigation, or rather favors the development of specific representations. Here, we investigated the effect of post-training sleep on the neural substrates of the consolidation of spatial and contextual memories acquired while navigating in a complex 3D, naturalistic virtual town. Using fMRI, we mapped regional cerebral activity during various tasks designed to tap either the spatial or the contextual memory component, or both, 72 h after encoding with or without sleep deprivation during the first post-training night. Behavioral performance was not dependent upon post-training sleep deprivation, neither in a natural setting that engages both spatial and contextual memory processes nor when looking more specifically at each of these memory representations. At the neuronal level however, analyses that focused on contextual memory revealed distinct correlations between performance and neuronal activity in frontal areas associated with recollection processes after post-training sleep, and in the parahippocampal gyrus associated with familiarity processes in sleep-deprived participants. Likewise, efficient spatial memory was associated with posterior cortical activity after sleep whereas it correlated with parahippocampal/medial temporal activity after sleep deprivation. Finally, variations in place-finding efficiency in a natural setting encompassing spatial and contextual elements were associated with caudate activity after post-training sleep, suggesting the automation of navigation. These data indicate that post
Li, Mi; Lu, Shengfu; Zhong, Ning
The parahippocampal cortex (PHC) plays a key role in episodic memory, spatial processing, and the encoding of novel stimuli. Recent studies proposed that the PHC is largely involved in contextual associative processing. Consequently, the function of this region has been a hot debate in cognitive neuroscience. To test this assumption, we used two types of experimental materials to form the contextual associative memory: visual objects in reality and meaningless visual shapes. New associations ...
Murty, Vishnu P; McKinney, Rachel A; DuBrow, Sarah; Jalbrzikowski, Maria; Haas, Gretchen L; Luna, Beatriz
Contextual information is used to support and organize episodic memory. Prior research has reliably shown memory deficits in psychosis; however, little research has characterized how this population uses contextual information during memory recall. We employed an approach founded in a computational framework of free recall to quantify how individuals with first episode of psychosis (FEP, N = 97) and controls (CON, N = 55) use temporal and semantic context to organize memory recall. Free recall was characterized using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R). We compared FEP and CON on three measures of free recall: proportion recalled, temporal clustering, and semantic clustering. Measures of temporal/semantic clustering quantified how individuals use contextual information to organize memory recall. We also assessed to what extent these measures relate to antipsychotic use and differentiated between different types of psychosis. We also explored the relationship between these measures and intelligence. In comparison to CON, FEP had reduced recall and less temporal clustering during free recall (p contextual organization of memory. IQ was related to free recall accuracy, but not the use of contextual information during recall in either group (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected). These results show that in addition to deficits in memory recall, FEP differed in how they organize memories compared to CON.
Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel
Ample evidence suggests that consolidated memories, upon their retrieval, enter a labile state, in which they might be susceptible to change. It has been proposed that memory labilization allows for the integration of relevant information in the established memory trace (memory updating). Memory labilization and reconsolidation do not necessarily occur when a memory is being reactivated, but only when there is something to be learned during memory retrieval (prediction error). Thus, updating of a fear memory trace should not occur under retrieval conditions in which the outcome is fully predictable (no prediction error). Here, we addressed this issue, using a human differential fear conditioning procedure, by eliminating the very possibility of reinforcement of the reminder cue. A previously established fear memory (picture-shock pairings) was reactivated with shock-electrodes attached (Propranolol group, n=18) or unattached (Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group, n=19). We additionally tested a placebo-control group with the shock-electrodes attached (Placebo group, n=18). Reconsolidation was not triggered when nothing could be learned during the reminder trial, as noradrenergic blockade did not affect expression of the fear memory 24h later in the Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group. Only when the outcome of the retrieval cue was not fully predictable, propranolol, contrary to placebo, reduced the startle fear response and prevented the return of fear (reinstatement) the following day. In line with previous studies, skin conductance response and shock expectancies were not affected by propranolol. Remarkably, a double dissociation emerged between the emotional (startle response) and more cognitive expression (expectancies, SCR) of the fear memory. Our findings have important implications for reconsolidation blockade as treatment strategy for emotional disorders. First, fear reducing procedures that target the emotional component of fear memory do not
Wicking, Manon; Steiger, Frauke; Nees, Frauke; Diener, Slawomira J; Grimm, Oliver; Ruttorf, Michaela; Schad, Lothar R; Winkelmann, Tobias; Wirtz, Gustav; Flor, Herta
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might be maintained by deficient extinction memory. We used a cued fear conditioning design with extinction and a post-extinction phase to provoke the return of fear and examined the role of the interplay of amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal regions. We compared 18 PTSD patients with two healthy control groups: 18 trauma-exposed subjects without PTSD (nonPTSD) and 18 healthy controls (HC) without trauma experience. They underwent a three-day ABC-conditioning procedure in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Two geometric shapes that served as conditioned stimuli (CS) were presented in the context of virtual reality scenes. Electric painful stimuli were delivered after one of the two shapes (CS+) during acquisition (in context A), while the other (CS-) was never paired with pain. Extinction was performed in context B and extinction memory was tested in a novel context C. The PTSD patients showed significantly higher differential skin conductance responses than the non-PTSD and HC and higher differential amygdala and hippocampus activity than the HC in context C. In addition, elevated arousal to the CS+ during extinction and to the CS- throughout the experiment was present in the PTSD patients but self-reported differential valence or contingency were not different. During extinction recall, differential amygdala activity correlated positively with the intensity of numbing and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity correlated positively with behavioral avoidance. PTSD patients show heightened return of fear in neural and peripheral measures. In addition, self-reported arousal was high to both danger (CS+) and safety (CS-) cues. These results suggest that a deficient maintenance of extinction and a failure to identify safety signals might contribute to PTSD symptoms, whereas non-PTSD subjects seem to show normal responses. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Verma, Dilip; Tasan, Ramon; Sperk, Guenther; Pape, Hans-Christian
The anterior bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) is involved in reinstatement of extinguished fear, and neuropeptide Y2 receptors influence local synaptic signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that Y2 receptors in anteroventral BNST (BNSTav) interfere with remote fear memory and that previous fear extinction is an important variable. C57BL/6NCrl mice were fear-conditioned, and a Y2 receptor-specific agonist (NPY 3-36 ) or antagonist (JNJ-5207787) was applied in BNSTav before fear retrieval at the following day. Remote fear memory was tested on day 16 in two groups of mice, which had (experiment 1) or had not (experiment 2) undergone extinction training after conditioning. In the group with extinction training, tests of remote fear memory revealed partial retrieval of extinction, which was prevented after blockade of Y2 receptors in BNSTav. No such effect was observed in the group with no extinction training, but stimulation of Y2 receptors in BNSTav mimicked the influence of extinction during tests of remote fear memory. Pharmacological manipulation of Y2 receptors in BNSTav before fear acquisition (experiment 3) had no effect on fear memory retrieval, extinction or remote fear memory. Furthermore, partial retrieval of extinction during tests of remote fear memory was associated with changes in number of c-Fos expressing neurons in BNSTav, which was prevented or mimicked upon Y2 blockade or stimulation in BNSTav. These results indicate that Y2 receptor manipulation in BNSTav interferes with fear memory and extinction retrieval at remote stages, likely through controlling neuronal activity in BNSTav during extinction training. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gagnon, Sylvain; Soulard, Kathleen; Brasgold, Melissa; Kreller, Joshua
Twenty-four younger (18-35 years) and 24 older adult participants (65 or older) were exposed to three experimental conditions involving the memorization words and their associated contextual features, with contextual feature complexity increasing from Conditions 1 to 3. In Condition 1, words presented varied only on one binary feature (color,…
Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research
Treatment of pathological fear typically involves exposure to the feared stimulus. This procedure is effective in reducing fear in the short term. However, many patients relapse, i.e. show a return of fear. The present thesis explored a novel route to counter the renewal of fear. Previous research
Albarran-Zeckler, Rosie G; Brantley, Alicia Faruzzi; Smith, Roy G
Although the hormone ghrelin is best known for its stimulatory effect on appetite and regulation of growth hormone release, it is also reported to have beneficial effects on learning and memory formation in mice. Nevertheless, controversy exists about whether endogenous ghrelin acts on its receptors in extra-hypothalamic areas of the brain. The ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1a) is co-expressed in neurons that express dopamine receptor type-1 (DRD1a) and type-2 (DRD2), and we have shown that a subset of GHS-R1a, which are not occupied by the agonist (apo-GHSR1a), heterodimerize with these two receptors to regulate dopamine signaling in vitro and in vivo. To determine the consequences of ghsr ablation on brain function, congenic ghsr -/- mice on the C57BL6/J background were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests. We show that the ghsr -/- mice exhibit normal balance, movement, coordination, and pain sensation, outperform ghsr +/+ mice in the Morris water maze, but show deficits in contextual fear conditioning. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stout, Daniel M; Acheson, Dean T; Moore, Tyler M; Gur, Ruben C; Baker, Dewleen G; Geyer, Mark A; Risbrough, Victoria B
PTSD has been associated consistently with abnormalities in fear acquisition and extinction learning and retention. Fear acquisition refers to learning to discriminate between threat and safety cues. Extinction learning reflects the formation of a new inhibitory-memory that competes with a previously learned threat-related memory. Adjudicating the competition between threat memory and the new inhibitory memory during extinction may rely, in part, on cognitive processes such as working memory (WM). Despite significant shared neural circuits and signaling pathways the relationship between WM, fear acquisition, and extinction is poorly understood. Here, we analyzed data from a large sample of healthy Marines who underwent an assessment battery including tests of fear acquisition, extinction learning, and WM (N-back). Fear potentiated startle (FPS), fear expectancy ratings, and self-reported anxiety served as the primary dependent variables. High WM ability (N = 192) was associated with greater CS + fear inhibition during the late block of extinction and greater US expectancy change during extinction learning compared to individuals with low WM ability (N = 204). WM ability was not associated with magnitude of fear conditioning/expression. Attention ability was unrelated to fear acquisition or extinction supporting specificity of WM associations with extinction. These results support the conclusion that individual differences in WM may contribute to regulating fear responses. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Katche, Cynthia; Dorman, Guido; Slipczuk, Leandro; Cammarota, Martin; Medina, Jorge H.
Memory storage is a temporally graded process involving different phases and different structures in the mammalian brain. Cortical plasticity is essential to store stable memories, but little is known regarding its involvement in memory processing. Here we show that fear memory consolidation requires early post-training macromolecular synthesis in…
Bentz, Dorothée; Michael, Tanja; Wilhelm, Frank H; Hartmann, Francina R; Kunz, Sabrina; von Rohr, Isabelle R Rudolf; de Quervain, Dominique J-F
It is widely assumed that learning and memory processes play an important role in the pathogenesis, expression, maintenance and therapy of anxiety disorders, such as phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Memory retrieval is involved in symptom expression and maintenance of these disorders, while memory extinction is believed to be the underlying mechanism of behavioral exposure therapy of anxiety disorders. There is abundant evidence that stress and stress hormones can reduce memory retrieval of emotional information, whereas they enhance memory consolidation of extinction training. In this study we aimed at investigating if stress affects these memory processes in a fear conditioning paradigm in healthy human subjects. On day 1, fear memory was acquired through a standard differential fear conditioning procedure. On day 2 (24h after fear acquisition), participants either underwent a stressful cold pressor test (CPT) or a control condition, 20 min before memory retrieval testing and extinction training. Possible prolonged effects of the stress manipulation were investigated on day 3 (48 h after fear acquisition), when memory retrieval and extinction were tested again. On day 2, men in the stress group showed a robust cortisol response to stress and showed lower unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy ratings than men in the control group. This reduction in fear memory retrieval was maintained on day 3. In women, who showed a significantly smaller cortisol response to stress than men, no stress effects on fear memory retrieval were observed. No group differences were observed with respect to extinction. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence that stress can reduce memory retrieval of conditioned fear in men. Our findings may contribute to the understanding of the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on fear symptoms in anxiety disorders and suggest that such effects may be sex-specific. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hymowitz et al., 1985, 1990; Modrow and Jaax, 1989). Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful procedure often used to elucidate the neural substrates...Stitcher DL, Lennox WJ. Protection against both lethal and behavioral effects of soman. Drug Chem Toxicol 1984;7:605–24. Hasselmo ME. The role of...Rethinking the fear circuit: the central nucleus of the amygdala is required for the acquisition, consolidation, and expression of Pavlovian fear
Zhang, Wei; van Ast, Vanessa A; Klumpers, Floris; Roelofs, Karin; Hermans, Erno J
Memory recall is facilitated when retrieval occurs in the original encoding context. This context dependency effect likely results from the automatic binding of central elements of an experience with contextual features (i.e., memory "contextualization") during encoding. However, despite a vast body of research investigating the neural correlates of explicit associative memory, the neural interactions during encoding that predict implicit context-dependent memory remain unknown. Twenty-six participants underwent fMRI during encoding of salient stimuli (faces), which were overlaid onto unique background images (contexts). To index subsequent context-dependent memory, face recognition was tested either in intact or rearranged contexts, after scanning. Enhanced face recognition in intact relative to rearranged contexts evidenced successful memory contextualization. Overall subsequent memory effects (brain activity predicting whether items were later remembered vs. forgotten) were found in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and right amygdala. Effective connectivity analyses showed that stronger context-dependent memory was associated with stronger coupling of the left IFG with face- and place-responsive areas, both within and between participants. Our findings indicate an important role for the IFG in integrating information across widespread regions involved in the representation of salient items and contextual features.
Full Text Available We investigated the effects of hippocampal lesions with ibotenic acid (IBO on the memory of the sound-context-shock association during reexposure to the conditioning context. Twenty-nine adult pigeons were assigned to a non-lesioned control group (CG, N = 7, a sham-lesioned group (SG, N = 7, a hippocampus-lesioned experimental group (EG, N = 7, and to an unpaired nonlesioned group (tone-alone exposure (NG, N = 8. All pigeons were submitted to a 20-min session in the conditioning chamber with three associations of sound (1000 Hz, 85 dB, 1 s and shock (10 mA, 1 s. Experimental and sham lesions were performed 24 h later (EG and SG when EG birds received three bilateral injections (anteroposterior (A, 4.5, 5.25 and 7.0 of IBO (1 µl and 1 µg/µl and SG received one bilateral injection (A, 5.25 of PBS. The animals were reexposed to the training context 5 days after the lesion. Behavior was videotaped for 20 min and analyzed at 30-s intervals. A significantly higher percent rating of immobility was observed for CG (median, 95.1; range, 79.2 to 100.0 and SG (median, 90.0; range, 69.6 to 95.0 compared to EG (median, 11.62; range, 3.83 to 50.1 and NG (median, 7.33; range, 6.2 to 28.1 (P<0.001 in the training context. These results suggest impairment of contextual fear in birds who received lesions one day after conditioning and a role for the hippocampus in the modulation of emotional aversive memories in pigeons.
Staugaard, Søren Risløv; Jøssing, Marit; Krohn, Christina
is influenced by memories of positive and negative childhood experiences with dental care. More specifically, we predicted that the emotional impact, sense of reliving, rehearsal, and belief in the accuracy of a negative treatment memory would be associated with increased dental fear, while positive treatment...... memories would show the opposite relation. Methods One hundred thirty-six young adults leaving childhood dental care responded to a online measures of dental fear, the most negative and most positive memory of dental treatment, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Results Negative memories...... of events that involved pain and dentist behaviors such as impatience or scolding were frequently described and significantly associated with dental fear and symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Positive memories were more frequent, but did not show a consistent relationship with dental fear. Conclusions...
Baas, J. M. P.; van Ooijen, L.; Goudriaan, A.; Kenemans, J. L.
The acquisition of a conditioned fear response is adaptive, as it enables the organism to appropriately respond to predictors of aversive events. Consequently, the absence of predictive cues can be used as a signal for safety. We aimed to study whether deficient fear conditioning might lead to
Risløv Staugaard, Søren; Jøssing, Marit; Krohn, Christina
Most young adults transition from childhood dental care to adult dental care without problems. However, a substantial minority leaves childhood dental care with considerable fear of dental treatment. In the present study, we hypothesized that fear of dental treatment in the young adult is influenced by memories of positive and negative childhood experiences with dental care. More specifically, we predicted that the emotional impact, sense of reliving, rehearsal, and belief in the accuracy of a negative treatment memory would be associated with increased dental fear, while positive treatment memories would show the opposite relation. One hundred thirty-six young adults leaving childhood dental care responded to a online measures of dental fear, the most negative and most positive memory of dental treatment, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Negative memories of events that involved pain and dentist behaviors such as impatience or scolding were frequently described and significantly associated with dental fear and symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Positive memories were more frequent, but did not show a consistent relationship with dental fear. The importance of negative memories suggests an avenue for intervention against dental fear that focuses on restructuring those memories to emphasize positive aspects. © 2016 American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Manginelli, Angela A; Baumgartner, Florian; Pollmann, Stefan
Behavioral evidence suggests that the use of implicitly learned spatial contexts for improved visual search may depend on visual working memory resources. Working memory may be involved in contextual cueing in different ways: (1) for keeping implicitly learned working memory contents available during search or (2) for the capture of attention by contexts retrieved from memory. We mapped brain areas that were modulated by working memory capacity. Within these areas, activation was modulated by contextual cueing along the descending segment of the intraparietal sulcus, an area that has previously been related to maintenance of explicit memories. Increased activation for learned displays, but not modulated by the size of contextual cueing, was observed in the temporo-parietal junction area, previously associated with the capture of attention by explicitly retrieved memory items, and in the ventral visual cortex. This pattern of activation extends previous research on dorsal versus ventral stream functions in memory guidance of attention to the realm of attentional guidance by implicit memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Hummel, Alexandra C.
Emotion and temperament researchers have faced an enduring issue of how to best measure children’s tendencies to express specific emotions. Inconsistencies between laboratory observation and parental report have made it challenging for researchers to determine the utility of these different forms of measurement. The current study examined the effect of laboratory episode characteristics (i.e., threat-level of the episode, maternal involvement) on concordance between maternal report and laboratory observation of toddler fear. The sample included 111 mother-toddler dyads who participated in a laboratory assessment when toddlers were approximately 24-months-old. Toddler fear was assessed both via maternal report and observation from a number of laboratory episodes that varied in their level of threat and whether mothers were free or constrained in their involvement in the task. Results indicated that maternal report related to the observed fear composites for low-threat, but not high-threat episodes. On the other hand, maternal involvement in the laboratory episodes did not moderate the relation between maternal report and laboratory observation of fear. These results suggest that the threat-level of laboratory episodes designed to elicit fear, but not maternal involvement in these episodes, may be important to take into consideration when assessing their relation to maternal report of fear and fearful temperament. PMID:27606826
Learning to contend with threats in the environment is essential to survival, but dysregulation of memories for traumatic events can lead to disabling psychopathology. Recent years have witnessed an impressive growth in our understanding of the neural systems and synaptic mechanisms underlying emotional memory formation. As a consequence, interest has emerged in developing strategies for suppressing, if not eliminating, fear memories. Here I review recent work employing sophisticated behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular tools to target fear memories, placing these memories firmly behind the crosshairs of neurobiologically informed interventions. PMID:21658578
Melo, Irene; Ehrlich, Ingrid
Sleep promotes memory, particularly for declarative learning. However, its role in non-declarative, emotional memories is less well understood. Some studies suggest that sleep may influence fear-related memories, and thus may be an important factor determining the outcome of treatments for emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, we investigated the effect of sleep deprivation and time of day on fear extinction memory consolidation. Mice were subjected to a cued Pavlovian fear and extinction paradigm at the beginning of their resting or active phase. Immediate post-extinction learning sleep deprivation for 5h compromised extinction memory when tested 24h after learning. Context-dependent extinction memory recall was completely prevented by sleep-manipulation during the resting phase, while impairment was milder during the active phase and extinction memory retained its context-specificity. Importantly, control experiments excluded confounding factors such as differences in baseline locomotion, fear generalization and stress hormone levels. Together, our findings indicate that post-learning sleep supports cued fear extinction memory consolidation in both circadian phases. The lack of correlation between memory efficacy and sleep time suggests that extinction memory may be influenced by specific sleep events in the early consolidation period. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick
Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages.…
Field, Zoë C; Field, Andy P
Cognitive models of vulnerability to anxiety propose that information processing biases such as interpretation bias play a part in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. However, at present little is known about the role of memory in information processing accounts of child anxiety. The current study investigates the relationships between interpretation biases, memory and fear responses when learning about new stimuli. Children (aged 8-11 years) were presented with ambiguous information regarding a novel animal, and their fear, interpretation bias, and memory for the information was measured. The main findings were: (1) trait anxiety and interpretation bias significantly predicted acquired fear; (2) interpretation bias did not significantly mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and acquired fear; (3) interpretation bias appeared to be a more important predictor of acquired fear than trait anxiety per se; and (4) the relationship between interpretation bias and acquired fear was not mediated by the number of negative memories but was mediated by the number of positive and false-positive memories. The findings suggest that information processing models of child anxiety need to explain the role of positive memory in the formation of fear responses.
Latusz, Joachim; Radaszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Bator, Ewelina; Wędzony, Krzysztof; Maćkowiak, Marzena
Epidemiological data have indicated that memory impairment is observed during adolescence in groups at high risk for schizophrenia and might precede the appearance of schizophrenia symptoms in adulthood. In the present study, we used a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia based on the postnatal blockade of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in rats to investigate fear memory in adolescence and adulthood. The rats were treated with increasing doses of CGP 37849 (CGP), a competitive antagonist of the NMDA receptor (1.25mg/kg on days 1, 3, 6, 9; 2.5mg/kg on days 12, 15, 18 and 5mg/kg on day 21). Fear memory was analysed in delay and trace fear conditioning. Sensorimotor gating deficit, which is another cognitive symptom of schizophrenia, was also determined in adolescent and adult CGP-treated rats. Postnatal CGP administration disrupted cue- and context-dependent fear memory in adolescent rats in both delay and trace conditioning. In contrast, CGP administration evoked impairment only in cue-dependent fear memory in rats exposed to trace but not delay fear conditioning. The postnatal blockade of NMDA receptors induced sensorimotor gating deficits in adult rats but not in adolescent rats. The postnatal blockade of NMDA receptors induced fear memory impairment in adolescent rats before the onset of neurobehavioral deficits associated with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o.
Menz, M M; Rihm, J S; Salari, N; Born, J; Kalisch, R; Pape, H C; Marshall, L; Büchel, C
Sleep, in particular REM sleep, has been shown to improve the consolidation of emotional memories. Here, we investigated the role of sleep and sleep deprivation on the consolidation of fear memories and underlying neuronal mechanisms. We employed a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm either followed by a night of polysomnographically monitored sleep, or wakefulness in forty healthy participants. Recall of learned fear was better after sleep, as indicated by stronger explicitly perceived anxiety and autonomous nervous responses. These effects were positively correlated with the preceding time spent in REM sleep and paralleled by activation of the basolateral amygdala. These findings suggest REM sleep-associated consolidation of fear memory in the human amygdala. In view of the critical participation of fear learning mechanisms in the etiology of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, deprivation of REM sleep after exposure to distressing events is an interesting target for further investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wetherill, Reagan R; Fromme, Kim
The present study examined the effects of alcohol consumption on narrative recall and contextual memory among individuals with and without a history of fragmentary blackouts in an attempt to better understand why some individuals experience alcohol-induced memory impairments whereas others do not, even at comparable blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Standardized beverage (alcohol and no alcohol) administration procedures and neuropsychological assessments measured narrative recall and context memory performance before and after alcohol consumption in individuals with (n=44) and without (n=44) a history of fragmentary blackouts. Findings indicate that acute alcohol intoxication led to impairments in free recall, but not next-day cued recall. Further, participants showed similar memory performance when sober, but individuals who consumed alcohol and had a positive history of fragmentary blackouts showed greater contextual memory impairments than those who had not previously experienced a fragmentary blackout. Thus, it appears that some individuals may have an inherent vulnerability to alcohol-induced memory impairments due to alcohol's effects on contextual memory processes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This review addresses the effects of the cognitive enhancer D-cycloserine (DCS) on the memory processes that occur in conditioned fear extinction, which is the experimental model for exposure techniques to reduce clinical anxiety. All reported rat studies show an enhanced fear extinction effect when
Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee
In Pavlovian fear conditioning, the lateral amygdala (LA) has been highlighted as a key brain site for association between sensory cues and aversive stimuli. However, learning-related changes are also found in upstream sensory regions such as thalamus and cortex. To isolate the essential neural circuit components for fear memory association, we…
Tronson, Natalie C.; Wiseman, Shari L.; Neve, Rachael L.; Nestler, Eric J.; Olausson, Peter; Taylor, Jane R.
Cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) plays a critical role in fear memory formation. Here we determined the role of CREB selectively within the amygdala in reconsolidation and extinction of auditory fear. Viral overexpression of the inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) or the dominant-negative mCREB, specifically within the lateral…
Gronau, Nurit; Shachar, Meytal
It is long known that contextual information affects memory for an object's identity (e.g., its basic level category), yet it is unclear whether schematic knowledge additionally enhances memory for the precise visual appearance of an item. Here we investigated memory for visual detail of merely glimpsed objects. Participants viewed pairs of contextually related and unrelated stimuli, presented for an extremely brief duration (24 ms, masked). They then performed a forced-choice memory-recognition test for the precise perceptual appearance of 1 of 2 objects within each pair (i.e., the "memory-target" item). In 3 experiments, we show that memory-target stimuli originally appearing within contextually related pairs are remembered better than targets appearing within unrelated pairs. These effects are obtained whether the target is presented at test with its counterpart pair object (i.e., when reiterating the original context at encoding) or whether the target is presented alone, implying that the contextual consistency effects are mediated predominantly by processes occurring during stimulus encoding, rather than during stimulus retrieval. Furthermore, visual detail encoding is improved whether object relations involve implied action or not, suggesting that, contrary to some prior suggestions, action is not a necessary component for object-to-object associative "grouping" processes. Our findings suggest that during a brief glimpse, but not under long viewing conditions, contextual associations may play a critical role in reducing stimulus competition for attention selection and in facilitating rapid encoding of sensory details. Theoretical implications with respect to classic frame theories are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Kessels, Roy P C; Meulenbroek, Olga; Fernández, Guillén; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is characterized by episodic memory deficits, while aspects of working memory may also be implicated, but studies into this latter domain are scarce and results are inconclusive. Using a computerized search paradigm, this study compares 25 young adults, 25 typically aging older adults and 15 amnestic MCI patients as to their working-memory capacities for object-location information and potential differential effects of memory load and additional context cues. An age-related deficit in visuospatial working-memory maintenance was found that became more pronounced with increasing task demands. The MCI group additionally showed reduced maintenance of bound information, i.e., object-location associations, again especially at elevated memory load. No effects of contextual cueing were found. The current findings indicate that working memory should be considered when screening patients for suspected MCI and monitoring its progression.
Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick
Fear inhibition is markedly impaired in adolescent rodents and humans. The present experiments investigated whether this impairment is critically determined by the animal's age at the time of fear learning or their age at fear extinction. Male rats (n = 170) were tested for extinction retention after conditioning and extinction at different ages. We examined neural correlates of impaired extinction retention by detection of phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase immunoreactivity (pMA...
Wetherill, Reagan R.; Fromme, Kim
The present study examined the effects of alcohol consumption on narrative recall and contextual memory among individuals with and without a history of fragmentary blackouts in an attempt to better understand why some individuals experience alcohol-induced memory impairments whereas others do not, even at comparable blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Standardized beverage (alcohol, no alcohol) administration procedures and neuropsychological assessments measured narrative recall and context...
Abbas Ali Vafaei
Full Text Available Reconsolidation memory is defined as a process in which the retrieval of a previously consolidated memory returns to a labile state which is then subject to stabilization. Previous studies have shown that mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs modulate distinct phases of learning and memory, which display a high concentration and distinct distribution in the hippocampus. Moreover, we found no studies that examined the role of hippocampal MRs in fear memory reconsolidation. Here, we investigated the effect of MRs blockade on fear memory reconsolidation in rats. Additionally, to test whether blockade of protein synthesis would disrupt fear memory reconsolidation in our paradigm, we tested the effect of cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis after memory reactivation. Results indicated that systemic as well as intra-hippocampal administrations of the MR antagonist spironolactone immediately following memory reactivation did not affect on post-retrieval long-term memory. Cycloheximide given after the reactivation treatment produced a strong impairment that persisted over test sessions. These findings indicate that MRs are not required for reconsolidation of fear-based memory.
