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.
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The amygdala is essential for fear learning and expression. The central amygdala (CeA), once viewed as a passive relay between the amygdala complex and downstream fear effectors, has emerged as an active participant in fear conditioning. However, how the CeA contributes to the learning and expression of fear remains unclear. Our recent studies in mice indicate that fear conditioning induces robust plasticity of excitatory synapses onto inhibitory neurons in the lateral subdivision of CeA (CeL). In particular, this plasticity is cell-type specific and is required for the formation of fear memory. In addition, sensory cues that predict threat can cause activation of the somatostatin-positive CeL neurons, which is sufficient to drive freezing behavior. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the circuit and cellular mechanisms underlying CeL function in fear processing.
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
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
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Elisa M. Nabel
Full Text Available Early temporary windows of heightened brain plasticity called critical periods developmentally sculpt neural circuits and contribute to adult behavior. Regulatory mechanisms of visual cortex development –the preeminent model of experience-dependent critical period plasticity- actively limit adult plasticity and have proved fruitful therapeutic targets to reopen plasticity and rewire faulty visual system connections later in life. Interestingly, these molecular mechanisms have been implicated in the regulation of plasticity in other functions beyond vision. Applying mechanistic understandings of critical period plasticity in the visual cortex to fear circuitry may provide a conceptual framework for developing novel therapeutic tools to mitigate aberrant fear responses in post traumatic stress disorder. In this review, we turn to the model of experience-dependent visual plasticity to provide novel insights for the mechanisms regulating plasticity in the fear system. Fear circuitry, particularly fear memory erasure, also undergoes age-related changes in experience-dependent plasticity. We consider the contributions of molecular brakes that halt visual critical period plasticity to circuitry underlying fear memory erasure. A major molecular brake in the visual cortex, perineuronal net formation, recently has been identified in the development of fear systems that are resilient to fear memory erasure. The roles of other molecular brakes, myelin-related Nogo receptor signaling and Lynx family proteins– endogenous inhibitors for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, are explored in the context of fear memory plasticity. Such fear plasticity regulators, including epigenetic effects, provide promising targets for therapeutic interventions.
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.
Gong, Zhiting; Zhou, Qiang
Renewal of extinguished fear memory in an altered context is widely believed to be a major limiting issue for exposure therapy in treating various psychiatric diseases. Effective prevention of fear renewal will significantly improve the efficacy of exposure therapy. DNA methyltransferase (DNMTs) mediated epigenetic processes play critical roles in long term memory, but little is known about their functions in fear memory extinction or renewal. Here we investigated whether DNMTs regulate fear renewal after extinction. We found that elevated Dnmt3a level in the dorsal dentate gyrus (dDG) of hippocampus was associated with the absence of fear renewal in an altered context after extinction training. Overexpression and knockdown of Dnmt3a in the dDG regulated the occurrence of fear renewal in a bi-directional manner. In addition, Dnmt3a overexpression was associated with elevated expression of c-Fos in the dDG during extinction training. Furthermore, we found that renewal of remote fear memory can be prevented, and the absence of renewal was concurrent with an elevated Dnmt3a level. Our results indicate that Dnmt3a in the dDG is a key regulator of fear renewal after extinction, and Dnmt3a may play a critical role in controlling fear memory return and thus has therapeutic values.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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...
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
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.
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....
Full Text Available Anxiety and trauma-related disorders are psychiatric diseases with a lifetime prevalence of up to 25%. Phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD are characterized by abnormal and persistent memories of fear-related contexts and cues. The effects of psychological treatments such as exposure therapy are often only temporary and medications can be ineffective and have adverse side effects. Growing evidence from human and animal studies indicates that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa, alleviates anxiety in paradigms assessing innate fear. More recently, the effects of cannabidiol on learned fear have been investigated in preclinical studies with translational relevance for phobias and PTSD. Here we review the findings from these studies, with an emphasis on cannabidiol regulation of contextual fear. The evidence indicates that cannabidiol reduces learned fear in different ways: (1 cannabidiol decreases fear expression acutely, (2 cannabidiol disrupts memory reconsolidation, leading to sustained fear attenuation upon memory retrieval, and (3 cannabidiol enhances extinction, the psychological process by which exposure therapy inhibits learned fear. We also present novel data on cannabidiol regulation of learned fear related to explicit cues, which indicates that auditory fear expression is also reduced acutely by cannabidiol. We conclude by outlining future directions for research to elucidate the neural circuit, psychological, cellular, and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of fear memory processing by cannabidiol. This line of investigation may lead to the development of cannabidiol as a novel therapeutic approach for treating anxiety and trauma-related disorders such as phobias and PTSD in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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…
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...
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
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.