Lee, Michael L; Katsuyama, Ângela M; Duge, Leanne S; Sriram, Chaitra; Krushelnytskyy, Mykhaylo; Kim, Jeansok J; de la Iglesia, Horacio O
Sleep is important for consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memories. It is hypothesized that the temporal sequence of nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is critical for the weakening of nonadaptive memories and the subsequent transfer of memories temporarily stored in the hippocampus to more permanent memories in the neocortex. A great body of evidence supporting this hypothesis relies on behavioral, pharmacological, neural, and/or genetic manipulations that induce sleep deprivation or stage-specific sleep deprivation. We exploit an experimental model of circadian desynchrony in which intact animals are not deprived of any sleep stage but show fragmentation of REM and NREM sleep within nonfragmented sleep bouts. We test the hypothesis that the shortening of NREM and REM sleep durations post-training will impair memory consolidation irrespective of total sleep duration. When circadian-desynchronized animals are trained in a hippocampus-dependent contextual fear-conditioning task they show normal short-term memory but impaired long-term memory consolidation. This impairment in memory consolidation is positively associated with the post-training fragmentation of REM and NREM sleep but is not significantly associated with the fragmentation of total sleep or the total amount of delta activity. We also show that the sleep stage fragmentation resulting from circadian desynchrony has no effect on hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and no effect on hippocampus-independent cued fear-conditioning memory. Our findings in an intact animal model, in which sleep deprivation is not a confounding factor, support the hypothesis that the stereotypic sequence and duration of sleep stages play a specific role in long-term hippocampus-dependent fear memory consolidation. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.
Bos, Marieke G N; Jacobs van Goethem, Tessa H; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel
Retrieval of traumatic experiences is often accompanied by strong feelings of distress. Here, we examined in healthy participants whether post-reactivation stress experience affects the context-dependency of emotional memory. First, participants studied words from two distinctive emotional categories (i.e., war and disease) presented against a category-related background picture. One day later, participants returned to the lab and received a reminder of the words of one emotional category followed by exposure to a stress task (Stress group, n=22) or a control task (Control group, n=24). Six days later, memory contextualization was tested using a word stem completion task. Half of the word stems were presented against the encoding context (i.e., congruent context) and the other half of the word stems were presented against the other context (i.e., incongruent context). The results showed that participants recalled more words in the congruent context than in the incongruent context. Interestingly, cortisol mediated the effect of stress exposure on memory contextualization. The stronger the post-reactivation cortisol response, the more memory performance relied on the contextual embedding of the words. Taken together, the current findings suggest that a moderate cortisol response after memory reactivation might serve an adaptive function in preventing generalization of emotional memories over contexts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jonathan E Ploski
Full Text Available The Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4 is a neuronal activity-dependent immediate early gene that has recently been identified as a transcription factor which regulates the transcription of genes that control inhibitory synapse development and synaptic plasticity. The role Npas4 in learning and memory, however, is currently unknown. Here, we systematically examine the role of Npas4 in auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, an amygdala-dependent form of emotional learning. In our first series of experiments, we show that Npas4 mRNA and protein are regulated in the rat lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in a learning-dependent manner. Further, knockdown of Npas4 protein in the LA via adeno-associated viral (AAV mediated gene delivery of RNAi was observed to impair fear memory formation, while innate fear and the expression of fear memory were not affected. In our second series of experiments, we show that Npas4 protein is regulated in the LA by retrieval of an auditory fear memory and that knockdown of Npas4 in the LA impairs retention of a reactivated, but not a non-reactivated, fear memory. Collectively, our findings provide the first comprehensive look at the functional role of Npas4 in learning and memory.
Wieghall, Anna R.; Altmann, Gerry T. M.
An auditory sentence comprehension task investigated the extent to which the integration of contextual and structural cues was mediated by verbal memory span with 32 English-speaking six- to eight-year-old children. Spoken relative clause sentences were accompanied by visual context pictures which fully (depicting the actions described within the…
Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin
Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic interventions. This
Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin
Background Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. Methods We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Results Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Conclusions Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of
Guo, Lengqiu; Guo, Zhuangli; Luo, Xiaoqing; Liang, Rui; Yang, Shui; Ren, Haigang; Wang, Guanghui; Zhen, Xuechu
Sleep, particularly rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, is implicated in the consolidation of emotional memories. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects of a phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) inhibitor MP-10 on deficits in long-term fear memory induced by REM sleep deprivation (REM-SD). REM-SD caused deficits in long-term fear memory, however, MP-10 administration ameliorated the deleterious effects of REM-SD on long term fear memory. Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) were altered in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory in REM-SD rats. Accordingly, REM-SD caused a significant decrease of pCREB in hippocampus and striatum and a significant decrease of BDNF in the hippocampus, striatum and amygdala, however, MP-10 reversed the effects of REM-SD in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that REM-SD disrupts the consolidation of long-term fear memory and that administration of MP-10 protects the REM-SD-induced deficits in fear memory, which may be due to the MP-10-induced expression of BDNF in the hippocampus, striatum and amygdala, and phosphorylation of CREB in the hippocampus and striatum. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Background: Studies have demonstrated that fear memories can be modified using non-invasive methods. Recently, we demonstrated that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is capable of enhancing fear memories. Here, we examined the effects of cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during fear reconsolidation in humans. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy subjects were randomly assigned to two groups, which underwent fear conditioning with mild electric stimuli paired with a visual stimulus. Twenty-four hours later, both groups were shown a reminder of the conditioned fearful stimulus. Shortly thereafter, they received either tDCS (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal for 20 min at 1 mA, or sham stimulation. A day later, fear responses of both groups were compared. Results: On Day 3, during fear response assessment, there were no significant differences between the tDCS and sham group (p > 0.05. Conclusion: We conclude that cathodal tDCS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (right prefrontal—cathodal, left supraorbital—anodal did not influence fear memories.
Goode, Travis D; Holloway-Erickson, Crystal M; Maren, Stephen
Retrieving fear memories just prior to extinction has been reported to effectively erase fear memories and prevent fear relapse. The current study examined whether the type of retrieval procedure influences the ability of extinction to impair fear renewal, a form of relapse in which responding to a conditional stimulus (CS) returns outside of the extinction context. Rats first underwent Pavlovian fear conditioning with an auditory CS and footshock unconditional stimulus (US); freezing behavior served as the index of conditioned fear. Twenty-four hours later, the rats underwent a retrieval-extinction procedure. Specifically, 1h prior to extinction (45 CS-alone trials; 44 for rats receiving a CS reminder), fear memory was retrieved by either a single exposure to the CS alone, the US alone, a CS paired with the US, or exposure to the conditioning context itself. Over the next few days, conditional freezing to the extinguished CS was tested in the extinction and conditioning context in that order (i.e., an ABBA design). In the extinction context, rats that received a CS+US trial before extinction exhibited higher levels of conditional freezing than animals in all other groups, which did not differ from one another. In the renewal context, all groups showed renewal, and none of the reactivation procedures reduced renewal relative to a control group that did not receive a reactivation procedure prior to extinction. These data suggest retrieval-extinction procedures may have limited efficacy in preventing fear renewal. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Flores, África; Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Costa, Giulia; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando
Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear conditioning and extinction. Hypocretins were crucial for the consolidation of fear conditioning, and this effect was mainly observed in memories with a high emotional component. Notably, after the acquisition of fear memory, hypocretin receptor-1 blockade facilitated fear extinction, whereas hypocretin-1 administration impaired this extinction process. The extinction-facilitating effects of the hypocretin receptor-1 antagonist SB334867 were associated with increased expression of cFos in the basolateral amygdala and the infralimbic cortex. Intra-amygdala, but neither intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex nor intra-dorsohippocampal infusion of SB334867 enhanced fear extinction. These results reveal a key role for hypocretins in the extinction of aversive memories and suggest that hypocretin receptor-1 blockade could represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of diseases associated with inappropriate retention of fear, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.
Flores, África; Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Costa, Giulia; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando
Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear conditioning and extinction. Hypocretins were crucial for the consolidation of fear conditioning, and this effect was mainly observed in memories with a high emotional component. Notably, after the acquisition of fear memory, hypocretin receptor-1 blockade facilitated fear extinction, whereas hypocretin-1 administration impaired this extinction process. The extinction-facilitating effects of the hypocretin receptor-1 antagonist SB334867 were associated with increased expression of cFos in the basolateral amygdala and the infralimbic cortex. Intra-amygdala, but neither intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex nor intra-dorsohippocampal infusion of SB334867 enhanced fear extinction. These results reveal a key role for hypocretins in the extinction of aversive memories and suggest that hypocretin receptor-1 blockade could represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of diseases associated with inappropriate retention of fear, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias. PMID:24930888
Daviu, Núria; Delgado-Morales, Raúl; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
Exposure of animals to footshocks (FS) in absence of any specific cue results in the development of fear to the compartment where shocks were given (contextual fear conditioning), and this is usually evaluated by time spent freezing. However, the extent to which contextual fear conditioning always develops when animals are exposed to other stressors is not known. In the present work we firstly demonstrated, using freezing, that exposure of adult rats to a single session of FS resulted in short-term and long-term contextual fear conditioning (freezing) that was paralleled by increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation. In contrast, using a similar design, no HPA or behavioral evidence for such conditioning was found after exposure to immobilization on boards (IMO), despite this stressor being of similar severity as FS on the basis of standard physiological measures of stress, including HPA activation. In a final experiment we directly compared the exposure to the two stressors in the same type of context and tested for the development of conditioning to the context and to a specific cue for IMO (the board). We observed the expected high levels of freezing and the conditioned HPA activation after FS, but not after IMO, regardless of the presence of the board during testing. Therefore, it can be concluded that development of fear conditioning to context or particular cues, as evaluated by either behavioral or endocrine measures, appears to be dependent on the nature of the aversive stimuli, likely to be related to biologically preparedness to establish specific associations.
Brinks, V; de Kloet, E R; Oitzl, M S
Corticosterone, the naturally occurring glucocorticoid of rodents is secreted in response to stressors and is known for its facilitating and detrimental effects on emotional learning and memory. The large variability in the action of corticosterone on processing of emotional memories is postulated to depend on genetic background and the spatio-temporal domain in which the hormone operates. To address this hypothesis, mice of two strains with distinct corticosterone secretory patterns and behavioural phenotype (BALB/c and C57BL/6J) were treated with corticosterone (250 microg/kg, i.p.), either 5 min before or directly after acquisition in a fear conditioning task. As the paradigm allowed assessing in one experimental procedure both context- and cue-related fear behaviour, we were able to detect generalization and specificity of fear. BALB/c showed generalized strong fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice discriminated between freezing during context- and cue episodes. Corticosterone had opposite effects on fear memory depending on the strain and time of injection. Corticosterone after acquisition did not affect C57BL/6J mice, but destabilized consolidation and facilitated extinction in BALB/c. Corticosterone 5 min before acquisition strengthened stress-associated signals: BALB/c no longer showed lower fear memory, while C57BL/6J mice displayed increased fear memory and impaired extinction in cue episodes. We propose that corticosterone-induced facilitation of fear memory in C57BL/6J mice can be used to study the development of fear memories, corticosterone administration in BALB/c mice presents a model to examine treatment. We conclude that genetic background and time of corticosterone action are modifiers of fear memory with interesting translational implications for anxiety-related diseases.
de Quervain, Dominique; Schwabe, Lars; Roozendaal, Benno
Glucocorticoid stress hormones are crucially involved in modulating mnemonic processing of emotionally arousing experiences. They enhance the consolidation of new memories, including those that extinguish older memories, but impair the retrieval of information stored in long-term memory. As strong aversive memories lie at the core of several fear-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias, the memory-modulating properties of glucocorticoids have recently become of considerable translational interest. Clinical trials have provided the first evidence that glucocorticoid-based pharmacotherapies aimed at attenuating aversive memories might be helpful in the treatment of fear-related disorders. Here, we review important advances in the understanding of how glucocorticoids mediate stress effects on memory processes, and discuss the translational potential of these new conceptual insights.
Patai, Eva Zita; Buckley, Alice; Nobre, Anna Christina
A popular model of visual perception states that coarse information (carried by low spatial frequencies) along the dorsal stream is rapidly transmitted to prefrontal and medial temporal areas, activating contextual information from memory, which can in turn constrain detailed input carried by high spatial frequencies arriving at a slower rate along the ventral visual stream, thus facilitating the processing of ambiguous visual stimuli. We were interested in testing whether this model contributes to memory-guided orienting of attention. In particular, we asked whether global, low-spatial frequency (LSF) inputs play a dominant role in triggering contextual memories in order to facilitate the processing of the upcoming target stimulus. We explored this question over four experiments. The first experiment replicated the LSF advantage reported in perceptual discrimination tasks by showing that participants were faster and more accurate at matching a low spatial frequency version of a scene, compared to a high spatial frequency version, to its original counterpart in a forced-choice task. The subsequent three experiments tested the relative contributions of low versus high spatial frequencies during memory-guided covert spatial attention orienting tasks. Replicating the effects of memory-guided attention, pre-exposure to scenes associated with specific spatial memories for target locations (memory cues) led to higher perceptual discrimination and faster response times to identify targets embedded in the scenes. However, either high or low spatial frequency cues were equally effective; LSF signals did not selectively or preferentially contribute to the memory-driven attention benefits to performance. Our results challenge a generalized model that LSFs activate contextual memories, which in turn bias attention and facilitate perception.
Full Text Available Fingolimod (FTY720; Gilenya™,Novartis Pharma AG is a recently developed Sphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P analogue, orally administered as a new therapeutic agent in Multiple Sclerosis (MS (Brinkmann V. et al. 2010. S1P receptors (S1PRs are expressed in various sites in the CNS including the subventricular zone (Waeber C. et al. 1999; Choi J.W. et al. 2013 while endogenous S1P was shown to induce proliferation and morphological changes in embryonic hippocampal neural progenitors in culture (Harada J. et al. 2004. In this study we investigated the effects of fingolimod on adult rodent hippocampal neurogenesis and their possible functional role. To this aim, thymidine analogue BrdU was injected at the end or before a 2-week i.p. administration of a therapeutic dose of Fingolimod (0,3 mg/kg in young and old mice. Stereological counts of BrdU+ cells revealed significant increase in both proliferation, and survival of neural stem cells (NSC in the area of Dentate Gyrus (DG of the hippocampus, compared to control untreated animals of young but not old ages. In the case of survival assessment, most of the BrdU + cells were also positive for NeuN, suggesting an increase of newly formed neurons. The increase in proliferation rate of NSC was also confirmed by BrdU uptake in hippocampal NSC cultures in vitro, implying that the effects of fingolimod are cell autonomous. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that S1PR was not co-localized with GFAP+ cells in the Subgranular zone (SGZ of the DG, but was strongly co-localized with transcription factor MASH1 and weakly with DcX or PSA-NCAM positive neural progenitors. These findings suggest that expression of S1PR1 in the SGZ is restricted to transit amplifying neural progenitors and maintained also in the stage of neuroblast. In addition, the effects of Fingolimod in DG neurogenesis were positively correlated to enhanced fear memory and increased context discrimination, an established DG-dependent cognitive task
Howard, Ian S; Wolpert, Daniel M; Franklin, David W
Several studies have shown that sensory contextual cues can reduce the interference observed during learning of opposing force fields. However, because each study examined a small set of cues, often in a unique paradigm, the relative efficacy of different sensory contextual cues is unclear. In the present study we quantify how seven contextual cues, some investigated previously and some novel, affect the formation and recall of motor memories. Subjects made movements in a velocity-dependent curl field, with direction varying randomly from trial to trial but always associated with a unique contextual cue. Linking field direction to the cursor or background color, or to peripheral visual motion cues, did not reduce interference. In contrast, the orientation of a visual object attached to the hand cursor significantly reduced interference, albeit by a small amount. When the fields were associated with movement in different locations in the workspace, a substantial reduction in interference was observed. We tested whether this reduction in interference was due to the different locations of the visual feedback (targets and cursor) or the movements (proprioceptive). When the fields were associated only with changes in visual display location (movements always made centrally) or only with changes in the movement location (visual feedback always displayed centrally), a substantial reduction in interference was observed. These results show that although some visual cues can lead to the formation and recall of distinct representations in motor memory, changes in spatial visual and proprioceptive states of the movement are far more effective than changes in simple visual contextual cues.
Standing, Lionel G; Bobbitt, Kristin E; Boisvert, Kathryn L; Dayholos, Kathy N; Gagnon, Anne M
Four experiments (N = 164) on context-dependent memory were performed to explore the effects on verbal memory of incidental cues during the test session which replicated specific features of the learning session. These features involved (1) bystanders, (2) the clothing of the experimenter, (3) background music, and (4) the arousal level of the subject. Social contextual cues (bystanders or experimenter clothing) improved verbal recall or recognition. However, recall decreased when the contextual cue was a different stimulus taken from the same conceptual category (piano music by Chopin) that was heard during learning. Memory was unaffected by congruent internal cues, produced by the same physiological arousal level (low, moderate, or high heart rate) during the learning and test sessions. However, recall increased with the level of arousal across the three congruent conditions. The results emphasize the effectiveness as retrieval cues of stimuli which are socially salient, concrete, and external.
Jonathan L C Lee
Full Text Available The retrieval or reactivation of a memory places it into a labile state, requiring a process of reconsolidation to restabilize it. This retrieval-induced plasticity is a potential mechanism for the modification of the existing memory. Following previous data supportive of a functional role for memory reconsolidation in the modification of memory strength, here I show that hippocampal memory reconsolidation also supports the updating of contextual memory content. Using a procedure that separates the learning of pure context from footshock-motivated contextual fear learning, I demonstrate doubly dissociable hippocampal mechanisms of initial context learning and subsequent updating of the neutral contextual representation to incorporate the footshock. Contextual memory consolidation was dependent upon BDNF expression in the dorsal hippocampus, whereas the footshock modification of the contextual representation required the expression of Zif268. These mechanisms match those previously shown to be selectively involved in hippocampal memory consolidation and reconsolidation, respectively. Moreover, memory reactivation is a necessary step in modifying memory content, as inhibition of hippocampal synaptic protein degradation also prevented the footshock-mediated memory modification. Finally, dorsal hippocampal knockdown of Zif268 impaired the reconsolidation of the pure contextual memory only under conditions of weak context memory training, as well as failing to disrupt contextual freezing when a strong contextual fear memory is reactivated by further conditioning. Therefore, an adaptive function of the reactivation and reconsolidation process is to enable the updating of memory content.
Annac, Efsun; Manginelli, Angela A; Pollmann, Stefan; Shi, Zhuanghua; Müller, Hermann J; Geyer, Thomas
Repeated display configurations improve visual search. Recently, the question has arisen whether this contextual cueing effect (Chun & Jiang, 1998) is itself mediated by attention, both in terms of selectivity and processing resources deployed. While it is accepted that selective attention modulates contextual cueing (Jiang & Leung, 2005), there is an ongoing debate whether the cueing effect is affected by a secondary working memory (WM) task, specifically at which stage WM influences the cueing effect: the acquisition of configural associations (e.g., Travis, Mattingley, & Dux, 2013) versus the expression of learned associations (e.g., Manginelli, Langer, Klose, & Pollmann, 2013). The present study re-investigated this issue. Observers performed a visual search in combination with a spatial WM task. The latter was applied on either early or late search trials--so as to examine whether WM load hampers the acquisition of or retrieval from contextual memory. Additionally, the WM and search tasks were performed either temporally in parallel or in succession--so as to permit the effects of spatial WM load to be dissociated from those of executive load. The secondary WM task was found to affect cueing in late, but not early, experimental trials--though only when the search and WM tasks were performed in parallel. This pattern suggests that contextual cueing involves a spatial WM resource, with spatial WM providing a workspace linking the current search array with configural long-term memory; as a result, occupying this workspace by a secondary WM task hampers the expression of learned configural associations.
Koseki, Hiroyo; Matsumoto, Machiko; Togashi, Hiroko; Miura, Yoshihide; Fukushima, Kazuaki; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been proposed to be essential for extinction of fear memory, but its neural mechanism has been poorly understood. The present study examined whether synaptic transmission in the hippocampal-mPFC pathway is related to extinction of context-dependent fear memory in freely moving rats using electrophysiological approaches combined with behavioral analysis. Population spike amplitude in the mPFC was decreased during the first extinction trial by exposure to contextual fear conditioning. This synaptic inhibition was reversed by repeated extinction trials, accompanied by decreases in fear-related freezing behavior. These results suggest that alteration of synaptic transmission in the hippocampal-mPFC pathway is associated with the extinction processes of context-dependent fear memory. Further experiments were performed to elucidate whether early postnatal stress alters the synaptic response in the mPFC during extinction trials using a juvenile stress model, based on our previous findings that early postnatal stress affects the behavioral response to emotional stress. Adult rats that previously were exposed to five footshocks (FS) (shock intensity, 0.5 mA; intershock interval, 28 seconds; shock duration, 2 seconds) at postnatal day 21 to 25 (week 3; 3W-FS) exhibited impaired reversal of both inhibitory synaptic transmission and freezing behavior induced by repeated extinction trials. The neuronal and behavioral deficits observed in the 3W-FS group were prevented by pretreatment with the serotonin(1A) receptor agonist tandospirone (1 mg/kg, i.p.). These results indicate the possiblity that aversive stress exposure during the third postnatal week impaired extinction processes of context-dependent fear memory. The deficits in extinction observed in the 3W-FS group might be attributable to dysfunction of hippocampal-mPFC neural circuits involving 5-HT(1A) receptor mechanisms. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Pinabiaux, Charlotte; Hertz-Pannier, Lucie; Chiron, Catherine; Rodrigo, Sébastian; Jambaqué, Isabelle; Noulhiane, Marion
Enhanced memory for emotional faces is a significant component of adaptive social interactions, but little is known on its neural developmental correlates. We explored the role of amygdaloid complex (AC) and medial temporal lobe (MTL) in emotional memory recognition across development, by comparing fMRI activations of successful memory encoding of fearful and neutral faces in children (n = 12; 8-12 years) and adolescents (n = 12; 13-17 years). Memory for fearful faces was enhanced compared with neutral ones in adolescents, as opposed to children. In adolescents, activations associated with successful encoding of fearful faces were centered on baso-lateral AC nuclei, hippocampus, enthorhinal and parahippocampal cortices. In children, successful encoding of fearful faces relied on activations of centro-mesial AC nuclei, which was not accompanied by functional activation of MTL memory structures. Successful encoding of neutral faces depended on activations in anterior MTL region (hippocampal head and body) in adolescents, but more posterior ones (hippocampal tail and parahippocampal cortex) in children. In conclusion, two distinct functional specializations emerge from childhood to adolescence and result in the enhancement of memory for these particular stimuli: the specialization of baso-lateral AC nuclei, which is associated with the expertise in processing emotional facial expression, and which is intimately related to the specialization of MTL memory network. How the interplay between specialization of AC nuclei and of MTL memory structures is fundamental for the edification of social interactions remains to be elucidated.
Full Text Available Enhanced memory for emotional faces is a significant component of adaptive social interactions, but little is known on its neural developmental correlates. We explored the role of amygdaloid complex (AC and medial temporal lobe (MTL in emotional memory recognition across development, by comparing fMRI activations of successful memory encoding of fearful and neutral faces in children (n=12; 8-12 years and adolescents (n=12; 13-17 years. Memory for fearful faces was enhanced compared with neutral ones in adolescents, as opposed to children. In adolescents, activations associated with successful encoding of fearful faces were centered on baso-lateral AC nuclei, hippocampus, enthorhinal and parahippocampal cortices. In children, successful encoding of fearful faces relied on activations of centro-mesial AC nuclei, which was not accompanied by functional activation of MTL memory structures. Successful encoding of neutral faces depended on activations in anterior MTL region (hippocampal head and body in adolescents, but more posterior ones (hippocampal tail and parahippocampal cortex in children. In conclusion, two distinct functional specializations emerge from childhood to adolescence and result in the enhancement of memory for these particular stimuli: the specialization of baso-lateral AC nuclei, which is associated with the expertise in processing emotional facial expression, and which is intimately related to the specialization of MTL memory network. How the interplay between specialization of AC nuclei and of MTL memory structures is fundamental for the edification of social interactions remains to be elucidated.
Full Text Available Evidence demonstrates that rodents learn to associate a foot shock with time of day, indicating the formation of a fear related time-stamp memory, even in the absence of a functioning SCN. In addition, mice acquire and retain fear memory better during the early day compared to the early night. This type of memory may be regulated by circadian pacemakers outside of the SCN. As a first step in testing the hypothesis that clock genes are involved in the formation of a time-stamp fear memory, we exposed one group of mice to fox feces derived odor (TMT at ZT 0 and one group at ZT 12 for 4 successive days. A separate group with no exposure to TMT was also included as a control. Animals were sacrificed one day after the last exposure to TMT, and PER2 and c-Fos protein were quantified in the SCN, amygdala, hippocampus, and piriform cortex. Exposure to TMT had a strong effect at ZT 0, decreasing PER2 expression at this time point in most regions except the SCN, and reversing the normal rhythm of PER2 expression in the amygdala and piriform cortex. These changes were accompanied by increased c-Fos expression at ZT0. In contrast, exposure to TMT at ZT 12 abolished the rhythm of PER2 expression in the amygdala. In addition, increased c-Fos expression at ZT 12 was only detected in the central nucleus of the amygdala in the TMT12 group. TMT exposure at either time point did not affect PER2 or c-Fos in the SCN, indicating that under a light-dark cycle, the SCN rhythm is stable in the presence of repeated exposure to a fear-inducing stimulus. Taken together, these results indicate that entrainment to a fear-inducing stimulus leads to changes in PER2 and c-Fos expression that are detected 24 hours following the last exposure to TMT, indicating entrainment of endogenous oscillators in these regions. The observed effects on PER2 expression and c-Fos were stronger during the early day than during the early night, possibly to prepare appropriate systems at ZT 0 to
Cambiaghi, Marco; Renna, Annamaria; Milano, Luisella; Sacchetti, Benedetto
Recent findings have shown that the auditory cortex, and specifically the higher order Te2 area, is necessary for the consolidation of long-term fearful memories and that it interacts with the amygdala during the retrieval of long-term fearful memories. Here, we tested whether the reversible blockade of Te2 during memory consolidation may affect the activity changes occurring in the amygdala during the retrieval of fearful memories. To address this issue, we blocked Te2 in a reversible manner during memory consolidation processes. After 4 weeks, we assessed the activity of Te2 and individual nuclei of the amygdala during the retrieval of long-term memories. Rats in which Te2 was inactivated upon memory encoding showed a decreased freezing and failed to show Te2-to-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synchrony during memory retrieval. In addition, the expression of the immediate early gene zif268 in the lateral, basal and central amygdala nuclei did not show memory-related enhancement. As all sites were intact upon memory retrieval, we propose that the auditory cortex represents a key node in the consolidation of fear memories and it is essential for amygdala nuclei to support memory retrieval process.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Soltanpour, Reyhaneh; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrabian, Shahram; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
The effects of pharmacological interventions on fear memory have widely been studied, but there are very few studies about the effects of brain electrical stimulation on fear memory function. Therefore, our aim was to determine whether anodal/cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right frontal cortex would modify propranolol-induced contextual and auditory fear memory deficits, before or after training. The adult NMRI male mice were randomly assigned into three groups: the sham group, the anodal tDCS group, and the cathodal tDCS group. Fear memories were evaluated using a classical fear conditioning apparatus. While the anodal stimulation did not affect fear retrieval, post-training cathodal stimulation improved fear memory retrieval. Regardless of when propranolol (0.1 mg/kg) was administered, it impaired fear memory retrieval. However, when anodal stimulation and propranolol were applied prior to the training, contextual fear memory retrieval was increased and auditory fear memory was reversed. An enhanced contextual retrieval was also observed when propranolol was administered prior to the training and stimulation occurred after the training. Only when the stimulation occurred prior to the training and propranolol was administered after the training was there a selective improvement in contextual fear memory retrieval, leaving the auditory fear memory retrieval impaired. Interestingly, cathodal stimulation improved the effects of propranolol on auditory fear memory only when it occurred prior to the training. The results highlight possible improving effects for anodal/cathodal tDCS on propranolol-induced deficits on fear memories. The timing of the interventions related to the specific phases of memory formation is important in modulating fear behaviors.
Stephanie A. Maddox
Full Text Available This review examines recent work on epigenetic mechanisms underlying animal models of fear learning as well as its translational implications in disorders of fear regulation, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Specifically, we will examine work outlining roles of differential histone acetylation and DNA methylation associated with consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction in Pavlovian fear paradigms. We then focus on the numerous studies examining the epigenetic modifications of the Brain-derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF pathway and the extension of these findings from animal models to recent work in human clinical populations. We will also review recently published data on FKBP5 regulation of glucocorticoid receptor function, and how this is modulated in animal models of PTSD and in human clinical populations via epigenetic mechanisms. As glucocorticoid regulation of memory consolidation is well established in fear models, we examine how these recent data contribute to our broader understanding of fear memory formation. The combined recent progress in epigenetic modulation of memory with the advances in fear neurobiology suggest that this area may be critical to progress in our understanding of fear-related disorders with implications for new approaches to treatment and prevention.
Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.
Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda
Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747
Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda
Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction.