Lamprecht, R; Margulies, D S; Farb, C R; Hou, M; Johnson, L R; LeDoux, J E
Learning and memory depend on signaling molecules that affect synaptic efficacy. The cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating synaptic transmission but its role in learning and memory is poorly understood. Fear learning depends on plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We therefore examined whether the cytoskeletal-regulatory protein, myosin light chain kinase, might contribute to fear learning in the rat lateral amygdala. Microinjection of ML-7, a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala before fear conditioning, but not immediately afterward, enhanced both short-term memory and long-term memory, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase is involved specifically in memory acquisition rather than in posttraining consolidation of memory. Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor had no effect on memory retrieval. Furthermore, ML-7 had no effect on behavior when the training stimuli were presented in a non-associative manner. Anatomical studies showed that myosin light chain kinase is present in cells throughout lateral nucleus of the amygdala and is localized to dendritic shafts and spines that are postsynaptic to the projections from the auditory thalamus to lateral nucleus of the amygdala, a pathway specifically implicated in fear learning. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase enhanced long-term potentiation, a physiological model of learning, in the auditory thalamic pathway to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. When ML-7 was applied without associative tetanic stimulation it had no effect on synaptic responses in lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Thus, myosin light chain kinase activity in lateral nucleus of the amygdala appears to normally suppress synaptic plasticity in the circuits underlying fear learning, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase may help prevent the acquisition of irrelevant fears. Impairment of this mechanism could contribute to pathological fear learning.
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.
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.
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.
Li, Jing Jing; Szkudlarek, Hanna; Renard, Justine; Hudson, Roger; Rushlow, Walter; Laviolette, Steven R
(PFC), may differentially control acquisition or recall of fear memories and how these mechanisms might regulate sensitivity to the rewarding effects of opioids. We demonstrate that PFC D4 activation not only controls the salience of fear memory acquisition, but potentiates the rewarding effects of opioids. In contrast, PFC D1 receptor activation blocks recall of fear memories and prevents potentiation of opioid reward effects. Together, these findings demonstrate novel PFC mechanisms that may account for how emotional memory disturbances might increase the addictive liability of opioid-class drugs. Copyright © 2018 the authors.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sillivan, Stephanie E; Vaissière, Thomas; Miller, Courtney A
Our unique collection of memories determines our individuality and shapes our future interactions with the world. Remarkable advances into the neurobiological basis of memory have identified key epigenetic mechanisms that support the stability of memory. Various forms of epigenetic regulation at the levels of DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) can modulate transcriptional and translational events required for memory processes. By changing the cellular profile in the brain's emotional, reward, and memory circuits, these epigenetic modifications have also been linked to perseverant, pathogenic memories. In this review, we will delve into the relevance of epigenetic dysregulation to pathogenic memory mechanisms by focusing on two neuropsychiatric disorders perpetuated by aberrant memory associations: substance use disorder (SUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As our understanding improves, neuroepigenetic mechanisms may someday be harnessed to develop novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of these chronic, relapsing disorders.
Stephanie E. Sillivan
Full Text Available Our unique collection of memories determines our individuality and shapes our future interactions with the world. Remarkable advances into the neurobiological basis of memory have identified key epigenetic mechanisms that support the stability of memory. Various forms of epigenetic regulation at the levels of DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs can modulate transcriptional and translational events required for memory processes. By changing the cellular profile in the brain’s emotional, reward, and memory circuits, these epigenetic modifications have also been linked to perseverant, pathogenic memories. In this review, we will delve into the relevance of epigenetic dysregulation to pathogenic memory mechanisms by focusing on 2 neuropsychiatric disorders perpetuated by aberrant memory associations: substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. As our understanding improves, neuroepigenetic mechanisms may someday be harnessed to develop novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of these chronic, relapsing disorders.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Moscarello, Justin M; Maren, Stephen
Generating appropriate defensive behaviors in the face of threat is essential to survival. Although many of these behaviors are 'hard-wired', they are also flexible. For example, Pavlovian fear conditioning generates learned defensive responses, such as conditioned freezing, that can be suppressed through extinction. The expression of extinguished responses is highly context-dependent, allowing animals to engage behavioral responses appropriate to the contexts in which threats are encountered. Likewise, animals and humans will avoid noxious outcomes if given the opportunity. In instrumental avoidance learning, for example, animals overcome conditioned defensive responses, including freezing, in order to actively avoid aversive stimuli. Recent work has greatly advanced understanding of the neural basis of these phenomena and has revealed common circuits involved in the regulation of fear. Specifically, the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex play pivotal roles in gating fear reactions and instrumental actions, mediated by the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, respectively. Because an inability to adaptively regulate fear and defensive behavior is a central component of many anxiety disorders, the brain circuits that promote flexible responses to threat are of great clinical significance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
Wang, Dong V; Yau, Hau-Jie; Broker, Carl J; Tsou, Jen-Hui; Bonci, Antonello; Ikemoto, Satoshi
Sharp wave-associated field oscillations (∼200 Hz) of the hippocampus, referred to as ripples, are believed to be important for consolidation of explicit memory. Little is known about how ripples are regulated by other brain regions. We found that the median raphe region (MnR) is important for regulating hippocampal ripple activity and memory consolidation. We performed in vivo simultaneous recording in the MnR and hippocampus of mice and found that, when a group of MnR neurons was active, ripples were absent. Consistently, optogenetic stimulation of MnR neurons suppressed ripple activity and inhibition of these neurons increased ripple activity. Notably, using a fear conditioning procedure, we found that photostimulation of MnR neurons interfered with memory consolidation. Our results demonstrate a critical role of the MnR in regulating ripples and memory consolidation.
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...
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zhou, M.; Bakker, E.H.M.; Velzing, E.; Berger, S.; Oitzl, M.; Joëls, M.; Krugers, H.J.
Corticosteroid hormones are thought to promote optimal behavioral adaptation under fearful conditions, primarily via glucocorticoid receptors (GRs). Here, we examined - using pharmacological and genetic approaches in mice - if mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) also play a role in fearful memory
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.…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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…
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...
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.
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.
Candace M. Raio
Full Text Available Fear learning and regulation is a prominent model for describing the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders and stress-related psychopathology. Fear expression can be modulated using a number of regulatory strategies, including extinction, cognitive emotion regulation, avoidance strategies and reconsolidation. In this review, we examine research investigating the effects of acute stress and stress hormones on these regulatory techniques. We focus on what is known about the impact of stress on the ability to flexibly regulate fear responses that are acquired through Pavlovian fear conditioning. Our primary aim is to explore the impact of stress on fear regulation in humans. Given this, we focus on techniques where stress has been linked to alterations of fear regulation in humans (extinction and emotion regulation, and briefly discuss other techniques (avoidance and reconsolidation where the impact of stress or stress hormones have been mainly explored in animal models. These investigations reveal that acute stress may impair the persistent inhibition of fear, presumably by altering prefrontal cortex function. Characterizing the effects of stress on fear regulation is critical for understanding the boundaries within which existing regulation strategies are viable in everyday life and can better inform treatment options for those who suffer from anxiety and stress-related psychopathology.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Comtesse, Hannah; Stemmler, Gerhard
Both fear and disgust facilitate avoidance of threat. From a functional view, however, cardiovascular responses to fear and disgust should differ as they prepare for appropriate behavior to protect from injury and infection, respectively. Therefore, we examined the cardiovascular responses to fear and contamination-related disgust in comparison to an emotionally neutral state induced with auditory scripts and film clips in female participants. Ten emotion and motivation self-reports and ninecardiovascular response factors derived from 23 cardiovascular variables served as dependent variables. Self-reports confirmed the specific induction of fear and disgust. In addition, fear and disgust differed in their cardiovascular response patterning. For fear, we observed specific increases in factors indicating vasoconstriction and cardiac pump function. For disgust, we found specific increases in vagal cardiac control and decreases in myocardial contractility. These findings provide support for the cardiovascular specificity of fear and disgust and are discussed in terms of a basic emotions approach. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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.
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.
Root, Amy E.; Byrne, Rachel; Watson, S. Michelle
In this study, we investigated the contribution of inhibition and maternal socialisation of children's fear to observed emotion regulation during a fear induction. Fifty-three parent-child dyads (M[subscript age]?=?3.76 years) participated. Parents completed a series of questionnaires, and parent-child dyads were observed during a fear…
Kumar, Dinesh; Aggarwal, Milan; Kaas, Garrett A; Lewis, John; Wang, Jing; Ross, Daniel L; Zhong, Chun; Kennedy, Andrew; Song, Hongjun; Sweatt, J David
A dynamic equilibrium between DNA methylation and demethylation of neuronal activity-regulated genes is crucial for memory processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this equilibrium remain elusive. Tet1 oxidase has been shown to play a key role in the active DNA demethylation in the CNS. In this study, we used Tet1 gene knockout (Tet1KO) mice to examine the involvement of Tet1 in memory consolidation and storage in the adult brain. We found that Tet1 ablation leads to: altered expression of numerous neuronal activity-regulated genes, compensatory upregulation of active demethylation pathway genes, and upregulation of various epigenetic modifiers. Moreover, Tet1KO mice showed an enhancement in the consolidation and storage of threat recognition (cued and contextual fear conditioning) and object location memories. We conclude that Tet1 plays a critical role in regulating neuronal transcription and in maintaining the epigenetic state of the brain associated with memory consolidation and storage.
Full Text Available A dynamic equilibrium between DNA methylation and demethylation of neuronal activity-regulated genes is crucial for memory processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this equilibrium remain elusive. Tet1 oxidase has been shown to play a key role in the active DNA demethylation in the central nervous system. In this study, we used Tet1 gene knockout (Tet1KO mice to examine the involvement of Tet1 in memory consolidation and storage in the adult brain. We found that Tet1 ablation leads to altered expression of numerous neuronal activity-regulated genes, compensatory upregulation of active demethylation pathway genes, and upregulation of various epigenetic modifiers. Moreover, Tet1KO mice showed an enhancement in the consolidation and storage of threat recognition (cued and contextual fear conditioning and object location memories. We conclude that Tet1 plays a critical role in regulating neuronal transcription and in maintaining the epigenetic state of the brain associated with memory consolidation and storage.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Zheng, Huimin; Kendrick, Keith M; Yu, Rongjun
People may choose non-cooperation in social dilemmas either out of fear (if others choose to defect) or out of greed (when others choose to cooperate). Previous studies have shown that exogenous oxytocin motivates a "tend and defend" pattern in inter-group conflict in which oxytocin stimulates in-group cooperation and out-group defense. Using a double-blind placebo-controlled design combined with a modified Prisoner's dilemma game (PDG), we examined the effect of oxytocin on social motivations in inter-individual conflict in men. Results showed that compared with the placebo group, oxytocin-exposed participants were less cooperative in general. Specifically, oxytocin amplified the effect of fear on defection but did not influence the effect of greed. Another non-social control study confirmed participants' decisions were sensitive to social factors. Our findings suggest that even when social group conflict is removed, oxytocin promotes distrust of strangers in "me and you" inter-individual conflict by elevating social fear in men. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Treur, J.; Lu et al., B.L.