Solecki, Wojciech B; Szklarczyk, Klaudia; Klasa, Adam; Pradel, Kamil; Dobrzański, Grzegorz; Przewłocki, Ryszard
Activity of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and its terminals has been implicated in the Pavlovian associative learning of both stressful and rewarding stimuli. However, the role of the VTA noradrenergic signaling in fear responses remains unclear. We aimed to examine how alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor (α 1 -AR) signaling in the VTA affects conditioned fear. The role of α 1 -AR was assessed using the micro-infusions into the VTA of the selective antagonists (0.1-1µg/0.5µl prazosin and 1µg/0.5µl terazosin) in acquisition and expression of fear memory. In addition, we performed control experiments with α 1 -AR blockade in the mammillary bodies (MB) - a brain region with α 1 -AR expression adjacent to the VTA. Intra-VTA but not intra-MB α 1 -AR blockade prevented formation and retrieval of fear memories. Importantly, local administration of α 1 -AR antagonists did not influence footshock sensitivity, locomotion or anxiety-like behaviors. Similarly, α 1 -AR blockade in the VTA had no effects on negative affect measured as number of 22kHz ultrasonic vocalizations during fear conditioning training. We propose that noradrenergic signaling in the VTA via α 1 -AR regulates formation and retrieval of fear memories but not other behavioral responses to stressful environmental stimuli. It enhances the encoding of environmental stimuli by the VTA to form and retrieve conditioned fear memories and to predict future behavioral outcomes. Our results provide novel insight into the role of the VTA α 1 -AR signaling in the regulation of stress responsiveness and fear memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fern?ndez-Lamo, Iv?n; Alieva, Mar?a; Pereda-P?rez, Inmaculada; Venero, C?sar; Guada?o-Ferraz, Ana
Hypothyroidism is the most common hormonal disease in adults, which is frequently accompanied by learning and memory impairments and emotional disorders. However, the deleterious effects of thyroid hormones deficiency on emotional memory are poorly understood and often underestimated. To evaluate the consequences of hypothyroidism on emotional learning and memory, we have performed a classical Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm in euthyroid and adult-thyroidectomized Wistar rats. In this ex...
Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Demanet, Jelle; Yuen, Kenneth S L; Kalisch, Raffael; Brass, Marcel
Learning fear via the experience of contingencies between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US) is often assumed to be fundamentally different from learning fear via instructions. An open question is whether fear-related brain areas respond differently to experienced CS-US contingencies than to merely instructed CS-US contingencies. Here, we contrasted two experimental conditions where subjects were instructed to expect the same CS-US contingencies while only one condition was characterized by prior experience with the CS-US contingency. Using multivoxel pattern analysis of fMRI data, we found CS-related neural activation patterns in the right amygdala (but not in other fear-related regions) that dissociated between whether a CS-US contingency had been instructed and experienced versus merely instructed. A second experiment further corroborated this finding by showing a category-independent neural response to instructed and experienced, but not merely instructed, CS presentations in the human right amygdala. Together, these findings are in line with previous studies showing that verbal fear instructions have a strong impact on both brain and behavior. However, even in the face of fear instructions, the human right amygdala still shows a separable neural pattern response to experience-based fear contingencies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In our study, we addressed a fundamental problem of the science of human fear learning and memory, namely whether fear learning via experience in humans relies on a neural pathway that can be separated from fear learning via verbal information. Using two new procedures and recent advances in the analysis of brain imaging data, we localized purely experience-based fear processing and memory in the right amygdala, thereby making a direct link between human and animal research. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378116-15$15.00/0.
Kathie A Overeem
Full Text Available In both invertebrate and vertebrate models of synaptic plasticity, signaling via the putative “retrograde messenger” nitric oxide (NO has been hypothesized to serve as a critical link between functional and structural alterations at pre- and postsynaptic sites. However, while in vitro models of synaptic plasticity have consistently implicated NO signaling in linking postsynaptic induction mechanisms with accompanying presynaptic changes, a convincing role of such “retrograde signaling” in mammalian memory formation has remained elusive. Using auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, we show that synaptic plasticity and NO signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA regulate the expression of the ERK-driven immediate early gene early growth response gene I (EGR-1 in regions of the auditory thalamus that are presynaptic to the LA. Further, antisense knockdown of EGR-1 in the auditory thalamus impairs both fear memory consolidation and the training-induced elevation of two presynaptically localized proteins in the LA. These findings indicate that synaptic plasticity and NO signaling in the LA during auditory fear conditioning promote alterations in ERK-driven gene expression in auditory thalamic neurons that are required for both fear memory consolidation as well as presynaptic correlates of fear memory formation in the LA, and provide general support for a role of NO as a “retrograde signal” in mammalian memory formation.
Lee, Justin Q; Sutherland, Robert J; McDonald, Robert J
There is a substantial body of evidence that the hippocampus (HPC) plays and essential role in context discrimination in rodents. Studies reporting anterograde amnesia (AA) used repeated, alternating, distributed conditioning and extinction sessions to measure context fear discrimination. In addition, there is uncertainty about the extent of damage to the HPC. Here, we induced conditioned fear prior to discrimination tests and rats sustained extensive, quantified pre- or post-training HPC damage. Unlike previous work, we found that extensive HPC damage spares context discrimination, we observed no AA. There must be a non-HPC system that can acquire long-term memories that support context fear discrimination. Post-training HPC damage caused retrograde amnesia (RA) for context discrimination, even when rats are fear conditioned for multiple sessions. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the role of HPC in long-term memory. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Sigurdsson, Torfi; Doyère, Valérie; Cain, Christopher K; LeDoux, Joseph E
Much of the research on long-term potentiation (LTP) is motivated by the question of whether changes in synaptic strength similar to LTP underlie learning and memory. Here we discuss findings from studies on fear conditioning, a form of associative learning whose neural circuitry is relatively well understood, that may be particularly suited for addressing this question. We first review the evidence suggesting that fear conditioning is mediated by changes in synaptic strength at sensory inputs to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We then discuss several outstanding questions that will be important for future research on the role of synaptic plasticity in fear learning. The results gained from these studies may shed light not only on fear conditioning, but may also help unravel more general cellular mechanisms of learning and memory.
Kim, Woong Bin; Cho, Jun-Hyeong
In auditory fear conditioning, experimental subjects learn to associate an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. With sufficient training, animals fear conditioned to an auditory CS show fear response to the CS, but not to irrelevant auditory stimuli. Although long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala (LA) plays an essential role in auditory fear conditioning, it is unknown whether LTP is induced selectively in the neural pathways conveying specific CS information to the LA in discriminative fear learning. Here, we show that postsynaptically expressed LTP is induced selectively in the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA in a mouse model of auditory discriminative fear conditioning. Moreover, optogenetically induced depotentiation of the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA suppressed conditioned fear responses to the CS. Our results suggest that input-specific LTP in the LA contributes to fear memory specificity, enabling adaptive fear responses only to the relevant sensory cue. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cambiaghi, Marco; Grosso, Anna; Renna, Annamaria; Sacchetti, Benedetto
Memories of frightening events require a protracted consolidation process. Sensory cortex, such as the auditory cortex, is involved in the formation of fearful memories with a more complex sensory stimulus pattern. It remains controversial, however, whether the auditory cortex is also required for fearful memories related to simple sensory stimuli. In the present study, we found that, 1 d after training, the temporary inactivation of either the most anterior region of the auditory cortex, including the primary (Te1) cortex, or the most posterior region, which included the secondary (Te2) component, did not affect the retention of recent memories, which is consistent with the current literature. However, at this time point, the inactivation of the entire auditory cortices completely prevented the formation of new memories. Amnesia was site specific and was not due to auditory stimuli perception or processing and strictly related to the interference with memory consolidation processes. Strikingly, at a late time interval 4 d after training, blocking the posterior part (encompassing the Te2) alone impaired memory retention, whereas the inactivation of the anterior part (encompassing the Te1) left memory unaffected. Together, these data show that the auditory cortex is necessary for the consolidation of auditory fearful memories related to simple tones in rats. Moreover, these results suggest that, at early time intervals, memory information is processed in a distributed network composed of both the anterior and the posterior auditory cortical regions, whereas, at late time intervals, memory processing is concentrated in the most posterior part containing the Te2 region. Memories of threatening experiences undergo a prolonged process of "consolidation" to be maintained for a long time. The dynamic of fearful memory consolidation is poorly understood. Here, we show that 1 d after learning, memory is processed in a distributed network composed of both primary Te1 and
Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A
Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
Ample evidence in animals and humans supports the noradrenergic modulation in the formation of emotional memory. However, in humans the effects of stress on emotional memory are traditionally investigated by declarative memory tests (e.g., recall, recognition) for non-associative emotional stimuli
Orsini, Caitlin A.; Yan, Chen; Maren, Stephen
After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS) alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellula...
Flores, África; Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Costa, Giulia; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando
Anxiety disorders are often associated with an inability to extinguish learned fear responses. The hypocretin/orexin system is involved in the regulation of emotional states and could also participate in the consolidation and extinction of aversive memories. Using hypocretin receptor-1 and hypocretin receptor-2 antagonists, hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides, and hypocretin receptor-1 knockout mice, we investigated the role of the hypocretin system in cue- and context-dependent fear condi...
Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Yue; Li, Wen; Loh, Horace H; Law, Ping-Yee
Addictive drugs, including opioids, modulate adult neurogenesis. In order to delineate the probable implications of neurogenesis on contextual memory associated with addiction, we investigated opioid agonist-selective regulation of neurogenic differentiation 1 (NeuroD) activities under the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Training mice with equivalent doses of morphine and fentanyl produced different CPP extinction rates without measurable differences in the CPP acquisition rate o...
Kwapis, Janine L; Jarome, Timothy J; Ferrara, Nicole C; Helmstetter, Fred J
Established memories undergo a period of vulnerability following retrieval, a process termed 'reconsolidation.' Recent work has shown that the hypothetical process of reconsolidation is only triggered when new information is presented during retrieval, suggesting that this process may allow existing memories to be modified. Reconsolidation has received increasing attention as a possible therapeutic target for treating disorders that stem from traumatic memories, yet little is known about how this process changes the original memory. In particular, it is unknown whether reconsolidation can reorganize the neural circuit supporting an existing memory after that memory is modified with new information. Here, we show that trace fear memory undergoes a protein synthesis-dependent reconsolidation process following exposure to a single updating trial of delay conditioning. Further, this reconsolidation-dependent updating process appears to reorganize the neural circuit supporting the trace-trained memory, so that it better reflects the circuit supporting delay fear. Specifically, after a trace-to-delay update session, the amygdala is now required for extinction of the updated memory but the retrosplenial cortex is no longer required for retrieval. These results suggest that updating procedures could be used to force a complex, poorly defined memory circuit to rely on a better-defined neural circuit that may be more amenable to behavioral or pharmacological manipulation. This is the first evidence that exposure to new information can fundamentally reorganize the neural circuit supporting an existing memory.
Uncapher, Melina R; Rugg, Michael D
Not all of what is experienced is remembered later. Behavioral evidence suggests that the manner in which an event is processed influences which aspects of the event will later be remembered. The present experiment investigated the neural correlates of "selective encoding," or the mechanisms that support the encoding of some elements of an event in preference to others. Event-related MRI data were acquired while volunteers selectively attended to one of two different contextual features of study items (color or location). A surprise memory test for the items and both contextual features was subsequently administered to determine the influence of selective attention on the neural correlates of contextual encoding. Activity in several cortical regions indexed later memory success selectively for color or location information, and this encoding-related activity was enhanced by selective attention to the relevant feature. Critically, a region in the hippocampus responded selectively to attended source information (whether color or location), demonstrating encoding-related activity for attended but not for nonattended source features. Together, the findings suggest that selective attention modulates the magnitude of activity in cortical regions engaged by different aspects of an event, and hippocampal encoding mechanisms seem to be sensitive to this modulation. Thus, the information that is encoded into a memory representation is biased by selective attention, and this bias is mediated by cortical-hippocampal interactions.
Uncapher, Melina R.; Rugg, Michael D.
Not all of what is experienced is remembered later. Behavioral evidence suggests that the manner in which an event is processed influences which aspects of the event will later be remembered. The present experiment investigated the neural correlates of ‘selective encoding’, or the mechanisms that support the encoding of some elements of an event in preference to others. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired while volunteers selectively attended to one of two different contextual features of study items (color or location). A surprise memory test for the items and both contextual features was subsequently administered to determine the influence of selective attention on the neural correlates of contextual encoding. Activity in several cortical regions indexed later memory success selectively for color or location information, and this encoding-related activity was enhanced by selective attention to the relevant feature. Critically, a region in the hippocampus responded selectively to attended source information (whether color or location), demonstrating encoding-related activity for attended but not for nonattended source features. Together, the findings suggest that selective attention modulates the magnitude of activity in cortical regions engaged by different aspects of an event, and hippocampal encoding mechanisms seem to be sensitive to this modulation. Thus, the information that is encoded into a memory representation is biased by selective attention, and this bias is mediated by cortico-hippocampal interactions. PMID:19553466
Díaz-Mataix, Lorenzo; Debiec, Jacek; LeDoux, Joseph E; Doyère, Valérie
Consolidated long-term fear memories become labile and can be disrupted after being reactivated by the presentation of the unconditioned stimulus (US). Whether this is due to an alteration of the conditioned stimulus (CS) representation in the lateral amygdala (LA) is not known. Here, we show in rats that fear memory reactivation through presentation of the aversive US, like CS presentation, triggers a process which, when disrupted, results in a selective depotentiation of CS-evoked neural responses in the LA in correlation with a selective suppression of CS-elicited fear memory. Thus, an aversive US triggers the reconsolidation of its associated predictor representation in LA. This new finding suggests that sensory-specific associations are stored in the lateral amygdala, allowing for their selective alteration by either element of the association.
Pierard, C; Dorey, R; Henkous, N; Mons, N; Béracochéa, D
This study assessed the relative contributions of dorsal (dHPC) and ventral (vHPC) hippocampus regions in mediating the rapid effects of an acute stress on contextual memory retrieval. Indeed, we previously showed that an acute stress (3 electric footschocks; 0.9 mA each) delivered 15 min before the 24 h-test inversed the memory retrieval pattern in a contextual discrimination task. Specifically, mice learned in a four-hole board two successive discriminations (D1 and D2) varying by the color and texture of the floor. Twenty-four hours later, nonstressed animals remembered accurately D1 but not D2 whereas stressed mice showed an opposite memory retrieval pattern, D2 being more accurately remembered than D1. We showed here that, at the time of memory testing in that task, stressed animals exhibited no significant changes neither in pCREB activity nor in the time-course evolution of corticosterone into the vHPC; in contrast, a significant decrease in pCREB activity and a significant increase in corticosterone were observed in the dHPC as compared to nonstressed mice. Moreover, local infusion of the anesthetic lidocaine into the vHPC 15 min before the onset of the stressor did not modify the memory retrieval pattern in nonstress and stress conditions whereas lidocaine infusion into the dHPC induced in nonstressed mice an memory retrieval pattern similar to that observed in stressed animals. The overall set of data shows that memory retrieval in nonstress condition involved primarily the dHPC and that the inversion of memory retrieval pattern after stress is linked to a dHPC but not vHPC dysfunction. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bugg, Julie M; Ball, B Hunter
Participants use simple contextual cues to reduce deployment of costly monitoring processes in contexts in which prospective memory (PM) targets are not expected. This study investigated whether this strategic monitoring pattern is observed in response to complex and probabilistic contextual cues. Participants performed a lexical decision task in which words or nonwords were presented in upper or lower locations on screen. The specific condition was informed that PM targets ("tor" syllable) would occur only in words in the upper location, whereas the nonspecific condition was informed that targets could occur in any location or word type. Context was blocked such that word type and location changed every 8 trials. In Experiment 1, the specific condition used the complex contextual cue to reduce monitoring in unexpected contexts relative to the nonspecific condition. This pattern largely was not evidenced when the complex contextual cue was probabilistic (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 confirmed that strategic monitoring is observed for a complex cue that is deterministic, but not one that is probabilistic. Additionally, Experiments 1 and 3 demonstrated a disadvantage associated with strategic monitoring-namely, that the specific condition was less likely to respond to a PM target in an unexpected context. Experiment 3 provided evidence that this disadvantage is attributable to impaired noticing of the target. The novel findings suggest use of a complex contextual cue per se is not a boundary condition for the strategic, context-specific allocation of monitoring processes to support prospective remembering; however, strategic monitoring is constrained by the predictive utility of the complex contextual cue.
Fang, Ton; Kasbi, Kamillia; Rothe, Stephanie; Aziz, Wajeeha; Giese, K Peter
The hippocampus and amygdala are essential brain regions responsible for contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The autophosphorylation of alpha calcium-calmodulin kinase II (αCaMKII) at threonine-286 (T286) is a critical step implicated in long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. However, the changes in αCaMKII levels with aging and training in associated brain regions are not fully understood. Here, we studied how aging and training affect the levels of phosphorylated (T286) and proportion of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. Young and aged mice, naïve (untrained) and trained in CFC, were analysed by immunohistochemistry for the levels of total and phosphorylated αCaMKII in the hippocampus and amygdala. We found that two hours after CFC training, young mice exhibited a higher level of phosphorylated and increased ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in hippocampal CA3 stratum radiatum. Furthermore, aged untrained mice showed a higher ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII in the CA3 region of the hippocampus when compared to the young untrained group. No effect of training or aging were seen in the central, lateral and basolateral amygdala regions, for both phosphorylated and ratio of phosphorylated:total αCaMKII. These results show that aging impairs the training-induced upregulation of autophosphorylated (T286) αCaMKII in the CA3 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus. This indicates that distinct age-related mechanisms underlie CFC that may rely more heavily on NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity in young age. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Krans, Julie; Langner, Oliver; Reinecke, Andrea; Pearson, David G
The present study addressed the role of context information and dual-task interference during the encoding of negative pictures on intrusion development and voluntary recall. Healthy participants were shown negative pictures with or without context information. Pictures were either viewed alone or concurrently with a visuospatial or verbal task. Participants reported their intrusive images of the pictures in a diary. At follow-up, perceptual and contextual memory was tested. Participants in the context group reported more intrusive images and perceptual voluntary memory than participants in the no context group. No effects of the concurrent tasks were found on intrusive image frequency, but perceptual and contextual memory was affected according to the cognitive load of the task. The analogue method cannot be generalized to real-life trauma and the secondary tasks may differ in cognitive load. The findings challenge a dual memory model of PTSD but support an account in which retrieval strategy, rather than encoding processes, accounts for the experience of involuntary versus voluntary recall. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sałat, Kinga; Gdula-Argasińska, Joanna; Malikowska, Natalia; Podkowa, Adrian; Lipkowska, Anna; Librowski, Tadeusz
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia due to defects in insulin secretion or its action. Complications from long-term diabetes consist of numerous biochemical, molecular, and functional tissue alterations, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and neuropathic pain. There is also a link between diabetes mellitus and vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Hence, it is important to treat diabetic complications using drugs which do not aggravate symptoms induced by the disease itself. Pregabalin is widely used for the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain, but little is known about its impact on cognition or inflammation-related proteins in diabetic patients. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of intraperitoneal (ip) pregabalin on contextual memory and the expression of inflammatory state-related proteins in the brains of diabetic, streptozotocin (STZ)-treated mice. STZ (200 mg/kg, ip) was used to induce diabetes mellitus. To assess the impact of pregabalin (10 mg/kg) on contextual memory, a passive avoidance task was applied. Locomotor and exploratory activities in pregabalin-treated diabetic mice were assessed by using activity cages. Using Western blot analysis, the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), cytosolic prostaglandin E synthase (cPGES), nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), nuclear factor-ĸB (NF-ĸB) p50 and p65, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), as well as glucose transporter type-4 (GLUT4) was assessed in mouse brains after pregabalin treatment. Pregabalin did not aggravate STZ-induced learning deficits in vivo or influence animals' locomotor activity. We observed significantly lower expression of COX-2, cPGES, and NF-κB p50 subunit, and higher expression of AhR and Nrf2 in the brains of pregabalin-treated mice in comparison to STZ-treated controls, which suggested immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of pregabalin. Antioxidant properties of pregabalin in the brains of
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned stimulus (CS). A relevant question is whether abstract cues not directly associated with the threat event also trigger reconsolidation, given that anxiety disorders often result from vicarious or unobtrusive learning for which no explicit memory exists. Insofar as the fear memory involves a flexible representation of the original learning experience, we hypothesized that the process of memory reconsolidation may also be triggered by abstract cues. We addressed this hypothesis by using a differential human fear-conditioning procedure in two distinct fear-learning groups. We predicted that if fear learning involves discrimination on basis of perceptual cues within one semantic category (i.e., the perceptual-learning group, n = 15), the subsequent ambiguity of the abstract retrieval cue would not trigger memory reconsolidation. In contrast, if fear learning involves discriminating between two semantic categories (i.e., categorical-learning group, n = 15), an abstract retrieval cue would unequivocally reactivate the fear memory and might subsequently trigger memory reconsolidation. Here we show that memory reconsolidation may indeed be triggered by another cue than the one that was present during the original learning occasion, but this effect depends on the learning history. Evidence for fear memory reconsolidation was inferred from the fear-erasing effect of one pill of propranolol (40 mg) systemically administered upon exposure to the abstract retrieval cue. Our finding that reconsolidation of a specific fear association does not require exposure to the original retrieval cue supports the feasibility of reconsolidation-based interventions for emotional disorders.
Full Text Available Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned stimulus. A relevant question is whether abstract cues not directly associated with the threat event also trigger reconsolidation, given that anxiety disorders often result from vicarious or unobtrusive learning for which no explicit memory exists. Insofar as the fear memory involves a flexible representation of the original learning experience, we hypothesized that the process of memory reconsolidation may also be triggered by abstract cues. We addressed this hypothesis by using a differential human fear-conditioning procedure in two distinct fear-learning groups. We predicted that if fear learning involves discrimination on basis of perceptual cues within one semantic category (i.e., the perceptual-learning group, n = 15, the subsequent ambiguity of the abstract retrieval cue would not trigger memory reconsolidation. In contrast, if fear learning involves discriminating between two semantic categories (i.e., categorical-learning group, n = 15, an abstract retrieval cue would unequivocally reactivate the fear memory and might subsequently trigger memory reconsolidation. Here we show that memory reconsolidation may indeed be triggered by another cue than the one that was present during the original learning occasion, but this effect depends on the learning history. Evidence for fear memory reconsolidation was inferred from the fear-erasing effect of one pill of propranolol (40 mg systemically administered upon exposure to the abstract retrieval cue. Our finding that reconsolidation of a specific fear association does not require exposure to the original retrieval cue supports the feasibility of reconsolidation-based interventions for emotional disorders.
Aubry, Antonio V; Serrano, Peter A; Burghardt, Nesha S
Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.
Full Text Available Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of AMPA receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.
Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark
Memory formation is thought to occur via enhanced synaptic connectivity between populations of neurons in the brain. However, it has been difficult to localize and identify the neurons that are directly involved in the formation of any specific memory. We have previously used fos-tau-lacZ (FTL) transgenic mice to identify discrete populations of neurons in amygdala and hypothalamus, which were specifically activated by fear conditioning to a context. Here we have examined neuronal activation due to fear conditioning to a more specific auditory cue. Discrete populations of learning-specific neurons were identified in only a small number of locations in the brain, including those previously found to be activated in amygdala and hypothalamus by context fear conditioning. These populations, each containing only a relatively small number of neurons, may be directly involved in fear learning and memory. PMID:26179231
Giachero, Marcelo; Bustos, Silvia G.; Calfa, Gaston; Molina, Victor A.
The present study investigates the fear memory resulting from the interaction of a stressful experience and the retrieval of an established fear memory trace. Such a combination enhanced both fear expression and fear retention in adult Wistar rats. Likewise, midazolam intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion prior to stress attenuated the…
Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Yue; Li, Wen; Loh, Horace H; Law, Ping-Yee
Addictive drugs, including opioids, modulate adult neurogenesis. In order to delineate the probable implications of neurogenesis on contextual memory associated with addiction, we investigated opioid agonist-selective regulation of neurogenic differentiation 1 (NeuroD) activities under the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Training mice with equivalent doses of morphine and fentanyl produced different CPP extinction rates without measurable differences in the CPP acquisition rate or magnitude. Fentanyl-induced CPP required much longer time for extinction than morphine-induced CPP. We observed a parallel decrease in NeuroD activities and neurogenesis after morphine-induced CPP, but not after fentanyl-induced CPP. Increasing NeuroD activities with NeuroD-lentivirus (nd-vir) injection at the dentate gyrus before CPP training reversed morphine-induced decreases in NeuroD activities and neurogenesis, and prolonged the time required for extinction of morphine-induced CPP. On the other hand, decreasing NeuroD activities via injection of miRNA-190-virus (190-vir) reversed the fentanyl effect on NeuroD and neurogenesis and shortened the time required for extinction of fentanyl-induced CPP. Another contextual memory task, the Morris Water Maze (MWM), was affected similarly by alteration of NeuroD activities. The reduction in NeuroD activities either by morphine treatment or 190-vir injection decreased MWM task retention, while the increase in NeuroD activities by nd-vir prolonged MWM task retention. Thus, by controlling NeuroD activities, opioid agonists differentially regulate adult neurogenesis and subsequent contextual memory retention. Such drug-related memory regulation could have implications in eventual context-associated relapse.
Melissa S Monsey
Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.
Hegoburu, Chloé; Parrot, Sandrine; Ferreira, Guilaume; Mouly, Anne-Marie
Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) plays a crucial role for the acquisition of fear memories, sensory cortices are involved in their long-term storage in rats. However, the time course of their respective involvement has received little investigation. Here we assessed the role of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the…
The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) also acts as a neurogenic compound in the developing brain. Early administration of a 5-HT agonist could alter development of serotonergic circuitry, altering behaviors mediated by 5-HT signaling, including memory, fear and aggression. The present study was desi...
Pierard, Chistophe; Krazem, Ali; Henkous, Nadia; Decorte, Laurence; Béracochéa, Daniel
This study investigated in mice the dose-effect of caffeine on memory retrieval in non-stress and stress conditions. C57 Bl/6 Jico mice learned two consecutive discriminations (D1 and D2) in a four-hole board which involved either distinct contextual (CSD) or similar contextual (SSD) cues. All mice received an i.p. injection of vehicle or caffeine (8, 16 or 32mg/kg) 30min before the test session. Results showed that in non-stress conditions, the 16mg/kg caffeine dose induced a significant enhancement of D1 performance in CSD but not in SSD. Hence, we studied the effect of an acute stress (electric footshocks) administered 15min before the test session on D1 performance in caffeine-treated mice. Results showed that stress significantly decreased D1 performance in vehicle-treated controls and the memory-enhancing effect induced by the 16mg/kg caffeine dose in non-stress condition is no longer observed. Interestingly, whereas caffeine-treated mice exhibited weaker concentrations of plasma corticosterone as compared to vehicles in non-stress condition, stress significantly increased plasma corticosterone concentrations in caffeine-treated mice which reached similar level to that of controls. Overall, the acute stress blocked both the endocrinological and memory retrieval enhancing effects of caffeine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bhagavathi Sundaram eSivamaruthi
Full Text Available It is well established that Cronobacter sakazakii infection cause septicemia, necrotizingenterocolitis (NEC and meningitis. In the present study, we tested whether the C. sakazakii infection alter the learning and memory through serotonin transporter (SERT. To investigate the possible effect on SERT, on postnatal day (PND-15, wistar rat pups were administered with single dose of C. sakazakii culture (Infected group: IF; 107 CFU or 100μL of Luria-Bertani broth (LB; Medium Control: MC or without any treatment (Naïve control: NC. All the individuals were subjected to passive avoidance test on PND-30 to test their fear memory. We show that single dose of C. sakazakii infection improved fear memory retention. Subsequently, we show that C. sakazakii infection induced the activation of Toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3 and heat-shock proteins-90 (Hsp-90. On the other hand, level of serotonin (5-HT and SERT protein was down-regulated. Furthermore, we show that C. sakazakii infection up-regulate microRNA (miR-16 expression. The observed results highlight that C. sakazakii infections was responsible for improved fear memory retention and may have reduced the level of SERT protein, which is possibly associated with the interaction of up-regulated Hsp-90 with SERT protein or miR-16 with SERT mRNA. Taken together, observed results suggest that C. sakazakkii infection alter the fear memory possibly through SERT. Hence, this model may be effective to test the C. sakazakii infection induced changes in synaptic plasticity through SERT and effect of other pharmacological agents against pathogen induced memory disorder.
Lima, Ramon H.; Radiske, Andressa; Kohler, Cristiano A.; Gonzalez, Maria Carolina; Bevilaqua, Lia R.; Rossato, Janine I.; Medina, Jorge H.; Cammarota, Martin
Late post-training activation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-hippocampus dopaminergic loop controls the entry of information into long-term memory (LTM). Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) modulate VTA function, but their involvement in LTM storage is unknown. Using pharmacological and behavioral tools, we found that…
Brockmole, James R; Le-Hoa Võ, Melissa
When encountering familiar scenes, observers can use item-specific memory to facilitate the guidance of attention to objects appearing in known locations or configurations. Here, we investigated how memory for relational contingencies that emerge across different scenes can be exploited to guide attention. Participants searched for letter targets embedded in pictures of bedrooms. In a between-subjects manipulation, targets were either always on a bed pillow or randomly positioned. When targets were systematically located within scenes, search for targets became more efficient. Importantly, this learning transferred to bedrooms without pillows, ruling out learning that is based on perceptual contingencies. Learning also transferred to living room scenes, but it did not transfer to kitchen scenes, even though both scene types contained pillows. These results suggest that statistical regularities abstracted across a range of stimuli are governed by semantic expectations regarding the presence of target-predicting local landmarks. Moreover, explicit awareness of these contingencies led to a central tendency bias in recall memory for precise target positions that is similar to the spatial category effects observed in landmark memory. These results broaden the scope of conditions under which contextual cuing operates and demonstrate how semantic memory plays a causal and independent role in the learning of associations between objects in real-world scenes.