In this paper a computational model is presented that models how dreaming is used to learn fear extinction. The approach addresses dreaming as internal simulation incorporating memory elements in the form of sensory representations and their associated fear. During dream episodes regulation of fear
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.
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.
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.
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, Jonathan L C; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Guimarães, Francisco S; Stevenson, Carl W
Learning to associate cues or contexts with potential threats or rewards is adaptive and enhances survival. Both aversive and appetitive memories are therefore powerful drivers of behaviour, but the inappropriate expression of conditioned responding to fear- and drug-related stimuli can develop into anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders respectively. These disorders are associated with abnormally persistent emotional memories and inadequate treatment, often leading to symptom relapse. Studies show that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, reduces anxiety via 5-HT 1A and (indirect) cannabinoid receptor activation in paradigms assessing innate responses to threat. There is also accumulating evidence from animal studies investigating the effects of cannabidiol on fear memory processing indicating that it reduces learned fear in paradigms that are translationally relevant to phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. Cannabidiol does so by reducing fear expression acutely and by disrupting fear memory reconsolidation and enhancing fear extinction, both of which can result in a lasting reduction of learned fear. Recent studies have also begun to elucidate the effects of cannabidiol on drug memory expression using paradigms with translational relevance to addiction. The findings suggest that cannabidiol reduces the expression of drug memories acutely and by disrupting their reconsolidation. Here, we review the literature demonstrating the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol before focusing on studies investigating its effects on various fear and drug memory processes. Understanding how cannabidiol regulates emotion and emotional memory processing may eventually lead to its use as a treatment for anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Pharmacology of Cognition: a Panacea for Neuropsychiatric Disease? To view the other articles in this section visit
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.
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.
Andero, Raül; Brothers, Shaun P; Jovanovic, Tanja; Chen, Yen T; Salah-Uddin, Hasib; Cameron, Michael; Bannister, Thomas D; Almli, Lynn; Stevens, Jennifer S; Bradley, Bekh; Binder, Elisabeth B; Wahlestedt, Claes; Ressler, Kerry J
The amygdala-dependent molecular mechanisms driving the onset and persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are poorly understood. Recent observational studies have suggested that opioid analgesia in the aftermath of trauma may decrease the development of PTSD. Using a mouse model of dysregulated fear, we found altered expression within the amygdala of the Oprl1 gene (opioid receptor-like 1), which encodes the amygdala nociceptin (NOP)/orphanin FQ receptor (NOP-R). Systemic and central amygdala infusion of SR-8993, a new highly selective NOP-R agonist, impaired fear memory consolidation. In humans, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within OPRL1 is associated with a self-reported history of childhood trauma and PTSD symptoms (n = 1847) after a traumatic event. This SNP is also associated with physiological startle measures of fear discrimination and magnetic resonance imaging analysis of amygdala-insula functional connectivity. Together, these data suggest that Oprl1 is associated with amygdala function, fear processing, and PTSD symptoms. Further, our data suggest that activation of the Oprl1/NOP receptor may interfere with fear memory consolidation, with implications for prevention of PTSD after a traumatic event.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wigestrand, Mattis B.; Schiff, Hillary C.; Fyhn, Marianne; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Sears, Robert M.
Distinguishing threatening from nonthreatening stimuli is essential for survival and stimulus generalization is a hallmark of anxiety disorders. While auditory threat learning produces long-lasting plasticity in primary auditory cortex (Au1), it is not clear whether such Au1 plasticity regulates memory specificity or generalization. We used…
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
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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.
Davis, Elizabeth L; Quiñones-Camacho, Laura E; Buss, Kristin A
Children commonly experience negative emotions like sadness and fear, and much recent empirical attention has been devoted to understanding the factors supporting and predicting effective emotion regulation. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac index of parasympathetic function, has emerged as a key physiological correlate of children's self-regulation. But little is known about how children's use of specific cognitive emotion regulation strategies corresponds to concurrent parasympathetic regulation (i.e., RSA reactivity while watching an emotion-eliciting video). The current study describes an experimental paradigm in which 101 5- and 6-year-olds were randomly assigned to one of three different emotion regulation conditions: Control, Distraction, or Reappraisal. All children watched a sad film and a scary film (order counterbalanced), and children in the Distraction and Reappraisal conditions received instructions to deploy the target strategy to manage sadness/fear while they watched. Consistent with predictions, children assigned to use either emotion regulation strategy showed greater RSA augmentation from baseline than children in the Control condition (all children showed an overall increase in RSA levels from baseline), suggesting enhanced parasympathetic calming when children used distraction or reappraisal to regulate sadness and fear. But this pattern was found only among children who viewed the sad film before the scary film. Among children who viewed the scary film first, reappraisal promoted marginally better parasympathetic regulation of fear (no condition differences emerged for parasympathetic regulation of sadness when the sad film was viewed second). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for our understanding of children's emotion regulation and affective physiology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Full Text Available Fear extinction learning is a highly adaptive process that involves the integrity of frontolimbic circuitry. Its disruption has been associated with emotional dysregulation in stress and anxiety disorders. In this article we consider how age, genetics and experiences shape our capacity to regulate fear in cross-species studies. Evidence for adolescent-specific diminished fear extinction learning is presented in the context of immature frontolimbic circuitry. We also present evidence for less neural plasticity in fear regulation as a function of early-life stress and by genotype, focusing on the common brain derived neurotrophin factor (BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Finally, we discuss this work in the context of exposure-based behavioral therapies for the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders that are based on principles of fear extinction. We conclude by speculating on how such therapies may be optimized for the individual based on the patient's age, genetic profile and personal history to move from standard treatment of care to personalized and precision medicine.
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.
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.
Full Text Available Fear and anxiety are adaptive responses but if left unregulated, or inappropriately regulated, they become biologically and socially maladaptive. Dysregulated emotions are manifest in a wide variety of psychiatric and neurological conditions but the external expression gives little indication of the underlying causes, which are inevitably multi-determined. To go beyond the overt phenotype and begin to understand the causal mechanisms leading to conditions characterized by anxiety and disorders of mood, it is necessary to identify the base psychological processes that have become dysregulated, and map them on to their associated neural substrates. So far, attention has been focused primarily on the medial regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC and in particular their contribution to the expression and extinction of conditioned fear. However, functional neuroimaging studies have shown that the sphere of influence within the PFC is not restricted to its medial regions, but extends into dorsal, ventrolateral (vlPFC and orbitofrontal (OFC regions too; although the causal role of these other areas in the regulation of fear and anxiety remains to be determined and in the case of the OFC, existing findings are conflicting. Here we review the evidence for the contribution of these other regions in negative emotion regulation in rodents and old world and new world monkeys. We consider a variety of different contexts, including conditioned and innate fear, learned and unlearned anxiety and cost-benefit decision-making, and a range of physiological and behavioral measures of emotion. It is proposed that both the OFC and vlPFC contribute to emotion regulation via their involvement, respectively, in the prediction of future outcomes and higher-order attentional control. The fractionation of these neurocognitive and neurobehavioral systems that regulate fear and anxiety opens up new opportunities for diagnostic stratification and personalized treatment strategies.
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Holmes, Christopher; Deater-Deckard, Kirby
Background Regulation of negative affect is critical to healthy development in childhood and adolescence. We conducted a longitudinal study examining the moderating role of attention control in the effects of anger and fear on changes in risk-taking behaviors from early to middle adolescence. Method The sample involved participants from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), assessed at 9, 11, and 15 years of age. Composite scores for anger, fear, and attention control were computed using indicators from multiple informants, and risk-taking behaviors were assessed based on adolescents’ self-reports. Results Latent difference score analysis indicated significant moderating effects of attention control showing that increased anger between 9 and 11 years was related to increases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with low attention control but not for adolescents with high attention control. In contrast, significant moderating effects of attention control for the link between fear and risk-taking behaviors suggested increased fear between 9 and 11 years tended to be associated with decreases in risk-taking behaviors between 11 and 15 years only for adolescents with high attention control but not for adolescents with low attention control. Conclusions Attention control regulates the connections between negative affect such as anger and fear with changes in adolescent risk-taking behaviors. Our data suggest the protective role of strong attention control against the development of risk-taking behaviors in adolescence as it demotes the effects of anger and promotes the effects of fear. PMID:25280179
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.
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.
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
de Quervain, Dominique J. -F; Aerni, Amanda; Schelling, Gustav; Roozendaal, Benno
Over the last decades considerable evidence has accumulated indicating that glucocorticoids - stress hormones released from the adrenal cortex - are crucially involved in the regulation of memory. Specifically, glucocorticoids have been shown to enhance memory consolidation of emotionally arousing
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
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
Sawamura, Takehito; Klengel, Torsten; Armario, Antonio; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Ressler, Kerry J; Andero, Raül
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both a prevalent and debilitating trauma-related disorder associated with dysregulated fear learning at the core of many of its signs and symptoms. Improvements in the currently available psychological and pharmacological treatments are needed in order to improve PTSD treatment outcomes and to prevent symptom relapse. In the present study, we used a putative animal model of PTSD that included presentation of immobilization stress (IMO) followed by fear conditioning (FC) a week later. We then investigated the acute effects of GR receptor activation on the extinction (EXT) of conditioned freezing, using dexamethasone administered systemically which is known to result in suppression of the HPA axis. In our previous work, IMO followed by tone-shock-mediated FC was associated with impaired fear EXT. In this study, we administered dexamethasone 4 h before EXT training and then examined EXT retention (RET) 24 h later to determine whether dexamethasone suppression rescued EXT deficits. Dexamethasone treatment produced dose-dependent enhancement of both EXT and RET. Dexamethasone was also associated with reduced amygdala Fkbp5 mRNA expression following EXT and after RET. Moreover, DNA methylation of the Fkbp5 gene occurred in a dose-dependent and time course-dependent manner within the amygdala. Additionally, we found dynamic changes in epigenetic regulation, including Dnmt and Tet gene pathways, as a function of both fear EXT and dexamethasone suppression of the HPA axis. Together, these data suggest that dexamethasone may serve to enhance EXT by altering Fkbp5-mediated glucocorticoid sensitivity via epigenetic regulation of Fkbp5 expression.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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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…
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.