Watrous, Andrew J; Ekstrom, Arne D
The spectral fingerprint hypothesis, which posits that different frequencies of oscillations underlie different cognitive operations, provides one account for how interactions between brain regions support perceptual and attentive processes (Siegel etal., 2012). Here, we explore and extend this idea to the domain of human episodic memory encoding and retrieval. Incorporating findings from the synaptic to cognitive levels of organization, we argue that spectrally precise cross-frequency coupling and phase-synchronization promote the formation of hippocampal-neocortical cell assemblies that form the basis for episodic memory. We suggest that both cell assembly firing patterns as well as the global pattern of brain oscillatory activity within hippocampal-neocortical networks represents the contents of a particular memory. Drawing upon the ideas of context reinstatement and multiple trace theory, we argue that memory retrieval is driven by internal and/or external factors which recreate these frequency-specific oscillatory patterns which occur during episodic encoding. These ideas are synthesized into a novel model of episodic memory (the spectro-contextual encoding and retrieval theory, or "SCERT") that provides several testable predictions for future research.
Pratama, Ferdian; Mastrogiovanni, Fulvio; Lee, Soon Geul; Chong, Nak Young
In this paper, we present a novel cognitive framework allowing a robot to form memories of relevant traits of its perceptions and to recall them when necessary. The framework is based on two main principles: on the one hand, we propose an architecture inspired by current knowledge in human memory organisation; on the other hand, we integrate such an architecture with the notion of context, which is used to modulate the knowledge acquisition process when consolidating memories and forming new ones, as well as with the notion of familiarity, which is employed to retrieve proper memories given relevant cues. Although much research has been carried out, which exploits Machine Learning approaches to provide robots with internal models of their environment (including objects and occurring events therein), we argue that such approaches may not be the right direction to follow if a long-term, continuous knowledge acquisition is to be achieved. As a case study scenario, we focus on both robot-environment and human-robot interaction processes. In case of robot-environment interaction, a robot performs pick and place movements using the objects in the workspace, at the same time observing their displacement on a table in front of it, and progressively forms memories defined as relevant cues (e.g. colour, shape or relative position) in a context-aware fashion. As far as human-robot interaction is concerned, the robot can recall specific snapshots representing past events using both sensory information and contextual cues upon request by humans.
Klein, Anke M; Titulaer, Geraldine; Simons, Carlijn; Allart, Esther; de Gier, Erwin; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike
This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent ability of these biases to predict spider fear was investigated. A total of 121 children filled out the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children (SADS-C), and they performed an interpretation task, a memory task, and a Behavioural Assessment Test (BAT). As expected, a specific interpretation bias was found: Spider-fearful children showed more negative interpretations of ambiguous spider-related scenarios, but not of other scenarios. We also found specific source monitoring errors: Spider-fearful children made more fear-related source monitoring errors for the spider-related scenarios, but not for the other scenarios. Only limited support was found for a recall bias. Finally, interpretation bias, recall bias, and source monitoring errors predicted unique variance components of spider fear.
Schwegler, Kyrill; Ettlin, Dominik; Buser, Iris; Klaghofer, Richard; Goetzmann, Lutz; Buddeberg, Claus; Alon, Eli; Brügger, Mike; de Quervain, Dominique J-F
Remembering painful incidents has important adaptive value but may also contribute to clinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain states. Because glucocorticoids are known to impair memory retrieval processes, we investigated whether cortisol affects recall of previously experienced pain in healthy young men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 male participants were presented pictures, half of them combined with a heat-pain stimulus. The next day, the same pictures were shown in the absence of pain. Cortisol (20 mg) administered 1h before retention testing reduced recall of explicit contextual pain memory, whereas it did not affect pain threshold or pain tolerance. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Du, Jianyang; Price, Margaret P; Taugher, Rebecca J; Grigsby, Daniel; Ash, Jamison J; Stark, Austin C; Hossain Saad, Md Zubayer; Singh, Kritika; Mandal, Juthika; Wemmie, John A; Welsh, Michael J
Attenuating the strength of fearful memories could benefit people disabled by memories of past trauma. Pavlovian conditioning experiments indicate that a retrieval cue can return a conditioned aversive memory to a labile state. However, means to enhance retrieval and render a memory more labile are unknown. We hypothesized that augmenting synaptic signaling during retrieval would increase memory lability. To enhance synaptic transmission, mice inhaled CO2 to induce an acidosis and activate acid sensing ion channels. Transient acidification increased the retrieval-induced lability of an aversive memory. The labile memory could then be weakened by an extinction protocol or strengthened by reconditioning. Coupling CO2 inhalation to retrieval increased activation of amygdala neurons bearing the memory trace and increased the synaptic exchange from Ca2+-impermeable to Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. The results suggest that transient acidosis during retrieval renders the memory of an aversive event more labile and suggest a strategy to modify debilitating memories. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22564.001 PMID:28650315
D'Amico, Davide; Gener, Thomas; de Lagrán, Maria Martínez; Sanchez-Vives, Maria V; Santos, Mónica; Dierssen, Mara
The inability to properly extinguish fear memories constitutes the foundation of several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder. Recent findings show that boosting prefrontal cortex synaptic plasticity potentiates fear extinction, suggesting that therapies that augment synaptic plasticity could prove useful in rescue of fear extinction impairments in this group of disorders. Previously, we reported that mice with selective deregulation of neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor, type 3 expression (TgNTRK3) exhibit increased fear memories accompanied by impaired extinction, congruent with an altered activation pattern of the amygdala-hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex fear circuit. Here we explore the specific role of neurotrophin 3 and its cognate receptor in the medial prefrontal cortex, and its involvement in fear extinction in a pathological context. In this study we combined molecular, behavioral, in vivo pharmacology and ex vivo electrophysiological recordings in TgNTRK3 animals during contextual fear extinction processes. We show that neurotrophin 3 protein levels are increased upon contextual fear extinction in wild-type animals but not in TgNTRK3 mice, which present deficits in infralimbic long-term potentiation. Importantly, infusion of neurotrophin 3 to the medial prefrontal cortex of TgNTRK3 mice rescues contextual fear extinction and ex vivo local application improves medial prefrontal cortex synaptic plasticity. This effect is blocked by inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation through peripheral administration of SL327, suggesting that rescue occurs via this pathway. Our results suggest that stimulating neurotrophin 3-dependent medial prefrontal cortex plasticity could restore contextual fear extinction deficit in pathological fear and could constitute an effective treatment for fear-related disorders.
Feduccia, Allison A; Mithoefer, Michael C
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD has recently progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials and received Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA. MDMA used as an adjunct during psychotherapy sessions has demonstrated effectiveness and acceptable safety in reducing PTSD symptoms in Phase 2 trials, with durable remission of PTSD diagnosis in 68% of participants. The underlying psychological and neurological mechanisms for the robust effects in mitigating PTSD are being investigated in animal models and in studies of healthy volunteers. This review explores the potential role of memory reconsolidation and fear extinction during MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. MDMA enhances release of monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine), hormones (oxytocin, cortisol), and other downstream signaling molecules (BDNF) to dynamically modulate emotional memory circuits. By reducing activation in brain regions implicated in the expression of fear- and anxiety-related behaviors, namely the amygdala and insula, and increasing connectivity between the amygdala and hippocampus, MDMA may allow for reprocessing of traumatic memories and emotional engagement with therapeutic processes. Based on the pharmacology of MDMA and the available translational literature of memory reconsolidation, fear learning, and PTSD, this review suggests a neurobiological rationale to explain, at least in part, the large effect sizes demonstrated for MDMA in treating PTSD. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gan, Ping; Ding, Ze-Yang; Gan, Cheng; Mao, Rong-Rong; Zhou, Heng; Xu, Lin; Zhou, Qi-Xin
Stressful events can generate enduring memories, which may induce certain psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms in these processes remain unclear. In this study, we examined whether the active form of the small G protein Rac1, Rac1-GTP, is involved in fear memory. Firstly, we detected the time course changes of Rac1-GTP after foot shocks (a strong stressor) and exogenous corticosterone (CORT) treatment. The data showed that stress and CORT induced the downregulation of Rac1-GTP in the hippocampus. Changes in the serum CORT level were negatively correlated with the level of Rac1-GTP. Additionally, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU38486, not only recovered the expression of Rac1-GTP but also impaired fear memory. Furthermore, systemic administration of NSC23766, an inhibitor of Rac1-GTP, improved fear memory at 1.5 and 24h. Therefore, Rac1 activity plays a critical role in stress-related cognition and may be a potential target in stress-related disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hui, Isabel R; Hui, Gabriel K; Roozendaal, Benno; McGaugh, James L; Weinberger, Norman M
A large number of studies have indicated that stress exposure or the administration of stress hormones and other neuroactive drugs immediately after a learning experience modulates the consolidation of long-term memory. However, there has been little investigation into how arousal induced by handling of the animals in order to administer these drugs affects memory. Therefore, the present study examined whether the posttraining injection or handling procedure per se affects memory of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, which had been pre-handled on three days for 1 min each prior to conditioning, received three pairings of a single-frequency auditory stimulus and footshock, followed immediately by either a subcutaneous injection of a vehicle solution or brief handling without injection. A control group was placed back into their home cages without receiving any posttraining treatment. Retention was tested 24 h later in a novel chamber and suppression of ongoing motor behavior during a 10-s presentation of the auditory-cue served as the measure of conditioned fear. Animals that received posttraining injection or handling did not differ from each other but showed significantly less stimulus-induced movement compared to the non-handled control group. These findings thus indicate that the posttraining injection or handling procedure is sufficiently arousing or stressful to facilitate memory consolidation of auditory-cue classical fear conditioning.
Spillers, Gregory J.; Unsworth, Nash
Unsworth and Engle (2007) recently proposed a model of working memory capacity characterized by, among other things, the ability to conduct a strategic, cue-dependent search of long-term memory. Although this ability has been found to mediate individual variation in a number of higher order cognitive tasks, the component processes involved remain…
Koshibu, K; Gräff, J; Mansuy, I M
Complex brain diseases and neurological disorders in human generally result from the disturbance of multiple genes and signaling pathways. These disturbances may derive from mutations, deletions, translocations or rearrangements of specific gene(s). However, over the past years, it has become clear that such disturbances may also derive from alterations in the epigenome affecting several genes simultaneously. Our work recently demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms in the adult brain are in part regulated by protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), a protein Ser/Thr phosphatase that negatively regulates hippocampus-dependent long-term memory (LTM) and synaptic plasticity. PP1 is abundant in brain structures involved in emotional processing like the amygdala, it may therefore be involved in the regulation of fear memory, a form of memory related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in human. Here, we demonstrate that PP1 is a molecular suppressor of fear memory and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala that can control chromatin remodeling in neurons. We show that the selective inhibition of the nuclear pool of PP1 in amygdala neurons significantly alters posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histones and the expression of several memory-associated genes. These alterations correlate with enhanced fear memory, and with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) that is transcription-dependent. Our results underscore the importance of nuclear PP1 in the amygdala as an epigenetic regulator of emotional memory, and the relevance of protein phosphatases as potential targets for therapeutic treatment of brain disorders like PTSD. © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lauren S Hopkins
Full Text Available The role of contingency awareness in simple associative learning experiments with human participants is currently debated. Since prior work suggests that eye movements can index mnemonic processes that occur without awareness, we used eye tracking to better understand the role of awareness in learning aversive Pavlovian conditioning. A complex real-world scene containing four embedded household items was presented to participants while skin conductance, eye movements, and pupil size were recorded. One item embedded in the scene served as the conditional stimulus (CS. One exemplar of that item (e.g. a white pot was paired with shock 100 percent of the time (CS+ while a second exemplar (e.g. a gray pot was never paired with shock (CS-. The remaining items were paired with shock on half of the trials. Participants rated their expectation of receiving a shock during each trial, and these expectancy ratings were used to identify when (i.e. on what trial each participant became aware of the programmed contingencies. Disproportionate viewing of the CS was found both before and after explicit contingency awareness, and patterns of viewing distinguished the CS+ from the CS-. These observations are consistent with "dual process" models of fear conditioning, as they indicate that learning can be expressed in patterns of viewing prior to explicit contingency awareness.
Ferrer Monti, Roque I.; Giachero, Marcelo; Alfei, Joaquín M.; Bueno, Adrián M.; Cuadra, Gabriel; Molina, Victor A.
It is known that a consolidated memory can return to a labile state and become transiently malleable following reactivation. This instability is followed by a restabilization phase termed reconsolidation. In this work, we explored whether an unrelated appetitive experience (voluntary consumption of diluted sucrose) can affect a contextual fear…
Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A
Influential slot and resource models of visual working memory make the assumption that items are stored in memory as independent units, and that there are no interactions between them. Consequently, these models predict that the number of items to be remembered (the set size) is the primary determinant of working memory performance, and therefore these models quantify memory capacity in terms of the number and quality of individual items that can be stored. Here we demonstrate that there is substantial variance in display difficulty within a single set size, suggesting that limits based on the number of individual items alone cannot explain working memory storage. We asked hundreds of participants to remember the same sets of displays, and discovered that participants were highly consistent in terms of which items and displays were hardest or easiest to remember. Although a simple grouping or chunking strategy could not explain this individual-display variability, a model with multiple, interacting levels of representation could explain some of the display-by-display differences. Specifically, a model that includes a hierarchical representation of items plus the mean and variance of sets of the colors on the display successfully accounts for some of the variability across displays. We conclude that working memory representations are composed only in part of individual, independent object representations, and that a major factor in how many items are remembered on a particular display is interitem representations such as perceptual grouping, ensemble, and texture representations.
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
Disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation may point to a novel therapeutic strategy for the permanent reduction of fear in patients suffering from anxiety disorders. However both in animal and human studies the retrieval cue typically involves a re-exposure to the original fear-conditioned
Gupta-Agarwal, Swati; Jarome, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Jordan; Lubin, Farah D.
It is well established that fear memory formation requires de novo gene transcription in the amygdala. We provide evidence that epigenetic mechanisms in the form of histone lysine methylation in the lateral amygdala (LA) are regulated by NMDA receptor (NMDAR) signaling and involved in gene transcription changes necessary for fear memory…
Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi; Mishima, Shuta; Nagase, Shotaro; Morita, Keishi; Otsuka, Ami; Hashikawa, Naoya
Although chronic ethanol treatment is known to impair learning and memory, humans commonly consume a range of alcoholic beverages. However, the specific effects of some alcoholic beverages on behavioral performance are largely unknown. The present study compared the effects of a range of alcoholic beverages (plain ethanol solution, red wine, sake and whiskey; with a matched alcohol concentration of 10%) on learning and memory. 6-week-old C57BL6J mice were orally administered alcohol for 7 weeks. The results revealed that red wine treatment exhibited a trend toward improvement of spatial memory and advanced extinction of fear memory. Additionally, red wine treatment significantly increased mRNA levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in mice hippocampus. These results support previous reports that red wine has beneficial effects.
Li, Jing Jing; Szkudlarek, Hanna; Renard, Justine; Hudson, Roger; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R
Disturbances in prefrontal cortical (PFC) dopamine (DA) transmission are well-established features of psychiatric disorders involving pathological memory processing, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid addiction. Transmission through PFC DA D4 receptors (D4R) has been shown to potentiate the emotional salience of normally non-salient emotional memories whereas transmission through PFC DA D1 receptors (D1R) has been demonstrated to selectively block recall of reward or aversion-related associative memories. In the present study, using a combination of fear conditioning and opiate reward conditioning in male rats, we examined the role of PFC D4/D1R signaling during the processing of fear-related memory acquisition and recall and subsequent sensitivity to opiate reward memory formation. We report that PFC D4R activation potentiates the salience of normally sub-threshold fear conditioning memory cues and simultaneously potentiates the rewarding effects of systemic or intra-ventral tegmental area (VTA) morphine conditioning cues. In contrast, blocking the recall of salient fear memories with intra-PFC D1R activation, blocks the ability of fear memory recall to potentiate systemic or intra-VTA morphine place preference. These effects were dependent upon dissociable PFC phosphorylation states involving calcium-calmodulin-kinase II (CaMKII-α) or extracellular-signal-related-kinase 1-2 (ERK 1/2), following intra-PFC D4 or D1R activation, respectively. Together, these findings reveal new insights into how aberrant PFC DAergic transmission and associated downstream molecular signaling pathways may modulate fear-related emotional memory processing and concomitantly increase opioid addiction vulnerability. Significance Statement: Post-traumatic stress disorder is highly comorbid with addiction. In this study, we use a translational model of fear memory conditioning to examine how transmission through dopamine D1 or D4 receptors, in the prefrontal cortex
Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick
The NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) enhances the extinction of learned fear in rats and exposure therapy in humans with anxiety disorders. Despite these benefits, little is known about the mechanisms by which DCS promotes the loss of fear. The present study examined whether DCS augments extinction retention (1) through reductions…
Jones, Bethany J; Pest, Stacey M; Vargas, Iliana M; Glisky, Elizabeth L; Fellous, Jean-Marc
There is strong evidence that hippocampal memory returns to a labile state upon reactivation, initiating a reconsolidation process that restabilizes it and allows for its updating. Normal aging is associated with deficits in episodic memory processes. However, the effects of aging on memory reconsolidation and its neural substrate remain largely unknown, and an animal model is lacking. In this study we investigated the effects of aging on context-dependent reconsolidation using an episodic set-learning task in humans and an analogous set-learning spatial task in rats. In both tasks, young and older subjects learned a set of objects (humans) or feeder locations (rats; Set 1) in Context A on Day 1. On Day 2, a different set (Set 2) was learned in either Context A (Reminder condition) or Context B (No Reminder condition). On Day 3, subjects were instructed (humans) or cued (rats) to recall Set 1. Young rats and humans in the Reminder condition falsely recalled significantly more items from Set 2 than those in the No Reminder condition, suggesting that the reminder context triggered a reactivation of Set 1 on Day 2 and allowed the integration of Set 2 items into Set 1. In both species, older subjects displayed a different pattern of results than young subjects. In aged rats, there was no difference between conditions in the level of falsely recalled Set 2 items (intrusions). Older humans in the No Reminder condition made significantly more intrusions than those in the Reminder condition. Follow-up control experiments in aged rats suggested that intrusions in older animals reflected general interference, independent of context manipulations. We conclude that contextual reminders are not sufficient to trigger memory updating in aged rats or aged humans, unlike in younger individuals. Future studies using this animal model should further our understanding of the role of the hippocampus in memory maintenance and updating during normal aging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc
Choi, Koeun; Kirkorian, Heather L; Pempek, Tiffany A
Researchers tested the impact of contextual mismatch, proactive interference, and working memory (WM) on toddlers' transfer across contexts. Forty-two toddlers (27-34 months) completed four object-retrieval trials, requiring memory updating on Trials 2-4. Participants watched hiding events on a tablet computer. Search performance was tested using another tablet (match) or a felt board (mismatch). WM was assessed. On earlier search trials, WM predicted transfer in both conditions, and toddlers in the match condition outperformed those in the mismatch condition; however, the benefit of contextual match and WM decreased over trials. Contextual match apparently increased proactive interference on later trials. Findings are interpreted within existing accounts of the transfer deficit, and a combined account is proposed. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Pocivavsek, Ana; Baratta, Annalisa M; Mong, Jessica A; Viechweg, Shaun S
Tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway may represent a key molecular link between sleep loss and cognitive dysfunction. Modest increases in the kynurenine pathway metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA), which acts as an antagonist at N-methyl-d-aspartate and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain, result in cognitive impairments. As glutamatergic and cholinergic neurotransmissions are critically involved in modulation of sleep, our current experiments tested the hypothesis that elevated KYNA adversely impacts sleep quality. Adult male Wistar rats were treated with vehicle (saline) and kynurenine (25, 50, 100, and 250 mg/kg), the direct bioprecursor of KYNA, intraperitoneally at zeitgeber time (ZT) 0 to rapidly increase brain KYNA. Levels of KYNA in the brainstem, cortex, and hippocampus were determined at ZT 0, ZT 2, and ZT 4, respectively. Analyses of vigilance state-related parameters categorized as wake, rapid eye movement (REM), and non-REM (NREM) as well as spectra power analysis during NREM and REM were assessed during the light phase. Separate animals were tested in the passive avoidance paradigm, testing contextual memory. When KYNA levels were elevated in the brain, total REM duration was reduced and total wake duration was increased. REM and wake architecture, assessed as number of vigilance state bouts and average duration of each bout, and theta power during REM were significantly impacted. Kynurenine challenge impaired performance in the hippocampal-dependent contextual memory task. Our results introduce kynurenine pathway metabolism and formation of KYNA as a novel molecular target contributing to sleep disruptions and cognitive impairments. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail email@example.com.
Dadkhah, Masoumeh; Abdullahi, Payman Raise; Rashidy-Pour, Ali; Sameni, Hamid Reza; Vafaei, Abbas Ali
The infralimbic (IL) cortex of the medial prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the extinction of fear memory. Also, it has been showed that both brain glucocorticoid and dopamine receptors are involved in many processes such as fear extinction that drive learning and memory; however, the interaction of these receptors in the IL cortex remains unclear. We examined a putative interaction between the effects of glucocorticoid and dopamine receptors stimulation in the IL cortex on fear memory extinction in an auditory fear conditioning paradigm in male rats. Corticosterone (the endogenous glucocorticoid receptor ligand), or RU38486 (the synthetic glucocorticoid receptor antagonist) microinfusion into the IL cortex 10 min before test 1 attenuated auditory fear expression at tests 1-3, suggesting as an enhancement of fear extinction. The effect of corticosterone, but not RU38486 was counteracted by the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride pre-treatment administered into the IL (at a dose that failed to alter freezing behavior on its own). In contrast, intra-IL infusion of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 pre-treatment failed to alter freezing behavior. These findings provide evidence for the involvement of the IL cortex D2 receptors in CORT-induced facilitation of fear memory extinction. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The therapeutic goal for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is to promote extinction and to prevent the relapse of fearful memories. Research has identified pharmacological treatments that may regulate the formation and extinction of fear memories, but not many reagents that block the relapse of extinguished fear are known. Radix Polygalae (RP is an Asian herb used for sedation, and its ingredients have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. As various neurological effects have been identified, we tested whether RP affects the relapse of fear. Freezing in response to a conditioned context and cues was used to measure the effects of RP in mice. In cohort 1 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and reinstatement were tested during the course of 18 days of treatment. In cohort 2 (n = 30, consolidation, extinction, and renewal were tested during 10 days of treatment. The consolidation, extinction, reinstatement, and possibly the renewal of context-induced freezing were inhibited due to the administration of RP in animal subjects. However, the effects of RP on the freezing responses of subjects elicited by conditioned auditory cues were less obvious. Because it effectively suppresses the consolidation of fear memories, RP may be used for primary and secondary prevention of symptoms in PTSD patients. Additionally, because it effectively suppresses the reinstatement and renewal of fear memories, RP may be applied for the prevention of fear relapse in PTSD patients who have undergone exposure therapy.
Ratano, Patrizia; Everitt, Barry J; Milton, Amy L
We have investigated the requirement for signaling at CB1 receptors in the reconsolidation of a previously consolidated auditory fear memory, by infusing the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251, or the FAAH inhibitor URB597, directly into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in conjunction with memory reactivation. AM251 disrupted memory restabilization, but only when administered after reactivation. URB597 produced a small, transient enhancement of memory restabilization when administered after reactivation. The amnestic effect of AM251 was rescued by coadministration of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline at reactivation, indicating that the disruption of reconsolidation was mediated by altered GABAergic transmission in the BLA. These data show that the endocannabinoid system in the BLA is an important modulator of fear memory reconsolidation and that its effects on memory are mediated by an interaction with the GABAergic system. Thus, targeting the endocannabinoid system may have therapeutic potential to reduce the impact of maladaptive memories in neuropsychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.
Kredlow, M Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D; Otto, Michael W
A new understanding of the mechanisms of memory retrieval and reconsolidation holds the potential for improving exposure-based treatments. Basic research indicates that following fear extinction, safety and fear memories may compete, raising the possibility of return of fear. One possible solution is to modify original fear memories through reconsolidation interference, reducing the likelihood of return of fear. Postretrieval extinction is a behavioral method of reconsolidation interference that has been explored in the context of conditioned fear and appetitive memory paradigms. This meta-analysis examines the magnitude of postretrieval extinction effects and potential moderators of these effects. A PubMed and PsycINFO search was conducted through June 2014. Sixty-three comparisons examining postretrieval extinction for preventing the return of fear or appetitive responses in animals or humans met inclusion criteria. Postretrieval extinction demonstrated a significant, small-to-moderate effect (g = .40) for further reducing the return of fear in humans and a significant, large effect (g = 0.89) for preventing the return of appetitive responses in animals relative to standard extinction. For fear outcomes in animals, effects were small (g = 0.21) and nonsignificant, but moderated by the number of animals housed together and the duration of time between postretrieval extinction/extinction and test. Across paradigms, these findings support the efficacy of this preclinical strategy for preventing the return of conditioned fear and appetitive responses. Overall, findings to date support the continued translation of postretrieval extinction research to human and clinical applications, with particular application to the treatment of anxiety, traumatic stress, and substance use disorders. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Kredlow, M. Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D.; Otto, Michael W.
A new understanding of the mechanisms of memory retrieval and reconsolidation holds the potential for improving exposure-based treatments. Basic research indicates that following fear extinction, safety and fear memories may compete, raising the possibility of return of fear. One possible solution is to modify original fear memories through reconsolidation interference, reducing the likelihood of return of fear. Post-retrieval extinction is a behavioral method of reconsolidation interference that has been explored in the context of conditioned fear and appetitive memory paradigms. This meta-analysis examines the magnitude of post-retrieval extinction effects and potential moderators of these effects. A PubMed and PsycINFO search was conducted through June 2014. Sixty-three comparisons examining post-retrieval extinction for preventing the return of fear or appetitive responses in animals or humans met inclusion criteria. Post-retrieval extinction demonstrated a significant, small-to-moderate effect (g = .40) for further reducing the return of fear in humans and a significant, large effect (g = 0.89) for preventing the return of appetitive responses in animals relative to standard extinction. For fear outcomes in animals, effects were small (g = 0.21) and non-significant, but moderated by the number of animals housed together and the duration of time between post-retrieval extinction/extinction and test. Across paradigms, these findings support the efficacy of this pre-clinical strategy for preventing the return of conditioned fear and appetitive responses. Overall, findings to date support the continued translation of post-retrieval extinction research to human and clinical applications, with particular application to the treatment of anxiety, traumatic stress, and substance use disorders. PMID:26689086
Chiang, Po-Han; Chien, Ta-Chun; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Lien, Cheng-Chang
Genetic variants in the human ortholog of acid-sensing ion channel-1a subunit (ASIC1a) gene are associated with panic disorder and amygdala dysfunction. Both fear learning and activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of cortico-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synapses are impaired in ASIC1a-null mice, suggesting a critical role of ASICs in fear memory formation. In this study, we found that ASICs were differentially expressed within the amygdala neuronal population, and the extent of LTP at various glutamatergic synapses correlated with the level of ASIC expression in postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, selective deletion of ASIC1a in GABAergic cells, including amygdala output neurons, eliminated LTP in these cells and reduced fear learning to the same extent as that found when ASIC1a was selectively abolished in BLA glutamatergic neurons. Thus, fear learning requires ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple amygdala synapses, including both cortico-BLA input synapses and intra-amygdala synapses on output neurons.
Lee, Eun Jeong; Son, Gi Hoon; Chung, Sooyoung; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Choi, Sukwoo; Kim, Kyungjin
The environment in early life elicits profound effects on fetal brain development that can extend into adulthood. However, the long-lasting impact of maternal stress on emotional learning remains largely unknown. Here, we focus on amygdala-related learning processes in maternally stressed mice. In these mice, fear memory consolidation and certain related signaling cascades were significantly impaired, though innate fear, fear memory acquisition, and synaptic NMDA receptor expression in the amygdala were unaltered. In accordance with these findings, maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) at amygdala synapses, but not its induction, was significantly impaired in the maternally stressed animals. Interestingly, amygdala glucocorticoid receptor expression was reduced in the maternally stressed mice, and administration of glucocorticoids (GCs) immediately after fear conditioning and LTP induction restored memory consolidation and LTP maintenance, respectively, suggesting that a weakening of GC signaling was responsible for the observed impairment. Furthermore, microinfusion of a membrane-impermeable form of GC (BSA-conjugated GC) into the amygdala mimicked the restorative effects of GC, indicating that a nongenomic activity of GC mediates the restorative effect. Together, these findings suggest that prenatal stress induces long-term dysregulation of nongenomic GC action in the amygdala of adult offspring, resulting in the impairment of fear memory consolidation. Since modulation of amygdala activity is known to alter the consolidation of emotionally influenced memories allocated in other brain regions, the nongenomic action of GC on the amygdala shown herein may also participate in the amygdala-dependent modulation of memory consolidation.