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…
Schiff, Hillary C; Johansen, Joshua P; Hou, Mian; Bush, David E A; Smith, Emily K; Klein, JoAnna E; LeDoux, Joseph E; Sears, Robert M
Memory formation requires the temporal coordination of molecular events and cellular processes following a learned event. During Pavlovian threat (fear) conditioning (PTC), sensory and neuromodulatory inputs converge on post-synaptic neurons within the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). By activating an intracellular cascade of signaling molecules, these G-protein-coupled neuromodulatory receptors are capable of recruiting a diverse profile of plasticity-related proteins. Here we report that norepinephrine, through its actions on β-adrenergic receptors (βARs), modulates aversive memory formation following PTC through two molecularly and temporally distinct signaling mechanisms. Specifically, using behavioral pharmacology and biochemistry in adult rats, we determined that βAR activity during, but not after PTC training initiates the activation of two plasticity-related targets: AMPA receptors (AMPARs) for memory acquisition and short-term memory and extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) for consolidating the learned association into a long-term memory. These findings reveal that βAR activity during, but not following PTC sets in motion cascading molecular events for the acquisition (AMPARs) and subsequent consolidation (ERK) of learned associations.
Bai, Tongjian; Xie, Wen; Wei, Qiang; Chen, Yang; Mu, Jingjing; Tian, Yanghua; Wang, Kai
Emotional memory bias is considered to be an important base of the etiology of depression and can be reversed by antidepressants via enhancing the memory for positive stimuli. Another antidepressant treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), has rapid antidepressant effect and frequently causes short-term memory impairment. However, it is unclear about the short-term effect of ECT on memory bias. In this study, the incidental memory task with emotional pictures were applied to evaluate the emotional memory of twenty depressed patients at pre- and post-ECT (three days after ECT) compared to twenty healthy controls. The depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Hamilton rating scale of depression (HRSD). Before ECT, patients showed decreased recognition memory for positive pictures compared to controls and remembered negative pictures more easily than positive pictures in the recognition task. In patients, the main effect of session (pre-ECT and post-ECT) was significant for both recognition and recall memory with reduced memory performance. The interaction between valence (positive, neutral and negative) and session was significant for recognition memory, indicating that negative memory was impaired more severely than positive memory. Our study indicates that ECT relieves depressive symptoms and regulates emotional memory through more severe impairment on memory for negative stimuli. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Karlén, Alexandra; Karlsson, Tobias E.; Mattsson, Anna; Lundströmer, Karin; Codeluppi, Simone; Pham, Therese M.; Bäckman, Cristina M.; Ögren, Sven Ove; Åberg, Elin; Hoffman, Alexander F.; Sherling, Michael A.; Lupica, Carl R.; Hoffer, Barry J.; Spenger, Christian; Josephson, Anna; Brené, Stefan; Olson, Lars
Formation of lasting memories is believed to rely on structural alterations at the synaptic level. We had found that increased neuronal activity down-regulates Nogo receptor-1 (NgR1) in brain regions linked to memory formation and storage, and postulated this to be required for formation of lasting memories. We now show that mice with inducible overexpression of NgR1 in forebrain neurons have normal long-term potentiation and normal 24-h memory, but severely impaired month-long memory in both passive avoidance and swim maze tests. Blocking transgene expression normalizes these memory impairments. Nogo, Lingo-1, Troy, endogenous NgR1, and BDNF mRNA expression levels were not altered by transgene expression, suggesting that the impaired ability to form lasting memories is directly coupled to inability to down-regulate NgR1. Regulation of NgR1 may therefore serve as a key regulator of memory consolidation. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of synaptic rearrangements that carry lasting memories may facilitate development of treatments for memory dysfunction. PMID:19915139
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.
Stiver, Mikaela L.; Jacklin, Derek L.; Mitchnick, Krista A.; Vicic, Nevena; Carlin, Justine; O'Hara, Matthew; Winters, Boyer D.
Consolidated memories can become destabilized and open to modification upon retrieval. Destabilization is most reliably prompted when novel information is present during memory reactivation. We hypothesized that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) plays an important role in novelty-induced memory destabilization because of its established…
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.
Full Text Available In humans KCNQ2/3 heteromeric channels form an M-current that acts as a brake on neuronal excitability, with mutations causing a form of epilepsy. The M-current has been shown to be a key regulator of neuronal plasticity underlying associative memory and ethanol response in mammals. Previous work has shown that many of the molecules and plasticity mechanisms underlying changes in alcohol behaviour and addiction are shared with those of memory. We show that the single KCNQ channel in Drosophila (dKCNQ when mutated show decrements in associative short- and long-term memory, with KCNQ function in the mushroom body α/βneurons being required for short-term memory. Ethanol disrupts memory in wildtype flies, but not in a KCNQ null mutant background suggesting KCNQ maybe a direct target of ethanol, the blockade of which interferes with the plasticity machinery required for memory formation. We show that as in humans, Drosophila display age-related memory impairment with the KCNQ mutant memory defect mimicking the effect of age on memory. Expression of KCNQ normally decreases in aging brains and KCNQ overexpression in the mushroom body neurons of KCNQ mutants restores age-related memory impairment. Therefore KCNQ is a central plasticity molecule that regulates age dependent memory impairment.