Jeffrey C. Erlich
Full Text Available The lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA is a key element in the neural circuit subserving Pavlovian fear conditioning, an animal model of fear and anxiety. Most studies have focused on the role of the LA in fear acquisition and extinction, i.e. how neural plasticity results from changing contingencies between a neutral conditioned stimulus (e.g. a tone and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g. a shock. However, outside of the lab, fear memories are often the result of repeated and unpredictable experiences. Examples include domestic violence, child abuse or combat. To better understand the role of the LA in the expression of fear resulting from repeated and uncertain reinforcement, rats experienced a 30% partial reinforcement fear-conditioning schedule four days a week for four weeks. Rats reached asymptotic levels of conditioned fear expression after the first week. We then manipulated LA activity with drug (or vehicle infusions once a week, for the next three weeks, before the training session. LA infusions of muscimol, a GABA-A agonist that inhibits neural activity, reduced conditioned stimulus (CS evoked fear behavior to pre-conditioning levels. LA infusions of pentagastrin, a cholecystokinin-2 (CCK agonist that increases neural excitability, resulted in CS-evoked fear behavior that continued past the offset of the CS. This suggests that neural activity in the LA is required for the retrieval of fear memories that stem from repeated and uncertain reinforcement, and that CCK signaling in the LA plays a role in the recovery from fear after the removal of the fear-evoking stimulus.
Feng, Pan; Becker, Benjamin; Zheng, Yong; Feng, Tingyong
Sleep plays an important role for successful fear memory consolidation. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disturbances might contribute to the development and the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorders characterized by dysregulations in fear learning mechanisms, as well as exaggerated arousal and salience processing. Against this background, the present study examined the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the acquisition of fear and the subsequent neural consolidation. To this end, the present study assessed fear acquisition and associated changes in fMRI-based amygdala-functional connectivity following 24 h of SD. Relative to non-sleep deprived controls, SD subjects demonstrated increased fear ratings and skin conductance responses (SCR) during fear acquisition. During fear consolidation SD inhibited increased amygdala-ventromendial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity and concomitantly increased changes in amygdala-insula connectivity. Importantly, whereas in controls fear indices during acquisition were negatively associated with amygdala-vmPFC connectivity during consolidation, fear indices were positively associated with amygdala-insula coupling following SD. Together the findings suggest that SD may interfere with vmPFC control of the amygdala and increase bottom-up arousal signaling in the amygdala-insula pathway during fear consolidation, which might mediate the negative impact of sleep disturbances on PSTD symptomatology.
Orsini, Caitlin A; Yan, Chen; Maren, Stephen
After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS) alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescent in situ hybridization (catFISH). This method exploits the intracellular expression profile of the immediate early gene (IEG), Arc, to visualize neuronal activation patterns to two different behavioral experiences. Rats were fear conditioned in one context and extinguished in another; 24 h later, they were sequentially exposed to the CS in the extinction context and another context. Control rats were also tested in each context, but were never extinguished. We assessed Arc mRNA expression within the basal amygdala (BA), lateral amygdala (LA), ventral hippocampus (VH), prelimbic cortex (PL) and infralimbic cortex (IL). We observed that the sequential retention tests induced context-dependent patterns of Arc expression in the BA, LA, and IL of extinguished rats; this was not observed in non-extinguished controls. In general, non-extinguished animals had proportionately greater numbers of non-selective (double-labeled) neurons than extinguished animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that extinction learning results in pattern separation, particularly within the BA, in which unique neuronal ensembles represent fear memories after extinction.
Caitlin A Orsini
Full Text Available After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescent in situ hybridization (catFISH. This method exploits the intracellular expression profile of the immediate early gene, Arc, to visualize neuronal activation patterns to two different behavioral experiences. Rats were fear conditioned in one context and extinguished in another; twenty-four hours later, they were sequentially exposed to the CS in the extinction context and another context. Control rats were also tested in each context, but were never extinguished. We assessed Arc mRNA expression within the basal amygdala (BA, lateral amygdala (LA, ventral hippocampus (VH, prelimbic cortex (PL and infralimbic cortex (IL. We observed that the sequential retention tests induced context-dependent patterns of Arc expression in the BA, LA, and IL of extinguished rats; this was not observed in non-extinguished controls. In general, non-extinguished animals had proportionately greater numbers of non-selective (double-labeled neurons than extinguished animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that extinction learning results in pattern separation, particularly within the BA, in which unique neuronal ensembles represent fear memories after extinction.
Lovelace, Jonathan W; Vieira, Philip A; Corches, Alex; Mackie, Ken; Korzus, Edward
In addition to its central role in learning and memory, N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent signaling regulates central glutamatergic synapse maturation and has been implicated in schizophrenia. We have transiently induced NMDAR hypofunction in infant mice during postnatal days 7-11, followed by testing fear memory specificity and presynaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in adult mice. We show that transient NMDAR hypofunction during early brain development, coinciding with the maturation of cortical plasticity results in a loss of an endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated form of long-term depression (eCB-LTD) at adult central glutamatergic synapses, while another form of presynaptic long-term depression mediated by the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3-LTD) remains intact. Mice with this selective impairment of presynaptic plasticity also showed deficits in fear memory specificity. The observed deficit in cortical presynaptic plasticity may represent a neural maladaptation contributing to network instability and abnormal cognitive functioning.
Zhou, Heng; Xiong, Gui-Jing; Jing, Liang; Song, Ning-Ning; Pu, De-Lin; Tang, Xun; He, Xiao-Bing; Xu, Fu-Qiang; Huang, Jing-Fei; Li, Ling-Jiang; Richter-Levin, Gal; Mao, Rong-Rong; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Yu-Qiang; Xu, Lin
Encoding specificity theory predicts most effective recall by the original conditions at encoding, while generalization endows recall flexibly under circumstances which deviate from the originals. The CA1 regions have been implicated in memory and generalization but whether and which locally separated mechanisms are involved is not clear. We report here that fear memory is quickly formed, but generalization develops gradually over 24 h. Generalization but not fear memory is impaired by inhibiting ipsilateral (ips) or contralateral (con) CA1, and by optogenetic silencing of the ipsCA1 projections onto conCA1. By contrast, in vivo fEPSP recordings reveal that ipsCA1-conCA1 synaptic efficacy is increased with delay over 24 h when generalization is formed but it is unchanged if generalization is disrupted. Direct excitation of ipsCA1-conCA1 synapses using chemogenetic hM3Dq facilitates generalization formation. Thus, rapid generalization is an active process dependent on bilateral CA1 regions, and encoded by gradual synaptic learning in ipsCA1-conCA1 circuit.
MacNamara, Annmarie; Schmidt, Joseph; Zelinsky, Gregory J; Hajcak, Greg
Working memory load reduces the late positive potential (LPP), consistent with the notion that functional activation of the DLPFC attenuates neural indices of sustained attention. Visual attention also modulates the LPP. In the present study, we sought to determine whether working memory load might exert its influence on ERPs by reducing fixations to arousing picture regions. We simultaneously recorded eye-tracking and EEG while participants performed a working memory task interspersed with the presentation of task-irrelevant fearful and neutral faces. As expected, fearful compared to neutral faces elicited larger N170 and LPP amplitudes; in addition, working memory load reduced the N170 and the LPP. Participants made more fixations to arousing regions of neutral faces and faces presented under high working memory load. Therefore, working memory load did not induce avoidance of arousing picture regions and visual attention cannot explain load effects on the N170 and LPP. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ferrara, Nicole C; Cullen, Patrick K; Pullins, Shane P; Rotondo, Elena K; Helmstetter, Fred J
Generalization of fear can involve abnormal responding to cues that signal safety and is common in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Differential auditory fear conditioning can be used as a tool to measure changes in fear discrimination and generalization. Most prior work in this area has focused on elevated amygdala activity as a critical component underlying generalization. The amygdala receives input from auditory cortex as well as the medial geniculate nucleus (MgN) of the thalamus, and these synapses undergo plastic changes in response to fear conditioning and are major contributors to the formation of memory related to both safe and threatening cues. The requirement for MgN protein synthesis during auditory discrimination and generalization, as well as the role of MgN plasticity in amygdala encoding of discrimination or generalization, have not been directly tested. GluR1 and GluR2 containing AMPA receptors are found at synapses throughout the amygdala and their expression is persistently up-regulated after learning. Some of these receptors are postsynaptic to terminals from MgN neurons. We found that protein synthesis-dependent plasticity in MgN is necessary for elevated freezing to both aversive and safe auditory cues, and that this is accompanied by changes in the expressions of AMPA receptor and synaptic scaffolding proteins (e.g., SHANK) at amygdala synapses. This work contributes to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying increased fear to safety signals after stress. © 2017 Ferrara et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Melissa S Monsey
Full Text Available Chronic exposure to stress has been widely implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, yet relatively little is known about the long-term effects of chronic stress on amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we examined the effects of a history of chronic exposure to the stress-associated adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT on the consolidation of a fear memory and the expression of memory-related immediate early genes (IEGs in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. Rats received chronic exposure to CORT (50 μg/ml in their drinking water for 2 weeks and were then titrated off the CORT for an additional 6 days followed by a 2 week 'wash-out' period consisting of access to plain water. Rats were then either sacrificed to examine the expression of memory-related IEG expression in the LA or given auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. We show that chronic exposure to CORT leads to a persistent elevation in the expression of the IEGs Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the LA. Further, we show that rats with a history of chronic CORT exposure exhibit enhanced consolidation of a fear memory; short-term memory (STM is not affected, while long-term memory (LTM is significantly enhanced. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI fluoxetine following the chronic CORT exposure period was observed to effectively reverse both the persistent CORT-related increases in memory-related IEG expression in the LA and the CORT-related enhancement in fear memory consolidation. Our findings suggest that chronic exposure to CORT can regulate memory-related IEG expression and fear memory consolidation processes in the LA in a long-lasting manner and that treatment with fluoxetine can reverse these effects.
Monsey, Melissa S; Boyle, Lara M; Zhang, Melinda L; Nguyen, Caroline P; Kronman, Hope G; Ota, Kristie T; Duman, Ronald S; Taylor, Jane R; Schafe, Glenn E
Chronic exposure to stress has been widely implicated in the development of anxiety disorders, yet relatively little is known about the long-term effects of chronic stress on amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we examined the effects of a history of chronic exposure to the stress-associated adrenal steroid corticosterone (CORT) on the consolidation of a fear memory and the expression of memory-related immediate early genes (IEGs) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Rats received chronic exposure to CORT (50 μg/ml) in their drinking water for 2 weeks and were then titrated off the CORT for an additional 6 days followed by a 2 week 'wash-out' period consisting of access to plain water. Rats were then either sacrificed to examine the expression of memory-related IEG expression in the LA or given auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. We show that chronic exposure to CORT leads to a persistent elevation in the expression of the IEGs Arc/Arg3.1 and Egr-1 in the LA. Further, we show that rats with a history of chronic CORT exposure exhibit enhanced consolidation of a fear memory; short-term memory (STM) is not affected, while long-term memory (LTM) is significantly enhanced. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine following the chronic CORT exposure period was observed to effectively reverse both the persistent CORT-related increases in memory-related IEG expression in the LA and the CORT-related enhancement in fear memory consolidation. Our findings suggest that chronic exposure to CORT can regulate memory-related IEG expression and fear memory consolidation processes in the LA in a long-lasting manner and that treatment with fluoxetine can reverse these effects.
Reinecke, Andrea; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike
Following cognitive models of anxiety, biases occur if threat processing is automatic versus strategic. Therefore, most of these models predict attentional bias, but not explicit memory bias. We suggest dividing memory into the highly automatic working memory (WM) component versus long-term memory when investigating bias in anxiety. WM for threat has rarely been investigated although its main function is stimulus monitoring, particularly important in anxiety. We investigated WM for spiders in spider fearfuls (SFs) versus non-anxious controls (NACs). In Experiment 1 (23 SFs/24 NACs), we replicated an earlier WM study, reducing strategic processing options. This led to stronger group differences and, thus, clearer WM threat biases. There were no group differences in Experiment 2 (18 SFs/19 NACs), using snakes instead of spiders to test whether WM biases are material-specific. This article supports cognitive models of anxiety in that biases are more likely to occur when reducing strategic processing. However, it contradicts the assumption that explicit memory biases are not characteristic of anxiety.
Nachkebia, N; Shavgulidze, M; Babilodze, M; Chkhartishvili, E; Rogava, N
Present study investigated possible differences in the learning and memory of declarative memory task in rats selected according to the differences in immobilization response that is in high immobilization "depressive" and low immobilization "non-depressive" rats. Understanding the character of learning and memory disturbances in basal conditions of animal models of depression is still very topical for more intimate definition of the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder and appropriate searching the ways of its correction. Experiments were carried out on the adult white wild rats (with the weight 200-250 g, n=20). Selection of rats according to the level of immobilization was made by means of forced swim test. Learning and memory disturbances were studied using passive avoidance test that is fear motivated one trial declarative memory task. It was shown by us that 100% of low immobilization "non-depressive" rats remember painful stimulation and therefore they are not enter in the dark compartment during whole period of observation during testing session. Behavior of high immobilization "depressive" rats is not similar in passive avoidance camera; 50% of "depressive" rats, with long escape latency during training session (92±10 sec), remember painful stimulation during testing session and therefore they are not enter in the dark compartment during whole observation period. The remaining 50%, that are not differ significantly from the low immobility "non-depressive" rats by the latency of escape (5±1 sec) during training session, are not able to remember painful stimulation during testing session and therefore they enter in the dark compartment with shortest escape latency (6±1 sec). In conclusion, high immobility "depressive" rats perform passive avoidance declarative memory task at the chance level that is a direct indicator for the serious disturbances of declarative memory mechanisms in "depressive" rats selected in forced swim test according to the
Bárez-López, Soledad; Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Bosch-García, Daniel; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana
A euthyroid state in the brain is crucial for its adequate development and function. Impairments in thyroid hormones (THs; T3 or 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine) levels and availability in brain can lead to neurological alterations and to psychiatric disorders, particularly mood disorders. The thyroid gland synthetizes mainly T4, which is secreted to circulating blood, however, most actions of THs are mediated by T3, the transcriptionally active form. In the brain, intracellular concentrations of T3 are modulated by the activity of type 2 (D2) and type 3 (D3) deiodinases. In the present work, we evaluated learning and memory capabilities and anxiety-like behavior at adult stages in mice lacking D2 (D2KO) and we analyzed the impact of D2-deficiency on TH content and on the expression of T3-dependent genes in the amygdala and the hippocampus. We found that D2KO mice do not present impairments in spatial learning and memory, but they display emotional alterations with increased anxiety-like behavior as well as enhanced auditory-cued fear memory and spontaneous recovery of fear memory following extinction. D2KO mice also presented reduced T3 content in the hippocampus and decreased expression of the T3-dependent gene Dio3 in the amygdala suggesting a hypothyroid status in this structure. We propose that the emotional dysfunctions found in D2KO mice can arise from the reduced T3 content in their brain, which consequently leads to alterations in gene expression with functional consequences. We found a downregulation in the gene encoding for the calcium-binding protein calretinin (Calb2) in the amygdala of D2KO mice that could affect the GABAergic transmission. The current findings in D2KO mice can provide insight into emotional disorders present in humans with DIO2 polymorphisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Zamanparvar, Majid; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the modulation of emotional state, primarily related to anxiety, arousal, and stress. Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system mediates stress responses and emotional homeostasis, in part, by targeting noradrenergic circuits. In addition, there is an interaction between the cannabinoid and noradrenergic system that has significant functional and behavioral implications. Considering the importance of these systems in forming memories for fearful events, we have investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) α2-adrenoceptors on ACPA (as selective cannabinoid CB1 agonist)-induced inhibition of the acquisition of contextual and auditory conditioned fear. A contextual and auditory fear conditioning apparatus for assess fear memory in adult male NMRI mice was used. Pre-training, intraperitoneal administration of ACPA decreased the percentage freezing time in contextual (at doses of 0.05 and 0.1mg/kg) and auditory (at dose of 0.1 mg/kg) in the fear conditioning task, indicating memory acquisition deficit. The same result was observed with intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.001-0.5 μg/mouse, for both memories), as α2-adrenoceptor agonist and yohimbine (at doses of 0.005 and 0.05 for contextual and at dose of 0.05 μg/mouse for auditory fear memory), as α2-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.0005 μg/mouse) did not alter ACPA response in both conditions, while the same dose of yohimbine potentiated ACPA response at the lower dose on contextual fear memory. It is concluded that BLA α2-adrenergic receptors may be involved in context- but not tone-dependent fear memory impairment induced by activation of CB1 receptors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Hung, Hui-Chi; Hsiao, Ya-Hsin; Gean, Po-Wu
It is now recognized that neurogenesis occurs throughout life predominantly in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between neurogenesis in the amygdala and extinction of fear memory. Mice received 15 tone-footshock pairings. Twenty-four hours after training, the mice were given 15 tone-alone trials (extinction training) once per day for 7 days. Two hours before extinction training, the mice were injected intraperitoneally with 5-bromo-3-deoxyuridine (BrdU). BrdU-positive and NeuN-positive cells were analyzed 52 days after the training. A group of mice that received tone-footshock pairings but no extinction training served as controls (FC+No-Ext). The number of BrdU(+)/NeuN(+) cells was significantly higher in the extinction (FC+Ext) than in the FC+No-Ext mice. Proliferation inhibitor methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) or DNA synthesis inhibitor cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C) reduced neurogenesis and retarded extinction. Silencing Sonic hedgehog (Shh) gene with short hairpin interfering RNA (shRNA) by means of a retrovirus expression system to knockdown Shh specifically in the mitotic neurons reduced neurogenesis and retarded extinction. By contrast, over-expression of Shh increased neurogenesis and facilitated extinction. These results suggest that amygdala neurogenesis and Shh signaling are involved in the extinction of fear memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Fischer, Håkan; Sandblom, Johan; Nyberg, Lars; Herlitz, Agneta; Bäckman, Lars
Event-related functional MRI (fMRI) was used to assess brain activity during encoding of fearful and neutral faces in 12 women and 12 men. In a subsequent memory analysis, the authors separated successful from unsuccessful encoding of both types of faces, based on whether they were remembered or forgotten in a later recognition memory test. Overall, women and men recruited overlapping neural circuitries. Both sexes activated right-sided medial-temporal regions during successful encoding of fearful faces. Successful encoding of neutral faces was associated with left-sided lateral prefrontal and right-sided superior frontal activation in both sexes. In women, relatively greater encoding related activity for neutral faces was seen in the superior parietal and parahippocampal cortices. By contrast, men activated the left and right superior/middle frontal cortex more than women during successful encoding of the same neutral faces. These findings suggest that women and men use similar neural networks to encode facial information, with only subtle sex differences observed for neutral faces.
Stephanie A Maddox
Full Text Available The study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the consolidation and reconsolidation of traumatic fear memories has progressed rapidly in recent years, yet few compounds have emerged that are readily useful in a clinical setting for the treatment of anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Here, we use a combination of biochemical, behavioral, and neurophysiological methods to systematically investigate the ability of garcinol, a naturally-occurring histone acetyltransferase (HAT inhibitor derived from the rind of the fruit of the Kokum tree (Garcina indica, to disrupt the consolidation and reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning, a widely studied rodent model of PTSD. We show that local infusion of garcinol into the rat lateral amygdala (LA impairs the training and retrieval-related acetylation of histone H3 in the LA. Further, we show that either intra-LA or systemic administration of garcinol within a narrow window after either fear conditioning or fear memory retrieval significantly impairs the consolidation and reconsolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory and associated neural plasticity in the LA. Our findings suggest that a naturally-occurring compound derived from the diet that regulates chromatin function may be useful in the treatment of newly acquired or recently reactivated traumatic memories.
Ihara, Fumiaki; Nishimura, Maki; Muroi, Yoshikage; Mahmoud, Motamed Elsayed; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Nagamune, Kisaburo; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi
Chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii becomes established in tissues of the central nervous system, where parasites may directly or indirectly modulate neuronal function. Epidemiological studies have revealed that chronic infection in humans is a risk factor for developing mental diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying parasite-induced neuronal dysfunction in the brain remain unclear. Here, we examined memory associated with conditioned fear in mice and found that T. gondii infection impairs consolidation of conditioned fear memory. To examine the brain pathology induced by T. gondii infection, we analyzed the parasite load and histopathological changes. T. gondii infects all brain areas, yet the cortex exhibits more severe tissue damage than other regions. We measured neurotransmitter levels in the cortex and amygdala because these regions are involved in fear memory expression. The levels of dopamine metabolites but not those of dopamine were increased in the cortex of infected mice compared with those in the cortex of uninfected mice. In contrast, serotonin levels were decreased in the amygdala and norepinephrine levels were decreased in the cortex and amygdala of infected mice. The levels of cortical dopamine metabolites were associated with the time spent freezing in the fear-conditioning test. These results suggest that T. gondii infection affects fear memory through dysfunction of the cortex and amygdala. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurological changes seen during T. gondii infection. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Maddox, Stephanie A.; Watts, Casey S.; Doyère, Valérie; Schafe, Glenn E.
The study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the consolidation and reconsolidation of traumatic fear memories has progressed rapidly in recent years, yet few compounds have emerged that are readily useful in a clinical setting for the treatment of anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here, we use a combination of biochemical, behavioral, and neurophysiological methods to systematically investigate the ability of garcinol, a naturally-occurring histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor derived from the rind of the fruit of the Kokum tree (Garcina indica), to disrupt the consolidation and reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning, a widely studied rodent model of PTSD. We show that local infusion of garcinol into the rat lateral amygdala (LA) impairs the training and retrieval-related acetylation of histone H3 in the LA. Further, we show that either intra-LA or systemic administration of garcinol within a narrow window after either fear conditioning or fear memory retrieval significantly impairs the consolidation and reconsolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory and associated neural plasticity in the LA. Our findings suggest that a naturally-occurring compound derived from the diet that regulates chromatin function may be useful in the treatment of newly acquired or recently reactivated traumatic memories. PMID:23349897
Weng, Feng-Ju; Garcia, Rodrigo I; Lutzu, Stefano
Synaptic connections between hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) and CA3 pyramidal neurons are essential for contextual memory encoding, but the molecular mechanisms regulating MF-CA3 synapses during memory formation and the exact nature of this regulation are poorly understood. Here we report...... pyramidal cells that were activated by contextual learning and found that MF inputs on these cells were selectively strengthened. Deletion of Npas4 prevented both contextual memory formation and this learning-induced synaptic modification. We further show that Npas4 regulates MF-CA3 synapses by controlling...... the expression of the polo-like kinase Plk2. Thus, Npas4 is a critical regulator of experience-dependent, structural, and functional plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses during contextual memory formation....
Schlagbauer, B.; Mink, M.; Muller, Hermann J.; Geyer, T.
Observers are able to resume an interrupted search trial faster relative to responding to a new, unseen display. This finding of rapid resumption is attributed to short-term perceptual hypotheses generated on the current look and confirmed upon subsequent looks at the same display. It has been suggested that the contents of perceptual hypotheses are similar to those of other forms of memory acquired long-term through repeated exposure to the same search displays over the course of several tri...
Daviu, Núria; Fuentes, Silvia; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio
Exposure to a single session of footshocks induces long-lasting inhibition of activity in unknown environments that markedly differ from the shock context. Interestingly, these effects are not necessarily associated to an enhanced anxiety and interpretation of this hypoactivity remains unclear. In the present experiment we further studied this phenomenon in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In a first experiment, a session of three shocks resulted in hypoactivity during exposure, 6-12days later, to three different unknown environments. This altered behaviour was not accompanied by a greater hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation, although greater HPA activation paralleling higher levels of freezing was observed in the shock context. In a second experiment we used a single shock and two procedures, one with pre-exposure to the context before the shock and another with immediate shock that did not induce contextual fear conditioning. Hypoactivity and a certain level of generalization of fear (freezing) to the unknown environments only appeared in the group that developed fear conditioning, but no evidence for enhanced anxiety in the elevated plus-maze was found in any group. The results suggest that if animals are able to associate an aversive experience with a distinct unknown environment, they would display more cautious behaviour in any unknown environment and such strategy persists despite repeated experience with different environments. This long-lasting cautious behaviour was not associated to greater HPA response to the unknown environment that was however observed in the shock context. The present findings raised some concerns about interpretation of long-lasting behavioural changes caused by brief stressors. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Morice, Elise; Farley, Séverine; Poirier, Roseline; Dallerac, Glenn; Chagneau, Carine; Pannetier, Solange; Hanauer, André; Davis, Sabrina; Vaillend, Cyrille; Laroche, Serge
The Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS) is a syndromic form of intellectual disability caused by loss-of-function of the RSK2 serine/threonine kinase encoded by the rsk2 gene. Rsk2 knockout mice, a murine model of CLS, exhibit spatial learning and memory impairments, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we examined the performance of Rsk2 knockout mice in cued, trace and contextual fear memory paradigms and identified selective deficits in the consolidation and reconsolidation of hippocampal-dependent fear memories as task difficulty and hippocampal demand increase. Electrophysiological, biochemical and electron microscopy analyses were carried out in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus to explore potential alterations in neuronal functions and structure. In vivo and in vitro electrophysiology revealed impaired synaptic transmission, decreased network excitability and reduced AMPA and NMDA conductance in Rsk2 knockout mice. In the absence of RSK2, standard measures of short-term and long-term potentiation (LTP) were normal, however LTP-induced CREB phosphorylation and expression of the transcription factors EGR1/ZIF268 were reduced and that of the scaffolding protein SHANK3 was blocked, indicating impaired activity-dependent gene regulation. At the structural level, the density of perforated and non-perforated synapses and of multiple spine boutons was not altered, however, a clear enlargement of spine neck width and post-synaptic densities indicates altered synapse ultrastructure. These findings show that RSK2 loss-of-function is associated in the dentate gyrus with multi-level alterations that encompass modifications of glutamate receptor channel properties, synaptic transmission, plasticity-associated gene expression and spine morphology, providing novel insights into the mechanisms contributing to cognitive impairments in CLS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Sarah N Garfinkel,1,2 Hugo D Critchley1,2 1Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, 2Department of Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK Abstract: Fear anticipates a challenge to one's well-being and is a reaction to the risk of harm. The expression of fear in the individual is a constellation of physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and experiential responses. Fear indicates risk and will guide adaptive behavior, yet fear is also fundamental to the symptomatology of most psychiatric disorders. Neuroimaging studies of normal and abnormal fear in humans extend knowledge gained from animal experiments. Neuroimaging permits the empirical evaluation of theory (emotions as response tendencies, mental states, and valence and arousal dimensions, and improves our understanding of the mechanisms of how fear is controlled by both cognitive processes and bodily states. Within the human brain, fear engages a set of regions that include insula and anterior cingulate cortices, the amygdala, and dorsal brain-stem centers, such as periaqueductal gray matter. This same fear matrix is also implicated in attentional orienting, mental planning, interoceptive mapping, bodily feelings, novelty and motivational learning, behavioral prioritization, and the control of autonomic arousal. The stereotyped expression of fear can thus be viewed as a special construction from combinations of these processes. An important motivator for understanding neural fear mechanisms is the debilitating clinical expression of anxiety. Neuroimaging studies of anxiety patients highlight the role of learning and memory in pathological fear. Posttraumatic stress disorder is further distinguished by impairment in cognitive control and contextual memory. These processes ultimately need to be targeted for symptomatic recovery. Neuroscientific knowledge of fear has broader relevance to understanding human and societal behavior. As yet, only some of
Poole, Rachel L.; Braak, David; Gould, Thomas J.
Chronic caffeine exerts negligible effects on learning and memory in normal adults, but it is unknown whether this is also true for children and adolescents. The hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, undergoes extensive structural and functional modifications during pre-adolescence and adolescence. As a result, chronic caffeine may have differential effects on hippocampus-dependent learning in pre-adolescents and adolescents compared with adults. Here, we characterize...
Liu, Yu-Zhang; Wang, Yao; Shen, Weida; Wang, Zhiru
Learning and memory storage requires neuronal plasticity induced in the hippocampus and other related brain areas, and this process is thought to rely on synchronized activity in neural networks. We used paired whole-cell recording in vivo to examine the synchronized activity that was induced in hippocampal CA1 neurons by associative fear learning. We found that both membrane potential synchronization and spike synchronization of CA1 neurons could be transiently enhanced after task learning, as observed on day 1 but not day 5. On day 1 after learning, CA1 neurons showed a decrease in firing threshold and rise times of suprathreshold membrane potential changes as well as an increase in spontaneous firing rates, possibly contributing to the enhancement of spike synchronization. The transient enhancement of CA1 neuronal synchronization may play important roles in the induction of neuronal plasticity for initial storage and consolidation of associative memory. The hippocampus is critical for memory acquisition and consolidation. This function requires activity- and experience-induced neuronal plasticity. It is known that neuronal plasticity is largely dependent on synchronized activity. As has been well characterized, repetitive correlated activity of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons can lead to long-term modifications at their synapses. Studies on network activity have also suggested that memory processing in the hippocampus may involve learning-induced changes of neuronal synchronization, as observed in vivo between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 networks as well as between the rhinal cortex and the hippocampus. However, further investigation of learning-induced synchronized activity in the hippocampus is needed for a full understanding of hippocampal memory processing. In this study, by performing paired whole-cell recording in vivo on CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs) in anaesthetized adult rats, we examined CA1 neuronal synchronization before and after associative fear
Mac Callum, Phillip E; Hebert, Mark; Adamec, Robert E; Blundell, Jacqueline
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase is a critical regulator of mRNA translation and is known to be involved in various long lasting forms of synaptic and behavioural plasticity. However, information concerning the temporal pattern of mTOR activation and susceptibility to pharmacological intervention during both consolidation and reconsolidation of long-term memory (LTM) remains scant. Male C57BL/6 mice were injected systemically with rapamycin at various time points following conditioning or retrieval in an auditory fear conditioning paradigm, and compared to vehicle (and/or anisomycin) controls for subsequent memory recall. Systemic blockade of mTOR with rapamycin immediately or 12h after training or reactivation impairs both consolidation and reconsolidation of an auditory fear memory. Further behavioural analysis revealed that the enduring effects of rapamycin on reconsolidation are dependent upon reactivation of the memory trace. Rapamycin, however, has no effect on short-term memory or the ability to retrieve an established fear memory. Collectively, our data suggest that biphasic mTOR signalling is essential for both consolidation and reconsolidation-like activities that contribute to the formation, re-stabilization, and persistence of long term auditory-fear memories, while not influencing other aspects of the memory trace. These findings also provide evidence for a cogent treatment model for reducing the emotional strength of established, traumatic memories analogous to those observed in acquired anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and specific phobias, through pharmacologic blockade of mTOR using systemic rapamycin following reactivation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Timothy J Jarome
Full Text Available Protein degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome system [UPS] plays a critical role in some forms of synaptic plasticity. However, its role in memory formation in the amygdala, a site critical for the formation of fear memories, currently remains unknown. Here we provide the first evidence that protein degradation through the UPS is critically engaged at amygdala synapses during memory formation and retrieval. Fear conditioning results in NMDA-dependent increases in degradation-specific polyubiquitination in the amygdala, targeting proteins involved in translational control and synaptic structure and blocking the degradation of these proteins significantly impairs long-term memory. Furthermore, retrieval of fear memory results in a second wave of NMDA-dependent polyubiquitination that targets proteins involved in translational silencing and synaptic structure and is critical for memory updating following recall. These results indicate that UPS-mediated protein degradation is a major regulator of synaptic plasticity necessary for the formation and stability of long-term memories at amygdala synapses.
Young, Matthew B; Norrholm, Seth D; Khoury, Lara M; Jovanovic, Tanja; Rauch, Sheila A M; Reiff, Collin M; Dunlop, Boadie W; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Howell, Leonard L
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) persistently improves symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when combined with psychotherapy. Studies in rodents suggest that these effects can be attributed to enhancement of fear memory extinction. Therefore, MDMA may improve the effects of exposure-based therapy for PTSD, particularly in treatment-resistant patients. However, given MDMA's broad pharmacological profile, further investigation is warranted before moving to a complex clinical population. We aimed to inform clinical research by providing a translational model of MDMA's effect, and elucidating monoaminergic mechanisms through which MDMA enhances fear extinction. We explored the importance of monoamine transporters targeted by MDMA to fear memory extinction, as measured by reductions in conditioned freezing and fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in mice. Mice were treated with selective inhibitors of individual monoamine transporters prior to combined MDMA treatment and fear extinction training. MDMA enhanced the lasting extinction of FPS. Acute and chronic treatment with a 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) inhibitor blocked MDMA's effect on fear memory extinction. Acute inhibition of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) transporters had no effect. 5-HT release alone did not enhance extinction. Blockade of MDMA's effect by 5-HTT inhibition also downregulated 5-HT 2A -mediated behavior, and 5-HT 2A antagonism disrupted MDMA's effect on extinction. We validate enhancement of fear memory extinction by MDMA in a translational behavioral model, and reveal the importance of 5-HTT and 5-HT 2A receptors to this effect. These observations support future clinical research of MDMA as an adjunct to exposure therapy, and provide important pharmacological considerations for clinical use in a population frequently treated with 5-HTT inhibitors.
David S Reis
Full Text Available The cellular mechanisms supporting plasticity during memory consolidation have been a subject of considerable interest. De novo protein and mRNA synthesis in several brain areas are critical, and more recently protein degradation, mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS, has been shown to be important. Previous work clearly establishes a relationship between protein synthesis and protein degradation in the amygdala, but it is unclear whether cortical mechanisms of memory consolidation are similar to those in the amygdala. Recent work demonstrating a critical role for prefrontal cortex (PFC in the acquisition and consolidation of fear memory allows us to address this question. Here we use a PFC-dependent fear conditioning protocol to determine whether UPS mediated protein degradation is necessary for memory consolidation in PFC. Groups of rats were trained with auditory delay or trace fear conditioning and sacrificed 60 min after training. PFC tissue was then analyzed to quantify the amount of polyubiquinated protein. Other animals were trained with similar procedures but were infused with either a proteasome inhibitor (clasto-lactacystin β-lactone or a translation inhibitor (anisomycin in the PFC immediately after training. Our results show increased UPS-mediated protein degradation in the PFC following trace but not delay fear conditioning. Additionally, post-training proteasome or translation inhibition significantly impaired trace but not delay fear memory when tested the next day. Our results further support the idea that the PFC is critical for trace but not delay fear conditioning highlight the role of UPS-mediated degradation as critical for synaptic plasticity.
Background The Grin1 (glutamate receptor, ionotropic, NMDA1) gene expresses a subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors that is considered to play an important role in excitatory neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, and brain development. Grin1 is a candidate susceptibility gene for neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In our previous study, we examined an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-generated mutant mouse strain (Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+) that has a non-synonymous mutation in Grin1. These mutant mice showed hyperactivity, increased novelty-seeking to objects, and abnormal social interactions. Therefore, Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice may serve as a potential animal model of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, other behavioral characteristics related to these disorders, such as working memory function and sensorimotor gating, have not been fully explored in these mutant mice. In this study, to further investigate the behavioral phenotypes of Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice, we subjected them to a comprehensive battery of behavioral tests. Results There was no significant difference in nociception between Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ and wild-type mice. The mutants did not display any abnormalities in the Porsolt forced swim and tail suspension tests. We confirmed the previous observations that the locomotor activity of these mutant mice increased in the open field and home cage activity tests. They displayed abnormal anxiety-like behaviors in the light/dark transition and the elevated plus maze tests. Both contextual and cued fear memory were severely deficient in the fear conditioning test. The mutant mice exhibited slightly impaired working memory in the eight-arm radial maze test. The startle amplitude was markedly decreased in Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice, whereas no significant differences between genotypes were detected in the prepulse inhibition (PPI) test. The mutant mice showed no obvious
Seifert, A Ronald
Absence of memory or verbal recall for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure, as well as absence of successful coping behavior for life events, is associated with a number of diagnoses, including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and anxiety. The difficulty with diagnosis and treatment planning based on the absence of recall, memory, and successful coping behavior is threefold: (1) these assessments do not distinguish between disruption of behavior and lack of capacity, (2) the absence of verbal recall and memory complicates cognitive-based treatment, and (3) a confounding issue is the same absent behavior can be observed at different times and contexts. While memory of the specific details of the initial traumatic event(s) may not be available to verbal report, the existence of time- and context-dependent relationships for the initial as well as subsequent experiences is arguable. The absence of memory or lack of verbal recall does not rule out measurable physiological bodily responses for the initial trauma(s), nor does it help to establish the effects of subsequent experiences for symptom expression. Also, the absence of memory must include the prospect of fear-based learning that does not require or involve the cortex. It is posited that the literatures of fear conditioning and learned nonuse provide complementary illustrations of how the time and context of the initial trauma(s) and subsequent experiences affect behavior, which is not dependent on the effected individual being able to provide a memory-based verbal report. The replicated clinical application demonstrates that, without scientific demonstration, neither neuroanatomy nor verbal report can be assumed sufficient to predict overt behavior or physiologic responses. For example, while commonly assumed to be predictively so, autonomic nervous system innervation is insufficient to define the unique stimulus- and context-dependent physiological responses of an
Bucherelli, Corrado; Baldi, Elisabetta; Mariottini, Chiara; Passani, Maria Beatrice; Blandina, Patrizio
Consolidation refers to item stabilization in long-term memory. Retrieval renders a consolidated memory sensitive, and a "reconsolidation" process has been hypothesized to keep the original memory persistent. Some authors could not detect this phenomenon. Here we show that retrieved contextual fear memory is vulnerable to amnesic treatments and…
Full Text Available Neuropeptide B/W receptor 1 (NPBWR1 is a G-protein coupled receptor, which was initially reported as an orphan receptor, and whose ligands were identified by this and other groups in 2002 and 2003. To examine the physiological roles of NPBWR1, we examined phenotype of Npbwr1⁻/⁻ mice. When presented with an intruder mouse, Npbwr1⁻/⁻ mice showed impulsive contact with the strange mice, produced more intense approaches toward them, and had longer contact and chasing time along with greater and sustained elevation of heart rate and blood pressure compared to wild type mice. Npbwr1⁻/⁻ mice also showed increased autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to physical stress, suggesting that impairment of NPBWR1 leads to stress vulnerability. We also observed that these mice show abnormality in the contextual fear conditioning test. These data suggest that NPBWR1 plays a critical role in limbic system function and stress responses. Histological and electrophysiological studies showed that NPBWR1 acts as an inhibitory regulator on a subpopulation of GABAergic neurons in the lateral division of the CeA and terminates stress responses. These findings suggest important roles of NPBWR1 in regulating amygdala function during physical and social stress.
Lin, Hui-Ching; Mao, Sheng-Chun; Su, Chun-Lin; Gean, Po-Wu
Understanding the neurophysiology of fear extinction has important implications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders. Here we report that fear conditioning resulted in an increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio as well as depression of paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in neurons of the lateral nucleus of amygdala. These conditioning-induced changes in synaptic transmission were not affected by extinction training. D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist at the glycine-binding site of the NMDA receptor, facilitated extinction and reversed the increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio without altering the depression of PPF when administered before extinction training. Extinction training, however, significantly increased the frequency and amplitude of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents and these effects were unaffected by the DCS treatment. Disruption of AMPA receptor endocytosis with a synthetic peptide containing a short C-terminal sequence of GluR2 (869YKEGYNVYG877, GluR23Y) specifically blocked DCS-induced reversal of AMPA/NMDA ratio and the facilitation of extinction. These results suggest that extinction training mainly increases inhibitory transmission leaving conditioning-induced excitatory association unaltered. DCS does not affect inhibitory transmission but reverses the conditioning-induced post-synaptic memory trace when administered before extinction training.
Goodfellow, Molly J; Shin, Youn Ju; Lindquist, Derick H
Impairments in behavior and cognition are common in individuals diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). In this study, FASD model rats were intragastrically intubated with ethanol (5g/kg/day; 5E), sham-intubated (SI), or maintained as naïve controls (NC) over postnatal days (PD) 4-9. Ethanol exposure during this human third trimester-equivalent period induces persistent impairments in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. The ability of ibuprofen (IBU), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, to diminish ethanol-induced neuroinflammation and rescue deficits in hippocampus-dependent trace fear conditioning (TFC) was investigated in 5E rats. Phosphate buffered saline vehicle (VEH) or IBU was injected 2h following ethanol exposure over PD4-9, followed by quantification of inflammation-related genes in the dorsal hippocampus of PD10 rats. The 5E-VEH rats exhibited significant increases in Il1b and Tnf, but not Itgam or Gfap, relative to NC, SI-VEH, and 5E-IBU rats. In separate groups of PD31-33 rats, conditioned fear (freezing) was significantly reduced in 5E-VEH rats during TFC testing, but not acquisition, compared to SI-VEH and, critically, 5E-IBU rats. Results suggest neuroimmune activation in response to ethanol within the neonate hippocampus contributes to later-life cognitive dysfunction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lai, Shuhua; Wu, Gangwei; Jiang, Zhixian
Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS) exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1) is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor) or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist) can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.
Full Text Available Background/Aims: Impaired fear memory extinction is widely considered a key mechanism of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Recent studies have suggested that neuroinflammation after a single prolonged stress (SPS exposure may play a critical role in the impaired fear memory extinction. Studies have shown that high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1 (HMGB-1 is critically involved in neuroinflammation. However, the role of HMGB-1 underlying the development of impairment of fear memory extinction is still not known. Methods: Thus, we examined the levels of HMGB-1 in the basolateral amygdala (BLA following SPS using Western blot and evaluated the levels of microglia and astrocytes activation in the BLA after SPS using immunohistochemical staining. We then examined the effects of pre-SPS intra-BLA administration of glycyrrhizin, an HMGB1 inhibitor, or LPS-RS, a competitive TLR4 antagonist, on subsequent post-SPS fear extinction. Results: We found that SPS treatment prolonged the extinction of contextual fear memory after the SPS. The impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased HMGB1 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4 levels in the BLA. Additionally, the impairment of SPS-induced extinction of contextual fear memory was associated with increased activation of microglia and astrocyte in the BLA. Intra-BLA administrations of glycyrrhizin (HMGB-1 inhibitor or LPS-RS (TLR4 antagonist can prevent the development of SPS-induced fear extinction impairment. Conclusion: Taken together, these results suggested that SPS treatment may not only produce short term effects on the HMGB1/TLR4-mediated pro-inflammation, but alter the response of microglia and astrocytes to the exposure to fear associated contextual stimuli.
Dines, M; Lamprecht, R
Fear conditioning leads to long-term fear memory formation and is a model for studying fear-related psychopathologies conditions such as phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder. Long-term fear memory formation is believed to involve alterations of synaptic efficacy mediated by changes in synaptic transmission and morphology in lateral amygdala (LA). EphrinA4 and its cognate Eph receptors are intimately involved in regulating neuronal morphogenesis, synaptic transmission and plasticity. To assess possible roles of ephrinA4 in fear memory formation we designed and used a specific inhibitory ephrinA4 mimetic peptide (pep-ephrinA4) targeted to EphA binding site. We show that this peptide, composed of the ephrinA4 binding domain, interacts with EphA4 and inhibits ephrinA4-induced phosphorylation of EphA4. Microinjection of the pep-ephrinA4 into rat LA 30 min before training impaired long- but not short-term fear conditioning memory. Microinjection of a control peptide derived from a nonbinding E helix site of ephrinA4, that does not interact with EphA, had no effect on fear memory formation. Microinjection of pep-ephrinA4 into areas adjacent to the amygdala had no effect on fear memory. Acute systemic administration of pep-ephrinA4 1 h after training also impaired long-term fear conditioning memory formation. These results demonstrate that ephrinA4 binding sites in LA are essential for long-term fear memory formation. Moreover, our research shows that ephrinA4 binding sites may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear and anxiety disorders.
Full Text Available Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP of optogenetically–evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.97, compared with mice fed a diet with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.14. Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner.
Gomes, Felipe V.; Silva, Andréia L.; Uliana, Daniela L.; Camargo, Laura H. A.; Guimarães, Francisco S.; Cunha, Fernando Q.; Joca, Sâmia R. L.; Resstel, Leonardo B. M.
Background: Inducible or neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene deletion increases or decreases anxiety-like behavior in mice, respectively. Since nitric oxide and endocannabinoids interact to modulate defensive behavior, the former effect could involve a compensatory increase in basal brain nitric oxide synthase activity and/or changes in the endocannabinoid system. Thus, we investigated the expression and extinction of contextual fear conditioning of inducible nitric oxide knockout mice and possible involvement of endocannabinoids in these responses. Methods: We evaluated the effects of a preferential neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 7-nitroindazol, nitric oxide synthase activity, and mRNA changes of nitrergic and endocannabinoid systems components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of wild-type and knockout mice. The effects of URB597, an inhibitor of the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme, which metabolizes the endocannabinoid anandamide, WIN55,212-2, a nonselective cannabinoid agonist, and AM281, a selective CB1 antagonist, on contextual fear conditioning were also evaluated. Results: Contextual fear conditioning expression was similar in wild-type and knockout mice, but the latter presented extinction deficits and increased basal nitric oxide synthase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. 7-Nitroindazol decreased fear expression and facilitated extinction in wild-type and knockout mice. URB597 decreased fear expression in wild-type and facilitated extinction in knockout mice, whereas WIN55,212-2 and AM281 increased it in wild-type mice. Nonconditioned knockout mice showed changes in the mRNA expression of nitrergic and endocannabinoid system components in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus that were modified by fear conditioning. Conclusion: These data reinforce the involvement of the nitric oxide and endocannabinoids (anandamide) in stress-related disorders and point to a deregulation of the endocannabinoid system in
Chia, Chester; Otto, Tim
Mounting evidence suggests that long-lasting, protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength accompany both the initial acquisition and subsequent recall of specific memories. Within brain areas thought to be important for learning and memory, including the hippocampus, learning-related plasticity is likely mediated in part by NMDA receptor activation and experience-dependent changes in gene expression. In the present study, we examined the role of activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) expression in the acquisition, recall, and reconsolidation of memory in a trace fear conditioning paradigm. First, we show that the expression of Arc protein in ventral hippocampus (VH) is dramatically enhanced by memory recall 24h after the acquisition of trace fear conditioning, and that both memory recall and the associated recall-induced enhancement of Arc expression are blocked by pre-training administration of 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). Next, we show that while infusion of Arc antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) into VH prior to testing had little effect on memory recall, it significantly reduced both Arc protein expression and freezing behavior during subsequent testing sessions. Collectively, these results suggest that Arc/Arg3.1 protein plays an important functional role in both the initial acquisition of hippocampal-dependent memory and the reconsolidation of these memories after recall. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hoffman, Ann N; Parga, Alejandro; Paode, Pooja R; Watterson, Lucas R; Nikulina, Ella M; Hammer, Ronald P; Conrad, Cheryl D
The chronically stressed brain may present a vulnerability to develop maladaptive fear-related behaviors in response to a traumatic event. In rodents, chronic stress leads to amygdala hyperresponsivity and dendritic hypertrophy and produces a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like phenotype that includes exaggerated fear learning following Pavlovian fear conditioning and resistance to extinction. It is unknown whether chronic stress-induced enhanced fear memories are vulnerable to disruption via reconsolidation blockade, as a novel therapeutic approach for attenuating exaggerated fear memories. We used a chronic stress procedure in a rat model (wire mesh restraint for 6h/d/21d) to create a vulnerable brain that leads to a PTSD-like phenotype. We then examined freezing behavior during acquisition, reactivation and after post-reactivation rapamycin administration (i.p., 40mg/kg) in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm to determine its effects on reconsolidation as well as the subsequent functional activation of limbic structures using zif268 mRNA. Chronic stress increased amygdala zif268 mRNA during fear memory retrieval at reactivation. Moreover, these enhanced fear memories were unaffected by post reactivation rapamycin to disrupt long-term fear memory. Also, post-reactivation long term memory processing was also associated with increased amygdala (LA and BA), and decreased hippocampal CA1 zif268 mRNA expression. These results suggest potential challenges for reconsolidation blockade as an effective approach in treating exaggerated fear memories, as in PTSD. Our findings also support chronic stress manipulations combined with fear conditioning as a useful preclinical approach to study a PTSD-like phenotype. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus has been implicated in neural plasticity and memory, but the molecular mechanisms controlling the proliferation and differentiation of newborn neurons and their integration into the synaptic circuitry are still largely unknown. To investigate this issue, we have analyzed the adult hippocampal neurogenesis in a PC3/Tis21-null mouse model. PC3/Tis21 is a transcriptional co-factor endowed with antiproliferative and prodifferentiative properties; indeed, its upregulation in neural progenitors has been shown to induce exit from cell cycle and differentiation. We demonstrate here that the deletion of PC3/Tis21 causes an increased proliferation of progenitor cells in the adult dentate gyrus and an arrest of their terminal differentiation. In fact, in the PC3/Tis21-null hippocampus postmitotic undifferentiated neurons accumulated, while the number of terminally differentiated neurons decreased of 40%. As a result, PC3/Tis21-null mice displayed a deficit of contextual memory. Notably, we observed that PC3/Tis21 can associate to the promoter of Id3, an inhibitor of proneural gene activity, and negatively regulates its expression, indicating that PC3/Tis21 acts upstream of Id3. Our results identify PC3/Tis21 as a gene required in the control of proliferation and terminal differentiation of newborn neurons during adult hippocampal neurogenesis and suggest its involvement in the formation of contextual memories.
Wang, Melissa E.; Yuan, Robin K.; Keinath, Alexander T.; Ramos Álvarez, Manuel M.
The extinction of learned fear is a hippocampus-dependent process thought to embody new learning rather than erasure of the original fear memory, although it is unknown how these competing contextual memories are represented in the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated that contextual fear conditioning results in hippocampal place cell remapping and long-term stabilization of novel representations. Here we report that extinction learning also induces place cell remapping in C57BL/6 mice. Specifically, we observed cells that preferentially remapped during different stages of learning. While some cells remapped in both fear conditioning and extinction, others responded predominantly during extinction, which may serve to modify previous representations as well as encode new safe associations. Additionally, we found cells that remapped primarily during fear conditioning, which could facilitate reacquisition of the original fear association. Moreover, we also observed cells that were stable throughout learning, which may serve to encode the static aspects of the environment. The short-term remapping observed during extinction was not found in animals that did not undergo fear conditioning, or when extinction was conducted outside of the conditioning context. Finally, conditioning and extinction produced an increase in spike phase locking to the theta and gamma frequencies. However, the degree of remapping seen during conditioning and extinction only correlated with gamma synchronization. Our results suggest that the extinction learning is a complex process that involves both modification of pre-existing memories and formation of new ones, and these traces coexist within the same hippocampal representation. PMID:26085635
Alvarez-Ricartes, Nathalie; Oliveros-Matus, Patricia; Mendoza, Cristhian; Perez-Urrutia, Nelson; Echeverria, Florencia; Iarkov, Alexandre; Barreto, George E; Echeverria, Valentina
Failure in fear extinction is one of the more troublesome characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cotinine facilitates fear memory extinction and reduces depressive-like behavior when administered 24 h after fear conditioning in mice. In this study, it was investigated the behavioral and molecular effects of cotinine, and other antidepressant preparations infused intranasally. Intranasal (IN) cotinine, IN krill oil, IN cotinine plus krill oil, and oral sertraline were evaluated on depressive-like behavior and fear retention and extinction after fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice. Since calcineurin A has been involved in facilitating fear extinction in rodents, we also investigated changes of calcineurin in the hippocampus, a region key on contextual fear extinction. Short-term treatment with cotinine formulations was superior to krill oil and oral sertraline in reducing depressive-like behavior and fear consolidation and enhancing contextual fear memory extinction in mice. IN krill oil slowed the extinction of fear. IN cotinine preparations increased the levels of calcineurin A in the hippocampus of conditioned mice. In the light of the results, the future investigation of the use of IN cotinine preparations for the extinction of contextual fear memory and treatment of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in PTSD is discussed.
Kojima, Nobuhiko; Borlikova, Gilyana; Sakamoto, Toshiro; Yamada, Kazuyuki; Ikeda, Toshio; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Niki, Hiroaki; Endo, Shogo
Long-lasting neuronal plasticity as well as long-term memory (LTM) requires de novo synthesis of proteins through dynamic regulation of gene expression. cAMP-responsive element (CRE)-mediated gene transcription occurs in an activity-dependent manner and plays a pivotal role in neuronal plasticity and LTM in a variety of species. To study the physiological role of inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER), a CRE-mediated gene transcription repressor, in neuronal plasticity and LTM, we generated two types of ICER mutant mice: ICER-overexpressing (OE) mice and ICER-specific knock-out (KO) mice. Both ICER-OE and ICER-KO mice show no apparent abnormalities in their development and reproduction. A comprehensive battery of behavioral tests revealed no robust changes in locomotor activity, sensory and motor functions, and emotional responses in the mutant mice. However, long-term conditioned fear memory was attenuated in ICER-OE mice and enhanced in ICER-KO mice without concurrent changes in short-term fear memory. Furthermore, ICER-OE mice exhibited retardation of kindling development, whereas ICER-KO mice exhibited acceleration of kindling. These results strongly suggest that ICER negatively regulates the neuronal processes required for long-term fear memory and neuronal plasticity underlying kindling epileptogenesis, possibly through suppression of CRE-mediated gene transcription.
Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D
Fear conditioning associated with inescapable shock training (ST) and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant behavioral fear, a stress response and alterations in subsequent REM sleep. These alterations may vary among animals and are mediated by the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). Here, we used the GABA A agonist, muscimol (Mus), to inactivate BLA prior to CR and examined the effects on sleep, freezing and stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH). Wistar rats (n=28) were implanted with electrodes for recording sleep, data loggers for recording core body temperature, and with cannulae aimed bilaterally into BLA. After recovery, the animals were habituated to the injection procedure and baseline sleep was recorded. On experimental day 1, rats received ST (20 footshocks, 0.8mA, 0.5s duration, 60s interstimulus interval). On experimental day 7, the rats received microinjections (0.5μl) into BLA of either Mus (1.0μM; n=13) or vehicle (Veh; n=15) prior to CR (CR1). On experimental day 21, the animals experienced a second CR (CR2) without Mus. For analysis, the rats were separated into 4 groups: (Veh-vulnerable (Veh-Vul; n=8), Veh-resilient (Veh-Res; n=7), Mus-vulnerable (Mus-Vul; n=7), and Mus-resilient (Mus-Res; n=6)) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4h following ST. Pre-CR1 inactivation of BLA did not alter freezing or SIH, but did block the reduction in REM in the Mus-Vul group compared to the Veh-Vul group. These data indicate that BLA is an important region for mediating the effects of fearful memories on sleep. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ding, Jinlan; Han, Fang; Wen, Lili; Xiao, Bing; Shi, Yuxiu
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be categorised as a disorder of dysregulated fear processing. In the formation and development of PTSD, whether fear/anxious-related memory is regulated by β-arrestin-2, and happened along the signal transduction pathways remains unknown. We used single prolonged stress (SPS) as the animal model of PTSD. Next, elevated plus maze tests (EPM) was performed to examine fear/anxious memory- related behaviors. Then, we detected β-arrestin-2, PDE-4, and signal transduction pathways with immunoﬂuorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, immunohistochemistry, Elisa, western blot, RT-PCR, and real-time PCR. Our data indicated that SPS caused fear/anxious memory-related behaviors enhancement. The low expression of β-arrestin-2, PDE-4 and their complex on SPS 7d, and high expression of signal transduction pathways on SPS7d in basolateral amygdala (BLA). That indicating that β-arrestin-2 is critical for the formation of abnormal fear/anxious memory in PTSD; and fear/anxious memory occured through signal transduction pathways. Finally, these results suggest that β-arrestin-2, PDE-4 and signal transduction pathways may be by influencing the fear/anxious memory thereby involved in the formation and development of PTSD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Giustino, Thomas F; Maren, Stephen
The locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) system plays a broad role in learning and memory. Here we begin with an overview of the LC-NE system. We then consider how both direct and indirect manipulations of the LC-NE system affect cued and contextual aversive learning and memory. We propose that NE dynamically modulates Pavlovian conditioning and extinction, either promoting or impairing learning aversive processes under different levels of behavioral arousal. We suggest that under high levels of stress (e.g., during/soon after fear conditioning) the locus coeruleus (LC) promotes cued fear learning by enhancing amygdala function while simultaneously blunting prefrontal function. Under low levels of arousal, the LC promotes PFC function to promote downstream inhibition of the amygdala and foster the extinction of cued fear. Thus, LC-NE action on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) might be described by an inverted-U function such that it can either enhance or hinder learning depending on arousal states. In addition, LC-NE seems to be particularly important for the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of contextual fear memories. This may be due to dense adrenoceptor expression in the hippocampus (HPC) which encodes contextual information, and the ability of NE to regulate long-term potentiation (LTP). Moreover, recent work reveals that the diversity of LC-NE functions in aversive learning and memory are mediated by functionally heterogeneous populations of LC neurons that are defined by their projection targets. Hence, LC-NE function in learning and memory is determined by projection-specific neuromodulation that accompanies various states of behavioral arousal.
Thomas F. Giustino
Full Text Available The locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE system plays a broad role in learning and memory. Here we begin with an overview of the LC-NE system. We then consider how both direct and indirect manipulations of the LC-NE system affect cued and contextual aversive learning and memory. We propose that NE dynamically modulates Pavlovian conditioning and extinction, either promoting or impairing learning aversive processes under different levels of behavioral arousal. We suggest that under high levels of stress (e.g., during/soon after fear conditioning the locus coeruleus (LC promotes cued fear learning by enhancing amygdala function while simultaneously blunting prefrontal function. Under low levels of arousal, the LC promotes PFC function to promote downstream inhibition of the amygdala and foster the extinction of cued fear. Thus, LC-NE action on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC might be described by an inverted-U function such that it can either enhance or hinder learning depending on arousal states. In addition, LC-NE seems to be particularly important for the acquisition, consolidation and extinction of contextual fear memories. This may be due to dense adrenoceptor expression in the hippocampus (HPC which encodes contextual information, and the ability of NE to regulate long-term potentiation (LTP. Moreover, recent work reveals that the diversity of LC-NE functions in aversive learning and memory are mediated by functionally heterogeneous populations of LC neurons that are defined by their projection targets. Hence, LC-NE function in learning and memory is determined by projection-specific neuromodulation that accompanies various states of behavioral arousal.
Ferrara, Nicole C.; Cullen, Patrick K.; Pullins, Shane P.; Rotondo, Elena K.; Helmstetter, Fred J.