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
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.
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.
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.
Kim, Somi; Kaang, Bong-Kiun
Understanding the underlying mechanisms of memory formation and maintenance has been a major goal in the field of neuroscience. Memory formation and maintenance are tightly controlled complex processes. Among the various processes occurring at different levels, gene expression regulation is especially crucial for proper memory processing, as some genes need to be activated while some genes must be suppressed. Epigenetic regulation of the genome involves processes such as DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications. These processes edit genomic properties or the interactions between the genome and histone cores. They then induce structural changes in the chromatin and lead to transcriptional changes of different genes. Recent studies have focused on the concept of chromatin remodeling, which consists of 3D structural changes in chromatin in relation to gene regulation, and is an important process in learning and memory. In this review, we will introduce three major epigenetic processes involved in memory regulation: DNA methylation, histone methylation and histone acetylation. We will also discuss general mechanisms of long-term memory storage and relate the epigenetic control of learning and memory to chromatin remodeling. Finally, we will discuss how epigenetic mechanisms can contribute to the pathologies of neurological disorders and cause memory-related symptoms.
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
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.
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…
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…
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…
Newman, Lori A; Korol, Donna L; Gold, Paul E
When administered either systemically or centrally, glucose is a potent enhancer of memory processes. Measures of glucose levels in extracellular fluid in the rat hippocampus during memory tests reveal that these levels are dynamic, decreasing in response to memory tasks and loads; exogenous glucose blocks these decreases and enhances memory. The present experiments test the hypothesis that glucose enhancement of memory is mediated by glycogen storage and then metabolism to lactate in astrocytes, which provide lactate to neurons as an energy substrate. Sensitive bioprobes were used to measure brain glucose and lactate levels in 1-sec samples. Extracellular glucose decreased and lactate increased while rats performed a spatial working memory task. Intrahippocampal infusions of lactate enhanced memory in this task. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of astrocytic glycogenolysis impaired memory and this impairment was reversed by administration of lactate or glucose, both of which can provide lactate to neurons in the absence of glycogenolysis. Pharmacological block of the monocarboxylate transporter responsible for lactate uptake into neurons also impaired memory and this impairment was not reversed by either glucose or lactate. These findings support the view that astrocytes regulate memory formation by controlling the provision of lactate to support neuronal functions.
Gloggler, Bettina; Pauli-Pott, Ursula
In the study presented, the development of different fear regulation behaviors and their associations with preceding maternal sensitivity and depression is addressed. A sample of 64 mother-child pairs was examined at the children's ages of 4, 12, and 30 months. Four-month negative reactivity and 12- and 30- month behavioral inhibition and fear…
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.
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.
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…
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.
Zovkic, Iva B.; Guzman-Karlsson, Mikael C.; Sweatt, J. David
Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of memories is a central goal of the neuroscience community. It is well regarded that an organism's ability to lastingly adapt its behavior in response to a transient environmental stimulus relies on the central nervous system's capability for structural…
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.
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.
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 memories was higher if corticosterone was injected 30 min pre acquisition than if injected 5 min pre. In contrast, BALB/c mice showed reduced fear memories when injected 30 min pre compared to that seen 5 min pre acquisition. Both strains showed decreased fear memories compared to vehicle if corticosterone was administered immediately after acquisition. We conclude that the timing of physiologically relevant, stress levels increase in corticosterone is essential for the processing of aversive events and the formation of fear memories. However, the quality of the effect depends on the genetic background. These findings contribute to the understanding of the etiology of stress-related disorders. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jeffrey M Brunstrom
Full Text Available Psychological and neurobiological evidence implicates hippocampal-dependent memory processes in the control of hunger and food intake. In humans, these have been revealed in the hyperphagia that is associated with amnesia. However, it remains unclear whether 'memory for recent eating' plays a significant role in neurologically intact humans. In this study we isolated the extent to which memory for a recently consumed meal influences hunger and fullness over a three-hour period. Before lunch, half of our volunteers were shown 300 ml of soup and half were shown 500 ml. Orthogonal to this, half consumed 300 ml and half consumed 500 ml. This process yielded four separate groups (25 volunteers in each. Independent manipulation of the 'actual' and 'perceived' soup portion was achieved using a computer-controlled peristaltic pump. This was designed to either refill or draw soup from a soup bowl in a covert manner. Immediately after lunch, self-reported hunger was influenced by the actual and not the perceived amount of soup consumed. However, two and three hours after meal termination this pattern was reversed - hunger was predicted by the perceived amount and not the actual amount. Participants who thought they had consumed the larger 500-ml portion reported significantly less hunger. This was also associated with an increase in the 'expected satiation' of the soup 24-hours later. For the first time, this manipulation exposes the independent and important contribution of memory processes to satiety. Opportunities exist to capitalise on this finding to reduce energy intake in humans.