Generalization of fear can involve abnormal responding to cues that signal safety and is common in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Differential auditory fear conditioning can be used as a tool to measure changes in fear discrimination and generalization. Most prior work in this area has focused on elevated amygdala activity…
Yu, Yang-Jung; Huang, Chien-Hsuan; Chang, Chih-Hua; Gean, Po-Wu
Destabilization refers to a memory that becomes unstable when reactivated and is susceptible to disruption by amnestic agents. Here we delineated the cellular mechanism underlying the destabilization of drug memory. Mice were conditioned with methamphetamine (MeAM) for 3 d, and drug memory was assessed with a conditioned place preference (CPP)…
Marks, W N; Fenton, E Y; Guskjolen, A J; Kalynchuk, L E
Chronic exposure to the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) is known to alter plasticity within hippocampal and amygdalar circuits that mediate fear learning and memory. The purpose of this experiment was to clarify the effects of chronic CORT on Pavlovian fear conditioning, which is dependent on intact hippocampal and amygdalar activity. In particular, we assessed whether the effect of chronic CORT on fear learning and memory is influenced by two factors-the dose of CORT and the order in which rats are tested for freezing to context versus tone cues. Male Long-Evans rats received low-dose CORT (5mg/kg), high-dose CORT (40mg/kg), or vehicle injections once daily for 21days. On day 22, the rats were trained in a fear-conditioning paradigm. On days 23 and 24, the rats were tested for the retrieval of fear memories to context and tone cues in a counterbalanced way-half the rats received context testing on day 23 and then tone testing on day 24 and half the rats received tone testing on day 23 followed by context testing on day 24. Our results revealed dose-dependent effects of CORT on memory retrieval: Rats injected with high-dose CORT froze significantly more than control rats to both context and tone cues regardless of what testing day these cues were presented. However, rats injected with low-dose CORT froze significantly more than control rats to tone cues only. We also found an order effect in that the effects of CORT on freezing were greater on the second day of testing, regardless of whether that testing was to context or tones cues. This order effect may be due to a lack of extinction in the CORT rats. Overall, these results suggest a relationship between stress intensity and testing conditions that should be taken into account when assessing the effect of stress on fear memories. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jarome, Timothy J.; Kwapis, Janine L.; Werner, Craig T.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Gafford, Georgette M.; Helmstetter, Fred J.
Numerous studies have indicated that maintaining a fear memory after retrieval requires de novo protein synthesis. However, no study to date has examined how the temporal dynamics of repeated retrieval events affect this protein synthesis requirement. The present study varied the timing of a second retrieval of an established auditory fear memory…
Liddie, Shervin; Itzhak, Yossef
Drugs of abuse act as reinforcers because they influence learning and memory processes resulting in long-term memory of drug reward. We have previously shown that mice conditioned by fixed daily dose of cocaine (Fix-C) or daily escalating doses of cocaine (Esc-C) resulted in short- and long-term persistence of drug memory, respectively, suggesting different mechanisms in acquisition of cocaine memory. The present study was undertaken to investigate the differential contribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits in the formation of Fix-C and Esc-C memory in C57BL/6J mice. Training by Esc-C resulted in marked elevation in hippocampal expression of Grin2b mRNA and NR2B protein levels compared with training by Fix-C. The NR2B-containing NMDAR antagonist ifenprodil had similar attenuating effects on acquisition and reconsolidation of Fix-C and Esc-C memory. However, the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 had differential effects: (1) higher doses of MK-801 were required for post-retrieval disruption of reconsolidation of Esc-C memory than Fix-C memory; and (2) pre-retrieval MK-801 inhibited extinction of Fix-C memory but it had no effect on Esc-C memory. In addition, blockade of NMDAR downstream signaling pathways also showed differential regulation of Fix-C and Esc-C memory. Inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase attenuated acquisition and disrupted reconsolidation of Fix-C but not Esc-C memory. In contrast, the mitogen-activating extracellular kinase inhibitor SL327 attenuated reconsolidation of Esc-C but not Fix-C memory. These results suggest that NMDAR downstream signaling molecules associated with consolidation and reconsolidation of cocaine-associated memory may vary upon changes in the salience of cocaine reward during conditioning. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.
Si, Jijian; Yang, Jianli; Xue, Lifen; Yang, Chenhao; Luo, Yixiao; Shi, Haishui; Lu, Lin
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC). We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Stehberg, Jimmy; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Salazar, Christian; Becerra, Alvaro; Echeverría, Cesar; Orellana, Juan A; Bultynck, Geert; Ponsaerts, Raf; Leybaert, Luc; Simon, Felipe; Sáez, Juan C; Retamal, Mauricio A
Recent in vitro evidence indicates that astrocytes can modulate synaptic plasticity by releasing neuroactive substances (gliotransmitters). However, whether gliotransmitter release from astrocytes is necessary for higher brain function in vivo, particularly for memory, as well as the contribution of connexin (Cx) hemichannels to gliotransmitter release, remain elusive. Here, we microinfused into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) TAT-Cx43L2, a peptide that selectively inhibits Cx43-hemichannel opening while maintaining synaptic transmission or interastrocyte gap junctional communication. In vivo blockade of Cx43 hemichannels during memory consolidation induced amnesia for auditory fear conditioning, as assessed 24 h after training, without affecting short-term memory, locomotion, or shock reactivity. The amnesic effect was transitory, specific for memory consolidation, and was confirmed after microinfusion of Gap27, another Cx43-hemichannel blocker. Learning capacity was recovered after coinfusion of TAT-Cx43L2 and a mixture of putative gliotransmitters (glutamate, glutamine, lactate, d-serine, glycine, and ATP). We propose that gliotransmitter release from astrocytes through Cx43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation at the BLA. Thus, the present study is the first to demonstrate a physiological role for astroglial Cx43 hemichannels in brain function, making these channels a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA, but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC. We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Hillman, Brandon G; Gupta, Subhash C; Stairs, Dustin J; Buonanno, Andres; Dravid, Shashank M
N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play an important role in excitatory neurotransmission and mediate synaptic plasticity associated with learning and memory. NMDA receptors are composed of two NR1 and two NR2 subunits and the identity of the NR2 subunit confers unique electrophysiologic and pharmacologic properties to the receptor. The precise role of NR2C-containing receptors in vivo is poorly understood. We have performed a battery of behavioral tests on NR2C knockout/nβ-galactosidase knock-in mice and found no difference in spontaneous activity, basal anxiety, forced-swim immobility, novel object recognition, pain sensitivity and reference memory in comparison to wildtype counterparts. However, NR2C knockout mice were found to exhibit deficits in fear acquisition and working memory compared to wildtype mice. Deficit in fear acquisition correlated with lack of fear conditioning-induced plasticity at the thalamo-amygdala synapse. These findings suggest a unique role of NR2C-containing receptors in associative and executive learning representing a novel therapeutic target for deficits in cognition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Liu, Ji-Hong; You, Qiang-Long; Wei, Mei-Dan; Wang, Qian; Luo, Zheng-Yi; Lin, Song; Huang, Lang; Li, Shu-Ji; Li, Xiao-Wen; Gao, Tian-Ming
Social isolation during the vulnerable period of adolescence produces emotional dysregulation that often manifests as abnormal behavior in adulthood. The enduring consequence of isolation might be caused by a weakened ability to forget unpleasant memories. However, it remains unclear whether isolation affects unpleasant memories. To address this, we used a model of associative learning to induce the fear memories and evaluated the influence of isolation mice during adolescence on the subsequent retention of fear memories and its underlying cellular mechanisms. Following adolescent social isolation, we found that mice decreased their social interaction time and had an increase in anxiety-related behavior. Interestingly, when we assessed memory retention, we found that isolated mice were unable to forget aversive memories when tested 4 weeks after the original event. Consistent with this, we observed that a single train of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) enabled a late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 region of isolated mice, whereas only an early-phase LTP was observed with the same stimulation in the control mice. Social isolation during adolescence also increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus, and application of a tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) receptor inhibitor ameliorated the facilitated L-LTP seen after isolation. Together, our results suggest that adolescent isolation may result in mental disorders during adulthood and that this may stem from an inability to forget the unpleasant memories via BDNF-mediated synaptic plasticity. These findings may give us a new strategy to prevent mental disorders caused by persistent unpleasant memories.
Full Text Available Neuroimaging and neurophysiology have revealed that multiple areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC are activated in a specific memory task, but severity of impairment after PFC lesions is largely different depending on which activated area is damaged. The critical relationship between lesion sites and impairments has not yet been given a clear mechanistic explanation. Although recent works proposed that a whole-brain network contains hubs that play integrative roles in cortical information processing, this framework relying on an anatomy-based structural network cannot account for the vulnerable locus for a specific task, lesioning of which would bring impairment. Here, we hypothesized that (i activated PFC areas dynamically form an ordered network centered at a task-specific "functional hub" and (ii the lesion-effective site corresponds to the "functional hub," but not to a task-invariant "structural hub." To test these hypotheses, we conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments in macaques performing a temporal contextual memory task. We found that the activated areas formed a hierarchical hub-centric network based on task-evoked directed connectivity, differently from the anatomical network reflecting axonal projection patterns. Using a novel simulated-lesion method based on support vector machine, we estimated severity of impairment after lesioning of each area, which accorded well with a known dissociation in contextual memory impairment in macaques (impairment after lesioning in area 9/46d, but not in area 8Ad. The predicted severity of impairment was proportional to the network "hubness" of the virtually lesioned area in the task-evoked directed connectivity network, rather than in the anatomical network known from tracer studies. Our results suggest that PFC areas dynamically and cooperatively shape a functional hub-centric network to reallocate the lesion-effective site depending on the cognitive processes, apart from
Full Text Available Fear allows organisms to cope with dangerous situations and remembering these situations has an adaptive role preserving individuals from injury and death. However, recalling traumatic memories can induce re-experiencing the trauma, thus resulting in a maladaptive fear. A failure to properly regulate fear responses has been associated with anxiety disorders, like Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Thus, re-establishing the capability to regulate fear has an important role for its adaptive and clinical relevance. Strategies aimed at erasing fear memories have been proposed, although there are limits about their efficiency in treating anxiety disorders. To re-establish fear regulation, here we propose a new approach, based on the re-evaluation of the aversive value of traumatic experience. Mice were submitted to a contextual-fear-conditioning paradigm in which a neutral context was paired with an intense electric footshock. Three weeks after acquisition, conditioned mice were treated with a less intense footshock (pain threshold. The effectiveness of this procedure in reducing fear expression was assessed in terms of behavioral outcomes related to PTSD (e.g. hyper-reactivity to a neutral tone, anxiety levels in a plus maze task, social avoidance, and learning deficits in a spatial water maze and of amygdala activity by evaluating c-fos expression. Furthermore, a possible role of lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC in mediating the behavioral effects induced by the re-evaluation procedure was investigated. We observed that this treatment (i significantly mitigates the abnormal behavioral outcomes induced by trauma, (ii persistently attenuates fear expression without erasing contextual memory, (iii prevents fear reinstatement, (iv reduces amygdala activity and (v requires an intact lOFC to be effective.The results suggest that an effective strategy to treat pathological anxiety should address cognitive re-evaluation of traumatic experiences
Pattwell, Siobhan S.; Lee, Francis S.; Casey, B.J.
Throughout the past several decades, studies have uncovered a wealth of information about the neural circuitry underlying fear learning and extinction that has helped to inform treatments for fear-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress and anxiety. Yet, up to 40 percent of people do not respond to such treatments. Adolescence, in particular, is a developmental stage during which anxiety disorders peak, yet little is known about the development of fear-related neural circuitry during this period. Moreover, pharmacological and behavioral therapies that have been developed are based on mature circuitry and function. Here, we review neural circuitry implicated in fear learning and data from adolescent mouse and human fear learning studies. In addition, we propose a developmental model of fear neural circuitry that may optimize current treatments and inform when, during development, specific treatments for anxiety may be most effective. PMID:23998679
Chen, Weihai; Wang, Yan; Wang, Xiaqing; Li, Hong
The last 10 years have witnessed a substantial progress in understanding the neural mechanisms for the renewal of the extinguished fear memory. Based on the theory of fear extinction, exposure therapy has been developed as a typical cognitive behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Although the fear memory can be extinguished by repeated presentation of conditioned stimulus without unconditioned stimulus, the fear memory is not erased and tends to relapse outside of extinction context, which is referred to as renewal. Therefore, the renewal is regarded as a great obstruction interfering with the effect of exposure therapy. In recent years, there has been a great deal of studies in understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of fear renewal. These offer a foundation upon which novel therapeutic interventions for the renewal may be built. This review focuses on behavioral, anatomical and electrophysiological studies that interpret roles of the hippocampus, prelimbic cortex and amygdala as well as the connections between them for the renewal of the extinguished fear. Additionally, this review suggests the possible pathways for the renewal: (1) the prelimbic cortex may integrate contextual information from hippocampal inputs and project to the basolateral amygdala to mediate the renewal of extinguished fear memory; the ventral hippocampus may innervate the activities of the basolateral amygdala or the central amygdala directly for the renewal. © 2017 IUBMB Life, 69(7):470-478, 2017. © 2017 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Lin, Hui-Ching; Tseng, Yu-Chou; Mao, Sheng-Chun; Chen, Po-See; Gean, Po-Wu
Reinstatement represents a phenomenon that may be used to model the effects of retraumatization observed in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, we found intraperitoneal injection of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol (10 mg/kg) 1 h before reinstatement training attenuated reinstatement of fear memory in rats. Conversely, reinstatement was facilitated by intra-amygdalar administration of β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (Iso; 2 μg per side) 30 min before reinstatement training. The frequency and amplitude of the miniature IPSC (mIPSC) and the surface expression of the β3 and γ2 subunits of the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) were significantly lower in reinstated than in extinction rats, whereas the AMPA/NMDA ratio and the surface expression of GluR1 and GluR2 in the amygdala did not differ between groups. In amygdala slices, Iso-induced decrease in the surface β3 subunit of GABA(A) receptor was blocked by a Tat-conjugated dynamin function-blocking peptide (Tat-P4) pretreatment (10 μm for 30 min). By contrast, Tat-scramble peptide had no effect. Intravenous injection (3 μmol/kg) or intra-amygdalar infusion (30 pmol per side) of Tat-P4 interfered with reinstatement. Reinstatement increased the association between protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and the β3 subunit of the GABA(A)R, which was abolished by PP1/PP2A inhibitors okadaic acid and calyculin A. These results suggest the involvement of β-adrenergic receptor activation and GABA(A) receptor endocytosis in the amygdala for the reinstatement in fear memory.
Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong
Six experiments involving a total of 112 college students demonstrate that a robust memory for visual context exists to guide spatial attention. Results show how implicit learning and memory of visual context can guide spatial attention toward task-relevant aspects of a scene. (SLD)
Kessels, R.P.C.; Meulenbroek, O.V.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is characterized by episodic memory deficits, while aspects of working memory may also be implicated, but studies into this latter domain are scarce and results are inconclusive. Using a computerized search paradigm, this study compares 25 young adults, 25 typically
Kessels, R.P.C.; Meulenbroek, O.V.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is characterized by episodic memory deficits, while aspects of working memory may also be implicated, but studies into this latter domain are scarce and results are inconclusive. Using a computerized search paradigm, this study compares 25 young adults, 25 typically
Scullin, Michael K.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Shelton, Jill Talley
The ability to remember to execute delayed intentions is referred to as prospective memory. Previous theoretical and empirical work has focused on isolating whether a particular prospective memory task is supported either by effortful monitoring processes or by cue-driven spontaneous processes. In the present work, we advance the Dynamic Multiprocess Framework, which contends that both monitoring and spontaneous retrieval may be utilized dynamically to support prospective remembering. To capture the dynamic interplay between monitoring and spontaneous retrieval we had participants perform many ongoing tasks and told them that their prospective memory cue may occur in any context. Following either a 20-min or a 12-hr retention interval, the prospective memory cues were presented infrequently across three separate ongoing tasks. The monitoring patterns (measured as ongoing task cost relative to a between-subjects control condition) were consistent and robust across the three contexts. There was no evidence for monitoring prior to the initial prospective memory cue; however, individuals who successfully spontaneously retrieved the prospective memory intention, thereby realizing that prospective memory cues could be expected within that context, subsequently monitored. These data support the Dynamic Multiprocess Framework, which contends that individuals will engage monitoring when prospective memory cues are expected, disengage monitoring when cues are not expected, and that when monitoring is disengaged, a probabilistic spontaneous retrieval mechanism can support prospective remembering. PMID:23916951
Loaiza, Vanessa M; McCabe, David P
Three experiments are reported that addressed the nature of processing in working memory by investigating patterns of delayed cued recall and free recall of items initially studied during complex and simple span tasks. In Experiment 1, items initially studied during a complex span task (i.e., operation span) were more likely to be recalled after a delay in response to temporal-contextual cues, relative to items from subspan and supraspan list lengths in a simple span task (i.e., word span). In Experiment 2, items initially studied during operation span were more likely to be recalled from neighboring serial positions during delayed free recall than were items studied during word span trials. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the number of attentional refreshing opportunities strongly predicts episodic memory performance, regardless of whether the information is presented in a spaced or massed format in a modified operation span task. The results indicate that the content-context bindings created during complex span trials reflect attentional refreshing opportunities that are used to maintain items in working memory.
Kalisch, Raffael; Korenfeld, Elian; Stephan, Klaas E.; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Seymour, Ben; Dolan, Raymond J.
In fear extinction, an animal learns that a conditioned stimulus (CS) no longer predicts a noxious stimulus [unconditioned stimulus (UCS)] to which it had previously been associated, leading to inhibition of the conditioned response (CR). Extinction creates a new CS-noUCS memory trace, competing with the initial fear (CS-UCS) memory. Recall of extinction memory and, hence, CR inhibition at later CS encounters is facilitated by contextual stimuli present during extinction training. In line wit...
Whole-Body Exposure to 28Si-Radiation Dose-Dependently Disrupts Dentate Gyrus Neurogenesis and Proliferation in the Short Term and New Neuron Survival and Contextual Fear Conditioning in the Long Term.
Whoolery, Cody W; Walker, Angela K; Richardson, Devon R; Lucero, Melanie J; Reynolds, Ryan P; Beddow, David H; Clark, K Lyles; Shih, Hung-Ying; LeBlanc, Junie A; Cole, Mara G; Amaral, Wellington Z; Mukherjee, Shibani; Zhang, Shichuan; Ahn, Francisca; Bulin, Sarah E; DeCarolis, Nathan A; Rivera, Phillip D; Chen, Benjamin P C; Yun, Sanghee; Eisch, Amelia J
in male and female mice, although only male mice showed fewer surviving BrdU + cells in the long-term group. Fluorescent immunolabeling and confocal phenotypic analysis revealed that most surviving BrdU + cells in the long-term group expressed the neuronal marker NeuN, definitively confirming that exposure to 1 Gy 28 Si radiation decreased the number of surviving adult-generated neurons in male mice relative to both 0- and 0.2-Gy-irradiated mice. For hippocampal function assessment, 9-week-old male C57BL/6J mice received whole-body 28 Si-particle exposure and were then assessed long-term for performance on contextual and cued fear conditioning. In the context test the animals that received 0.2 Gy froze less relative to control animals, suggesting decreased hippocampal-dependent function. However, in the cued fear conditioning test, animals that received 1 Gy froze more during the pretone portion of the test, relative to controls and 0.2-Gy-irradiated mice, suggesting enhanced anxiety. Compared to previously reported studies, these data suggest that 28 Si-radiation exposure damages neurogenesis, but to a lesser extent than 56 Fe radiation and that low-dose 28 Si exposure induces abnormalities in hippocampal function, disrupting fear memory but also inducing anxiety-like behavior. Furthermore, exposure to 28 Si radiation decreased new neuron survival in long-term male groups but not females suggests that sex may be an important factor when performing brain health risk assessment for astronauts traveling in space.
Cavus, H A; Msetfi, Rachel M
When there is no contingency between actions and outcomes, but outcomes occur frequently, people tend to judge that they have control over those outcomes, a phenomenon known as the outcome density (OD) effect. Recent studies show that the OD effect depends on the duration of the temporal interval between action-outcome conjunctions, with longer intervals inducing stronger effects. However, under some circumstances OD effect is reduced, for example when participants are mildly depressed. We reasoned that working memory (WM) plays an important role in learning of context; with reduced WM capacity to process contextual information during intertrial intervals (ITIs) during contingency learning might lead to reduced OD effects (limited capacity hypothesis). To test this, we used a novel dual-task procedure that increases the WM load during the ITIs of an operant (e.g., action-outcome) contingency learning task to impact contextual learning. We tested our hypotheses in groups of students with zero (Experiments 1, N=34), and positive contingencies (Experiment 2, N=34). The findings indicated that WM load during the ITIs reduced the OD effects compared to no load conditions (Experiment 1 and 2). In Experiment 2, we observed reduced OD effects on action judgements under high load in zero and positive contingencies. However, the participants' judgements were still sensitive to the difference between zero and positive contingencies. We discuss the implications of our findings for the effects of depression and context in contingency learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Machida, Mayumi; Sanford, Larry D
Fear conditioning [inescapable shock training (ST)] and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant fear indicated by increased freezing and reductions in subsequent rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Damage to or inactivation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) prior to or after ST or prior to CR generally has been found to attenuate freezing in the shock training context. However, no one has examined the impact of BLA inactivation on fear-induced changes in sleep. Here, we used the GABAA agonist, muscimol (MUS), to inactivate BLA prior to ST, the period when fear is learned, and assessed sleep after ST and sleep and freezing after two CR sessions. Wistar rats (n = 14) were implanted with electrodes for recording sleep and with cannulae aimed bilaterally into BLA. After recovery, the animals were habituated to the injection procedure (handling) over 2 consecutive days and baseline sleep following handling was recorded. On experimental day 1, the rats were injected (0.5 μl) into BLA with either MUS (1.0 μM; n = 7) or vehicle (distilled water, n = 7) 30 min prior to ST (20 footshocks, 0.8 mA, 0.5-s duration, 60-s interstimulus interval). On experimental days 7 and 21, the animals experienced CR (CR1 and CR2, respectively) alone. Electroencephalogram and electromyogram were recorded for 8 h on each day, and the recording was scored for non-rapid eye movement sleep, REM sleep, and wakefulness. Freezing was examined during CR1 and CR2. MUS microinjections into BLA prior to ST blocked the post-training reduction in REM sleep seen in vehicle-treated rats. Furthermore, in MUS-treated rats, REM sleep after CR1 and CR2 was at baseline levels and freezing was significantly attenuated. Thus, BLA inactivation prior to ST blocks the effects of footshock stress on sleep and reduces fear memory, as indicated by the lack of freezing and changes in sleep after CR. These data indicate that BLA is an important regulator of stress-induced alterations in
Weng, Feng-Ju; Garcia, Rodrigo I; Lutzu, Stefano; Alviña, Karina; Zhang, Yuxiang; Dushko, Margaret; Ku, Taeyun; Zemoura, Khaled; Rich, David; Garcia-Dominguez, Dario; Hung, Matthew; Yelhekar, Tushar D; Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Xu, Weifeng; Chung, Kwanghun; Castillo, Pablo E; Lin, Yingxi
Synaptic connections between hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs) and CA3 pyramidal neurons are essential for contextual memory encoding, but the molecular mechanisms regulating MF-CA3 synapses during memory formation and the exact nature of this regulation are poorly understood. Here we report that the activity-dependent transcription factor Npas4 selectively regulates the structure and strength of MF-CA3 synapses by restricting the number of their functional synaptic contacts without affecting the other synaptic inputs onto CA3 pyramidal neurons. Using an activity-dependent reporter, we identified CA3 pyramidal cells that were activated by contextual learning and found that MF inputs on these cells were selectively strengthened. Deletion of Npas4 prevented both contextual memory formation and this learning-induced synaptic modification. We further show that Npas4 regulates MF-CA3 synapses by controlling the expression of the polo-like kinase Plk2. Thus, Npas4 is a critical regulator of experience-dependent, structural, and functional plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses during contextual memory formation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nasehi, Mohammad; Farrahizadeh, Maryam; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza
Behavioral studies have suggested a key role for the cannabinoid system in the modulation of conditioned fear memory. Likewise, much of the literature has revealed that the serotonergic system affects Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. A high level of functional overlap between the serotonin and cannabinoid systems has also been reported. To clarify the interaction between the hippocampal serotonin (5-HT4) receptor and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the acquisition of fear memory, the effects of 5-HT4 agents, arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; CB1 receptor agonist), and the combined use of these drugs on fear learning were studied in a fear conditioning task in adult male NMRI mice. Pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.1 mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in both context- and tone-dependent fear conditions, suggesting impairment of the acquisition of fear memory. Pre-training, intra-hippocampal (CA1) microinjection of RS67333, a 5-HT4 receptor agonist, at doses of 0.1 and 0.2 or 0.2 µg/mouse impaired contextual and tone fear memory, respectively. A subthreshold dose of RS67333 (0.005 µg/mouse) did not alter the ACPA response in either condition. Moreover, intra-CA1 microinjection of RS23597 as a 5-HT4 receptor antagonist did not alter context-dependent fear memory acquisition, but it did impair tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. However, a subthreshold dose of the RS23597 (0.01 µg/mouse) potentiated ACPA-induced fear memory impairment in both conditions. Therefore, we suggest that the blockade of hippocampal 5-HT4 serotonergic system modulates cannabinoid signaling induced by the activation of CB1 receptors in conditioned fear. © The Author(s) 2016.
Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.; Sevenster, D.
The basic design used in our human fear-conditioning studies on disrupting reconsolidation includes testing over different phases across three consecutive days. On day 1 - the fear acquisition phase, healthy participants are exposed to a series of picture presentations. One picture stimulus (CS1+)
Emily M Perez-Torres
Full Text Available Acute exposure to morphine after a traumatic event reduces trauma related symptoms in humans and conditioned fear expression in male rats. We aimed to determine whether acute administration of morphine alters consolidation of fear learning and extinction. Male and female rats in proestrus and metaestrus (high and low ovarian hormones respectively underwent fear conditioning and received saline or morphine (2.5 mg/kg s.c.. The next day they underwent extinction. Results showed increased freezing during extinction only in the morphine metaestrus group while morphine did not affect males or proestrus females. Recall of extinction was similar on all groups. On a second experiment, a subset of rats conditioned during metaestrus was administered morphine prior to extinction producing no effects. We then measured mu opioid receptor (MOR expression in the amygdala and periaqueductal gray (PAG at the end of extinction (day 2. In males and proestrus females, morphine caused an increase in MOR in the amygdala but no in the PAG. In metaestrus females, morphine did not change MOR expression in either structure. These data suggests that ovarian hormones may interact with MORs in the amygdala to transiently alter memory consolidation. Morphine given after trauma to females with low ovarian hormones might increase the recall of fear responses, making recovery harder.
Travis D. Goode
Full Text Available Emotional arousal can have a profound impact on various learning and memory processes. For example, unconditioned emotional stimuli (e.g., predator odor or anxiogenic drugs enhance dorsolateral striatum (DLS-dependent habit memory. These effects critically depend on a modulatory role of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Recent work indicates that, like unconditioned emotional stimuli, exposure to an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS (i.e., a tone previously paired with shock can also enhance consolidation of DLS-dependent habit memory. The present experiments examined whether noradrenergic activity, particularly within the BLA, is required for a fear CS to enhance habit memory consolidation. First, rats underwent a fear conditioning procedure in which a tone CS was paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. Over the course of the next five days, rats received training in a DLS-dependent water plus-maze task, in which rats were reinforced to make a consistent body-turn response to reach a hidden escape platform. Immediately after training on days 1–3, rats received post-training systemic (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 administration of the β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, propranolol. Immediately after drug administration, half of the rats were re-exposed to the tone CS in the conditioning context (without shock. Post-training CS exposure enhanced consolidation of habit memory in vehicle-treated rats, and this effect was blocked by peripheral (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 propranolol administration. The present findings reveal that noradrenergic activity within the BLA is critical for the enhancement of DLS-dependent habit memory as a result of exposure to conditioned emotional stimuli.
Bos, M.G.N.; Jacobs van Goethem, T.H.; Beckers, T.; Kindt, M.
Retrieval of traumatic experiences is often accompanied by strong feelings of distress. Here, we examined in healthy participants whether post-reactivation stress experience affects the context-dependency of emotional memory. First, participants studied words from two distinctive emotional
Scullin, Michael K.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Shelton, Jill Talley
The ability to remember to execute delayed intentions is referred to as prospective memory. Previous theoretical and empirical work has focused on isolating whether a particular prospective memory task is supported either by effortful monitoring processes or by cue-driven spontaneous processes. In the present work, we advance the Dynamic Multiprocess Framework, which contends that both monitoring and spontaneous retrieval may be utilized dynamically to support prospective remembering. To capt...
Slouzkey, Ilana; Maroun, Mouna
The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuit, plays a crucial role in acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Extinction of aversive memories is mediated, at least in part, by the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (P[subscript 3]K)/Akt pathway in adult rats. There is recent interest in the neural mechanisms that mediate fear…
Salgado-Puga, Karla; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; Peña-Ortega, Fernando
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with an early hippocampal dysfunction, which is likely induced by an increase in soluble amyloid beta peptide (Aβ). This hippocampal failure contributes to the initial memory deficits observed both in patients and in AD animal models and possibly to the deterioration in activities of daily living (ADL). One typical rodent behavior that has been proposed as a hippocampus-dependent assessment model of ADL in mice and rats is burrowing. Despite the fact that AD transgenic mice show some evidence of reduced burrowing, it has not been yet determined whether or not Aβ can affect this typical rodent behavior and whether this alteration correlates with the well-known Aβ-induced memory impairment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test whether or not Aβ affects burrowing while inducing hippocampus-dependent memory impairment. Surprisingly, our results show that intrahippocampal application of Aβ increases burrowing while inducing memory impairment. We consider that this Aβ-induced increase in burrowing might be associated with a mild anxiety state, which was revealed by increased freezing behavior in the open field, and conclude that Aβ-induced hippocampal dysfunction is reflected in the impairment of ADL and memory, through mechanisms yet to be determined.
Shanelle; W．Ko; 敖虎山; Amelia; Gallitano-Mendel; 邱长申; 魏峰; Jeffrey; Milbrandt; 卓敏
The zinc finger transcription factor Egr-1 is critical for coupling extracellular signals to changes in cellular gene expression.In the hippocampus and amygdala, two major central regions for memory formation and storage, Egr-1 is up-regulated by long-term potentiation (LTP) and learning paradigms. Using Egr-1 knockout mice, we showed that Egr-1 was selectively required for late auditory fear memory while short term, trace and contextual memory were not affected. Additionally, synaptic potentiation induced by theta burst stimulation in the amygdala and auditory cortex was significantly reduced or blocked in Egr-1 knockout mice. Our study suggests that the transcription factor Egr-1 plays a selective role in late auditory fear memory.%锌指转录因子Egr-1在将细胞外信号和胞内基因表达的变化相耦联过程中发挥重要的作用.海马和杏仁体是记忆形成和储存的两个主要的脑区.在海马和杏仁体中,Egr-1可被长时程增强(long-term potentiation,LTP)和学习过程上调.在Egr-1敲除小鼠上观察到晚时相声音恐惧记忆受损,而短时的痕迹和场景记忆却不受影响;另外,在Egr-1敲除小鼠上,用thetaburst刺激杏仁体和听觉皮层所引起的突触增强被明显减弱或完全阻断.因此,我们的研究表明,转录因子Egr-1选择性地在晚时相听觉恐惧记忆中发挥作用.
Kutlu, Munir G.; Tumolo, Jessica M.; Holliday, Erica; Garrett, Brendan; Gould, Thomas J.
Exposure therapy, which focuses on extinguishing fear-triggering cues and contexts, is widely used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet, PTSD patients who received successful exposure therapy are vulnerable to relapse of fear response after a period of time, a phenomenon known as spontaneous recovery (SR). Increasing evidence…
Santangelo, Valerio; Di Francesco, Simona Arianna; Mastroberardino, Serena; Macaluso, Emiliano
The Brief presentation of a complex scene entails that only a few objects can be selected, processed indepth, and stored in memory. Both low-level sensory salience and high-level context-related factors (e.g., the conceptual match/mismatch between objects and scene context) contribute to this selection process, but how the interplay between these factors affects memory encoding is largely unexplored. Here, during fMRI we presented participants with pictures of everyday scenes. After a short retention interval, participants judged the position of a target object extracted from the initial scene. The target object could be either congruent or incongruent with the context of the scene, and could be located in a region of the image with maximal or minimal salience. Behaviourally, we found a reduced impact of saliency on visuospatial working memory performance when the target was out-of-context. Encoding-related fMRI results showed that context-congruent targets activated dorsoparietal regions, while context-incongruent targets de-activated the ventroparietal cortex. Saliency modulated activity both in dorsal and ventral regions, with larger context-related effects for salient targets. These findings demonstrate the joint contribution of knowledge-based and saliency-driven attention for memory encoding, highlighting a dissociation between dorsal and ventral parietal regions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The psychostimulant methylphenidate (MPD; also called Ritalin) is a blocker of dopamine and norepi-nephrine transporter. It has been clinically used for treatment of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There have been inconsistent reports regarding the effects of systemically adminis-tered MPD on learning and memory, either in animals or humans. In the present study, we investigated the effect of direct infusion of MPD into the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) or the anterior cin-gulate cortex (ACC) on conditioned fear memory. Rats were trained on a one-trial step-through inhibi-tory avoidance task. MPD was infused bilaterally into the BLA or the ACC, either at ‘0’ or 6 h post-training. Saline was administered as control. Memory retention was tested 48 h post-training. In-tra-BLA or intra-ACC infusion of MPD ‘0’ h but not 6 h post-training significantly improved 48-h memory retention: the MPD-treated rats had significant longer step-through latency than controls. The present results indicate that action of MPD in the BLA or the ACC produces a beneficial effect on the consoli-dation of inhibitory avoidance memory.
Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory.
Okuda, Kosuke; Takao, Keizo; Watanabe, Aya; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Mizuguchi, Masashi; Tanaka, Teruyuki
Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be paid to the
Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory.
Full Text Available Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5 gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be
Comprehensive behavioral analysis of the Cdkl5 knockout mice revealed significant enhancement in anxiety- and fear-related behaviors and impairment in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory
Okuda, Kosuke; Takao, Keizo; Watanabe, Aya; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Mizuguchi, Masashi
Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-containing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be paid to the
Cambiaghi, Marco; Grosso, Anna; Renna, Annamaria; Concina, Giulia; Sacchetti, Benedetto
Nicotine elicits several behavioural effects on mood as well as on stress and anxiety processes. Recently, it was found that the higher order components of the sensory cortex, such as the secondary auditory cortex Te2, are essential for the long-term storage of remote fear memories. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effects of acute nicotine injection into the higher order auditory cortex Te2, on the remote emotional memories of either threat or incentive experiences in rats. We found that intra-Te2 nicotine injection decreased the fear-evoked responses to a tone previously paired with footshock. This effect was cue- and dose-specific and was not due to any interference with auditory stimuli processing, innate anxiety and fear processes, or with motor responses. Nicotine acts acutely in the presence of threat stimuli but it did not determine the permanent degradation of the fear-memory trace, since memories tested one week after nicotine injection were unaffected. Remarkably, nicotine did not affect the memory of a similar tone that was paired to incentive stimuli. We conclude from our results that nicotine, when acting acutely in the auditory cortex, relieves the fear charge embedded by learned stimuli. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Chen, Hai-Bo; Wu, Wen-Ning; Wang, Wei; Gu, Xun-Hu; Yu, Bin; Wei, Bo; Yang, Yuan-Jian
Hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) is an endogenous gaseous molecule that functions as a neuromodulator in the brain. We previously reported that H 2 S regulated amygdalar synaptic plasticity and cued fear memory in rats. However, whether endogenous H 2 S is required for amygdalar long-term potentiation (LTP) induction and cued fear memory formation remains unclear. Here, we show that cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), the predominant H 2 S-producing enzyme in the brain, was highly expressed in the amygdala of rats. Suppressing CBS activity by inhibitor prevented activity-triggered generation of H 2 S in the lateral amygdala (LA) region. Incubating brain slices with CBS inhibitor significantly prevented the induction of NMDA receptors (NMDARs)-dependent LTP in the thalamo-LA pathway, and intra-LA infusion of CBS inhibitor impaired cued fear memory in rats. Notably, treatment with H 2 S donor, but not CBS activator, significantly reversed the impairments of LTP and fear memory caused by CBS inhibition. Mechanismly, inhibition of CBS activity led to a reduction in NMDAR-mediated synaptic response in the thalamo-LA pathway, and treatment with H 2 S donor restored the function of NMDARs. Collectively, these results indicate that CBS-derived H 2 S is required for amygdalar synaptic plasticity and cued fear memory in rats, and the effects of endogenous H 2 S might involve the regulation of NMDAR function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Maldonado, N M; Espejo, P J; Martijena, I D; Molina, V A
Exposure to emotionally arousing experiences elicits a robust and persistent memory and enhances anxiety. The amygdala complex plays a key role in stress-induced emotional processing and in the fear memory formation. It is well known that ERK activation in the amygdala is a prerequisite for fear memory consolidation. Moreover, stress elevates p-ERK2 levels in several areas of the brain stress circuitry. Therefore, given that the ERK1/2 cascade is activated following stress and that the role of this cascade is critical in the formation of fear memory, the present study investigated the potential involvement of p-ERK2 in amygdala subnuclei in the promoting influence of stress on fear memory formation and on anxiety-like behavior. A robust and persistent ERK2 activation was noted in the Basolateral amygdala (BLA), which was evident at 5min after restraint and lasted at least one day after the stressful experience. Midazolam, a short-acting benzodiazepine ligand, administered prior to stress prevented the increase in the p-ERK2 level in the BLA. Pretreatment with intra-BLA infusion of U0126 (MEK inhibitor), but not into the adjacent central nucleus of the amygdala, attenuated the stress-induced promoting influence on fear memory formation. Finally, U0126 intra-BLA infusion prevented the enhancement of anxiety-like behavior in stressed animals. These findings suggest that the selective ERK2 activation in BLA following stress exposure is an important mechanism for the occurrence of the promoting influence of stress on fear memory and on anxiety-like behavior. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.
Sabiha K Barot
Full Text Available Associative conditioning is a ubiquitous form of learning throughout the animal kingdom and fear conditioning is one of the most widely researched models for studying its neurobiological basis. Fear conditioning is also considered a model system for understanding phobias and anxiety disorders. A fundamental issue in fear conditioning regards the existence and location of neurons in the brain that receive convergent information about the conditioned stimulus (CS and unconditioned stimulus (US during the acquisition of conditioned fear memory. Convergent activation of neurons is generally viewed as a key event for fear learning, yet there has been almost no direct evidence of this critical event in the mammalian brain.Here, we used Arc cellular compartmental analysis of temporal gene transcription by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH to identify neurons activated during single trial contextual fear conditioning in rats. To conform to temporal requirements of catFISH analysis we used a novel delayed contextual fear conditioning protocol which yields significant single- trial fear conditioning with temporal parameters amenable to catFISH analysis. Analysis yielded clear evidence that a population of BLA neurons receives convergent CS and US information at the time of the learning, that this only occurs when the CS-US arrangement is supportive of the learning, and that this process requires N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation. In contrast, CS-US convergence was not observed in dorsal hippocampus.Based on the pattern of Arc activation seen in conditioning and control groups, we propose that a key requirement for CS-US convergence onto BLA neurons is the potentiation of US responding by prior exposure to a novel CS. Our results also support the view that contextual fear memories are encoded in the amygdala and that the role of dorsal hippocampus is to process and transmit contextual CS information.
Effting, Marieke; Salemink, Elske; Verschuere, Bruno; Beckers, Tom
Avoidance behavior is central to several anxiety disorders. The current study tested whether avoidance behavior for spiders depends on a dynamic interplay between implicit and explicit processes, moderated by the availability to exert control through working memory capacity (WMC). A total of 63 participants completed an approach-avoidance task, an implicit association test, a spider fear questionnaire and a behavioral avoidance test that included an assessment of approach distance as well as approach speed. WMC was measured by a complex operation span task. It was hypothesized that in individuals with low WMC, implicit avoidance tendencies and implicit negative associations predict avoidance behavior for a spider better than the explicit measure, whereas in high WMC individuals, the explicit measure should better predict avoidance behavior than the implicit measures. Results revealed that WMC moderated the influence of implicit negative associations, but not implicit avoidance tendencies, on spider approach distance but not the speed of approaching. Although explicit spider fear directly influenced avoidance behavior, its impact was not modulated by WMC. Participants in our study were from a non-clinical sample, which limits the generalizability of our findings. These findings suggest that implicit processes might become more pertinent for fear behavior as the ability to control such processes wanes, which may be particularly relevant for anxiety disorders given their association with lowered executive control functioning. As such, training procedures that specifically target implicit processes or control abilities might improve treatment outcomes for anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cambiaghi, Marco; Grosso, Anna; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Mazziotti, Raffaele; Concina, Giulia; Renna, Annamaria; Sacco, Tiziana; Gordon, Joshua A; Sacchetti, Benedetto
Negative experiences are quickly learned and long remembered. Key unresolved issues in the field of emotional memory include identifying the loci and dynamics of memory storage and retrieval. The present study examined neural activity in the higher-order auditory cortex Te2 and basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their crosstalk during the recall of recent and remote fear memories. To this end, we obtained local field potentials and multiunit activity recordings in Te2 and BLA of rats that underwent recall at 24 h and 30 d after the association of an acoustic conditioned (CS, tone) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US, electric shock). Here we show that, during the recall of remote auditory threat memories in rats, the activity of the Te2 and BLA is highly synchronized in the theta frequency range. This functional connectivity stems from memory consolidation processes because it is present during remote, but not recent, memory retrieval. Moreover, the observed increase in synchrony is cue and region specific. A preponderant Te2-to-BLA directionality characterizes this dialogue, and the percentage of time Te2 theta leads the BLA during remote memory recall correlates with a faster latency to freeze to the auditory conditioned stimulus. The blockade of this information transfer via Te2 inhibition with muscimol prevents any retrieval-evoked neuronal activity in the BLA and animals are unable to retrieve remote memories. We conclude that memories stored in higher-order sensory cortices drive BLA activity when distinguishing between learned threatening and neutral stimuli. How and where in the brain do we store the affective/motivational significance of sensory stimuli acquired through life experiences? Scientists have long investigated how "limbic" structures, such as the amygdala, process affective stimuli. Here we show that retrieval of well-established threat memories requires the functional interplay between higher-order components of the auditory cortex and the
Full Text Available Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3 is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4, the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.
Örd, Tiit; Innos, Jürgen; Lilleväli, Kersti; Tekko, Triin; Sütt, Silva; Örd, Daima; Kõks, Sulev; Vasar, Eero; Örd, Tõnis
Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) is a mammalian pseudokinase that is induced in neuronal cell cultures in response to cell death-inducing stresses, including neurotrophic factor deprivation. TRIB3 is an inhibitor of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), the central transcriptional regulator in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation pathway that is involved in the cellular stress response and behavioral processes. In this article, we study the expression of Trib3 in the mouse brain, characterize the brain morphology of mice with a genetic ablation of Trib3 and investigate whether Trib3 deficiency alters eIF2α-dependent cognitive abilities. Our data show that the consumption of a leucine-deficient diet induces Trib3 expression in the anterior piriform cortex, the brain region responsible for detecting essential amino acid intake imbalance. However, the aversive response to leucine-devoid diet does not differ in Trib3 knockout and wild type mice. Trib3 deletion also does not affect long-term spatial memory and reversal learning in the Morris water maze and auditory or contextual fear conditioning. During embryonic development, Trib3 expression increases in the brain and persists in the early postnatal stadium. Neuroanatomical characterization of mice lacking Trib3 revealed enlarged lateral ventricles. Thus, although the absence of Trib3 does not alter the eIF2α pathway-dependent cognitive functions of several areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior piriform cortex, Trib3 may serve a role in other central nervous system processes and molecular pathways.
Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Vollmer, Lauren L; Rush, Jennifer E; Weinert, Mychal; Dolgas, Charles M; Sah, Renu
Chronicity of trauma exposure plays an important role in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thus, exposure to multiple traumas on a chronic scale leads to worse outcomes than acute events. The rationale for the current study was to investigate the effects of a single adverse event versus the same event on a background of chronic stress. We hypothesized that a history of chronic stress would lead to worse behavioral outcomes than a single event alone. Male rats (n = 14/group) were exposed to either a single traumatic event in the form of electric foot shocks (acute shock, AS), or to footshocks on a background of chronic stress (chronic variable stress-shock, CVS-S). PTSD-relevant behaviors (fear memory and acoustic startle responses) were measured following 7 d recovery. In line with our hypothesis, CVS-S elicited significant increases in fear acquisition and conditioning versus the AS group. Unexpectedly, CVS-S elicited reduced startle reactivity to an acoustic stimulus in comparison with the AS group. Significant increase in FosB/ΔFosB-like immunostaining was observed in the dentate gyrus, basolateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex of CVS-S rats. Assessments of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a stress-regulatory transmitter associated with chronic PTSD, revealed selective reduction in the hippocampus of CVS-S rats. Collectively, our data show that cumulative stress potentiates delayed fear memory and impacts defensive responding. Altered neuronal activation in forebrain limbic regions and reduced NPY may contribute to these phenomena. Our preclinical studies support clinical findings reporting worse PTSD outcomes stemming from cumulative traumatization in contrast to acute trauma.
Portugal, George S.; Gould, Thomas J.
Interactions between nicotine and learning could contribute to nicotine addiction. Although previous research indicates that nicotine withdrawal disrupts contextual learning, the effects of nicotine withdrawal on contextual memories acquired before withdrawal are unknown. The present study investigated whether nicotine withdrawal disrupted recall of prior contextual memories by examining the effects of nicotine withdrawal on recall of nicotine conditioned place preference (CPP) and contextual...
Andreatta, Marta; Fendt, Markus; Muhlberger, Andreas; Wieser, Matthias J.; Imobersteg, Stefan; Yarali, Ayse; Gerber, Bertram; Pauli, Paul
Two things are worth remembering about an aversive event: What made it happen? What made it cease? If a stimulus precedes an aversive event, it becomes a signal for threat and will later elicit behavior indicating conditioned fear. However, if the stimulus is presented upon cessation of the aversive event, it elicits behavior indicating…
Klein, A.M.; Titulaer, G.; Simons, C.; Allart, E.; de Gier, E.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.
This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent
Kim, Dongbeom; Pare, Denis; Nair, Satish S.
The relative contributions of plasticity in the amygdala vs. its afferent pathways to conditioned fear remain controversial. Some believe that thalamic and cortical neurons transmitting information about the conditioned stimulus (CS) to the lateral amygdala (LA) serve a relay function. Others maintain that thalamic and/or cortical plasticity is…
Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick
Adolescent rats exhibit impaired extinction retention compared to pre-adolescent and adult rats. A single nonreinforced exposure to the conditioned stimulus (CS; a retrieval trial) given shortly before extinction has been shown in some circumstances to reduce the recovery of fear after extinction in adult animals. This study investigated whether a…
Zhou, Jun; Luo, Yi; Zhang, Jie-Ting; Li, Ming-Xing; Wang, Can-Ming; Guan, Xin-Lei; Wu, Peng-Fei; Hu, Zhuang-Li; Jin, You; Ni, Lan; Wang, Fang; Chen, Jian-Guo
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder with enhanced retention of fear memory and has profound impact on quality of life for millions of people worldwide. The β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol has been used in preclinical and clinical studies for the treatment of PTSD, but the mechanisms underlying its potential efficacy on fear memory retention remain to be elucidated. We investigated the action of propranolol on the retention of conditioned fear memory, the surface expression of glutamate receptor GluA1 subunits of AMPA receptors and synaptic adaptation in the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. Propranolol attenuated reactivation-induced strengthening of fear retention while reducing enhanced surface expression of GluA1 subunits and restoring the impaired long-term depression in LA. These effects of propranolol were mediated by antagonizing reactivation-induced enhancement of adrenergic signalling, which activates PKA and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and then regulates the trafficking of AMPA receptors via phosphorylation of GluA1 subunits at the C-terminus. Both i.p. injection and intra-amygdala infusion of propranolol attenuated reactivation-induced enhancement of fear retention. Reactivation strengthens fear retention by increasing the level of noradrenaline and promotes the surface expression of GluA1 subunits and the excitatory synaptic transmission in LA. These findings uncover one mechanism underlying the efficiency of propranolol on retention of fear memories and suggest that β-adrenoceptor antagonists, which act centrally, may be more suitable for the treatment of PTSD. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.
Graham, Bronwyn M; Richardson, Rick
Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) is a potent neurotrophic factor that is involved in brain development and the formation of long-term memory. It has recently been shown that acute FGF2, administered at the time of learning, enhances long-term memory for contextual fear conditioning as well as extinction of conditioned fear in developing rats. As other research has shown that administering FGF2 on the first day of life leads to long-term morphological changes in the hippocampus, in the present study we investigated whether early life exposure to FGF2 affects contextual fear conditioning, and renewal following extinction, later in life. Experiment 1 demonstrated that a single injection of FGF2 on Postnatal Day (PND) 1 did not lead to any detectable changes in contextual fear conditioning in PND 16 or PND 23 rats. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated that 5 days of injections of FGF2 (from PND 1-5) facilitated contextual fear conditioning in PND 16 and PND 23 rats. Experiment 4 demonstrated that the observed facilitation of memory was not due to FGF2 increasing rats' sensitivity to foot shock. Experiment 5 showed that early life exposure to FGF2 did not affect learning about a discrete conditioned stimulus, but did allow PND 16 rats to use contextual information in more complex ways, leading to context-dependent extinction of conditioned fear. These results further implicate FGF2 as a critical signal involved in the development of learning and memory.
Cullen, Patrick K.; Ferrara, Nicole C.; Pullins, Shane E.; Helmstetter, Fred J.
Numerous studies have indicated that the consolidation of contextual fear memories supported by an aversive outcome like footshock requires de novo protein synthesis as well as protein degradation mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Context memory formed in the absence of an aversive stimulus by simple exposure to a novel…
Klein, Anke M; van Niekerk, Rianne; Ten Brink, Giovanni; Rapee, Ronald M; Hudson, Jennifer L; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike
Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to self-reports. This study simultaneously addressed several types of cognitive biases in children, to investigate attention bias, interpretation bias, memory bias and fear-related associations, their interrelations and the prediction of behavior. Eighty-one children varying in their levels of spider fear completed the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children and performed two Emotional Stroop tasks, a Free Recall task, an interpretation task including size and distance indication, an Affective Priming Task, and a Behavioral Assessment Test. We found an attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations, but no evidence for a memory bias. The biases showed little overlap. Attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations predicted unique variance in avoidance of spiders. Interpretation bias and fear-related associations remained significant predictors, even when self-reported fear was included as a predictor. Children were not seeking help for their spider fear and were not tested on clinical levels of spider phobia. This is the first study to find evidence that different cognitive biases each predict unique variance in avoidance behavior. Furthermore, it is also the first study in which we found evidence for a relation between fear of spiders and size and distance indication. We showed that this bias is distinct from other cognitive biases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reinecke, A.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.
Previous studies of biased information processing in anxiety addressed biases of attention and memory, but little is known about the processes taking place between them: visual working memory (VWM) and monitoring of threat. We investigated these processes with a change detection paradigm. In
Gavin, Cristin F.; Rubio, Maria D.; Young, Erica; Miller, Courtney; Rumbaugh, Gavin
Learning induces dynamic changes to the actin cytoskeleton that are required to support memory formation. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate filamentous actin (F-actin) dynamics during learning and memory are poorly understood. Myosin II motors are highly expressed in actin-rich growth structures including dendritic spines, and we have…
Alvares, Lucas de Oliveira; Engelke, Douglas Senna; Diehl, Felipe; Scheffer-Teixeira, Robson; Haubrich, Josue; Cassini, Lindsey de Freitas; Molina, Victor Alejandro; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto
The modulation of memory processes is one of the several functions of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain, with CB1 receptors highly expressed in areas such as the dorsal hippocampus. Experimental evidence suggested an important role of the ECS in aversively motivated memories. Similarly, glucocorticoids released in response to stress…
Leer, Arne; Haesen, Kim; Vervliet, Bram
Extinction treatments decrease fear via repeated exposures to the conditioned stimulus (CS) and are associated with a return of fear. Alternatively, fear can be reduced via reductions in the perceived intensity of the unconditioned stimulus (US), e.g., through repeated exposures to the US. Promisingly, the few available studies show that repeated US exposures outperform standard extinction. US exposure treatments can decrease fear via two routes: (1) by weakening the CS-US association (extinction-like mechanism), and/or (2) by weakening the subjective US aversiveness (habituation-like mechanism). The current study further investigated the conditions under which US exposure treatment may reduce renewal, by adding a group in which CS-US pairings continued following fear acquisition. During acquisition, participants learned that one of two visual stimuli (CS+/CS-) predicted the occurrence of an aversive electrocutaneous stimulus (US). Next, the background context changed and participants received one of three interventions: repeated CS exposures, (2) repeated US exposures, or (3) continued CS-US pairings. Following repeated CS exposures, test presentations of the CSs in the original conditioning context revealed intact CS+/CS- differentiation in the fear-potentiated startle reflex, while the differentiation was abolished in the other two groups. Differential US expectancy ratings, on the other hand, were intact in all groups. Skin conductance data were inconclusive because standard context renewal following CS exposures did not occur. Unexpectedly, there was no evidence for a habituation-like process having taken place during US exposures or continued CS-US pairings. The results provide further evidence that US exposures outperform the standard extinction treatment and show that effects are similar when US exposures are part of CS-US pairings.
Aubry, Antonio V.; Serrano, Peter A.; Burghardt, Nesha S.
Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by w...
Antonio Aubry; Antonio Aubry; Peter Serrano; Peter Serrano; Nesha Burghardt; Nesha Burghardt
Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by...
Ferré, Pilar; Haro, Juan; Hinojosa, José Antonio
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of discrete emotions in lexical processing and memory, focusing on disgust and fear. We compared neutral words to disgust-related words and fear-related words in three experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants performed a lexical decision task (LDT), and in Experiment 3 an affective categorisation task. These tasks were followed by an unexpected memory task. The results of the LDT experiments showed slower reaction times for both types of negative words with respect to neutral words, plus a higher percentage of errors, this being more consistent for fear-related words (Experiments 1 and 2) than for disgust-related words (Experiment 2). Furthermore, only disgusting words exhibited a higher recall accuracy than neutral words in the memory task. Moreover, the advantage in memory for disgusting words disappeared when participants carried out an affective categorisation task during encoding (Experiment 3), suggesting that the superiority in memory for disgusting words observed in Experiments 1 and 2 could be due to greater elaborative processing. Taken together, these findings point to the relevance of discrete emotions in explaining the effects of the emotional content on lexical processing and memory.
Süssenbach, Philipp; Gollwitzer, Mario; Mieth, Laura; Buchner, Axel; Bell, Raoul
People who are high in victim-sensitivity-a personality trait characterized by a strong fear of being exploited by others-are more likely to attend to social cues associated with untrustworthiness rather than to cues associated with trustworthiness compared with people who are low in victim-sensitivity. But how do these people react when an initial expectation regarding a target's trustworthiness turns out to be false? Results from two studies show that victim-sensitive compared with victim-insensitive individuals show enhanced source memory and greater change in person perception for negatively labeled targets that violated rather than confirmed negative expectations (the "trustworthy trickster"). These findings are in line with recent theorizing on schema inconsistency and expectancy violation effects in social cognition and with research on the different facets of justice sensitivity in personality psychology.
Wu, Xin; Zhang, Jie-Ting; Liu, Jue; Yang, Si; Chen, Tao; Chen, Jian-Guo; Wang, Fang
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37 amino acid neuropeptide, which plays a critical role in the central nervous system. CGRP binds to G protein-coupled receptors, including CGRP1, which couples positively to adenylyl cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) activation. CGRP and CGRP1 receptors are enriched in central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), the main part of the amygdala, which regulates conditioned fear memories. Here, we reported the importance of CGRP and CGRP1 receptor for synaptic plasticity in the CeA and the extinction of fear memory in rats. Our electrophysiological and behavioral in vitro and in vivo results showed exogenous application of CGRP induced an immediate and lasting long-term potentiation in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway, but not in the lateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway, while bilateral intra-CeA infusion CGRP (0, 5, 13 and 21 μM/side) dose dependently enhanced fear memory extinction. The effects were blocked by CGRP1 receptor antagonist (CGRP8-37 ), N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors antagonist MK801 and PKA inhibitor H89. These results demonstrate that CGRP can lead to long-term potentiation of basolateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway through a PKA-dependent postsynaptic mechanism that involved N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors and enhance the extinction of fear memory in rats. Together, the results strongly support a pivotal role of CGRP in the synaptic plasticity of CeA and extinction of fear memory. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays an essential role in synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and fear memory. We found that CGRP-induced chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in a dose-dependent way in the BLA-CeA (basolateral and central nucleus of amygdala, respectively) pathway and enhanced fear memory extinction in rats through a protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent postsynaptic mechanism that involved NMDA receptors. These results support a pivotal role of CGRP in amygdala. © 2015 International
Diamantopoulou, Anastasia; Oitzl, Melly S; Grauer, Ettie
Highly emotional, stress reactive BALB/c mice secrete more corticosterone in response to fear conditioning than the low stress reactive C57BL/6J mice. Fear memory to cue and context differs between the strains. We injected corticosterone at physiological concentrations (250 μg/kg i.p.) 30 min before fear conditioning. Fear memory was tested 48 and 72 h later. Although corticosterone had little effect on acquisition, it differentially affected fear memories in strain dependent manner: while BALB/c mice decreased freezing during cue and context episodes, C57BL/6J mice showed an overall increase in freezing. BALB/c mice showed extinction over days while no such extinction was seen in C57BL/6J mice. Evaluation of these data in the perspective of previous studies using the same fear conditioning paradigm with corticosterone injections 5 min before or immediately after acquisition, revealed the impact of corticosterone during conditioning on the strength of fear memories. In C57BL/6J mice the overall increase in fear memorie