Hastings, Paul D; Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie; Kendziora, Kimberly T; Brand, Ann; Zahn-Waxler, Carolyn
Multilevel models of developmental psychopathology implicate both characteristics of the individual and their rearing environment in the etiology of internalizing problems and disorders. Maladaptive regulation of fear and sadness, the core of anxiety and depression, arises from the conjoint influences of ineffective parasympathetic regulation of emotion and ineffective emotion socialization experiences. In 171 youths (84 female, M = 13.69 years, SD = 1.84), we measured changes of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in response to sadness- and fear-inducing film clips and maternal supportive and punitive responses to youths' internalizing emotions. Youths and mothers reported on youths' internalizing problems and anxiety and depression symptoms concurrently and 2 years later at Time 2. Maternal supportive emotion socialization predicted fewer, and punitive socialization predicted more, mother-reported internalizing problems at Time 2 only for youths who showed RSA suppression to fear-inducing films. More RSA suppression to sadness-inducing films predicted more youth-reported internalizing problems at Time 2 in girls only. In addition, less supportive emotion socialization predicted more youth-reported depression symptoms at Time 2 only for girls who showed more RSA suppression to sadness. RSA suppression to sadness versus fear might reflect different patterns of atypical parasympathetic regulation of emotional arousal, both of which increase the risk for internalizing difficulties in youths, and especially girls, who lack maternal support for regulating emotions.
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.
Kochli, Daniel E; Campbell, Tiffany L; Hollingsworth, Ethan W; Lab, Rain S; Postle, Abagail F; Perry, Megan M; Mordzinski, Victoria M; Quinn, Jennifer J
Mixed evidence exists regarding the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in memory reconsolidation. We provide no evidence that NMDA receptors are involved with memory reconsolidation, but instead demonstrate that prereactivation systemic MK-801 injection, combined with postreactivation intrabasolateral amygdala (BLA) cycloheximide infusion, produces a delayed potentiation of extinction learning. These data suggest that an interaction between NMDA antagonism and protein synthesis inhibition may enhance extinction by exerting effects outside of the intended reconsolidation manipulation window. The present work demonstrates a novel pharmacological enhancement of extinction, and underscores the importance of employing proper control procedures in reconsolidation research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
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.
Asimaki, Anna; Koustourakis, Gerasimos; Vergidis, Dimitris
The mechanisms of discipline and power within the institution of the school constitute, in part, the relationship between society and childhood. This article traces the relationship between official regulative discourses of control and punishment practices over students in primary school. It focuses on the memories of schooling of first-year…
Ferreira, Maria da Conceição da Rocha
The thesis reveals some aspects that concern the fear presented by a great part of society to the use of atomic energy. There are many studies pointing to the memories that refer to the terror of radioactive contamination or the destruction caused by atomic weapons, or even a controversial environmental view of the energy efficiency against climate warming. The object herein is the communication of scientific and technological risk, revealing the importance of journalism on the information given to a non specialized population. The premises concerning accidents caused by nuclear or radiological causes are that they have something beyond any other accident of technological causes when they are object of communication by mass media. The image of the bomb destruction can be a constant of terror on the apprehension of the risk in those accidents. French Discourse analysis is the theory support approached to search about the construction of the fear evolving the atomic energy, by analyzing some of the articles of mass communication media. The time selection, as a first cut, were the decades of 1980/1990, which were celebrated by the events of Chernobyl, worldwide, and the Cesium-137, in Goiania, Brazil. The same accidents are given a second cut on the celebration of their anniversaries, in cycles of up to 30 years, in a way of upgrading the production conditions of the discourses around them and their effects on the learning of society. The analysis was articulated between texts and images as discursive materials that have their own significations on the final effect of senses, which is, according to the methodology adopted, strongly affected by ideology. (author)
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.
Full Text Available Contextual memory formation relies on the induction of new genes in the hippocampus. A polymorphism in the promoter of the transcription factor XBP1 was identified as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and bipolar disorders. XBP1 is a major regulator of the unfolded protein response (UPR, mediating adaptation to endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress. Using a phenotypic screen, we uncovered an unexpected function of XBP1 in cognition and behavior. Mice lacking XBP1 in the nervous system showed specific impairment of contextual memory formation and long-term potentiation (LTP, whereas neuronal XBP1s overexpression improved performance in memory tasks. Gene expression analysis revealed that XBP1 regulates a group of memory-related genes, highlighting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, a key component in memory consolidation. Overexpression of BDNF in the hippocampus reversed the XBP1-deficient phenotype. Our study revealed an unanticipated function of XBP1 in cognitive processes that is apparently unrelated to its role in ER stress.
Endres, Thomas; Lessmann, Volkmar
Beyond its trophic function, the neurotrophin BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is well known to crucially mediate synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Whereas recent studies suggested that acute BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates amygdala-dependent fear learning, no impairments of cued fear learning were reported in heterozygous BDNF…
Paul, Cindy; Schöberl, Florian; Weinmeister, Pascal; Micale, Vincenzo; Wotjak, Carsten T; Hofmann, Franz; Kleppisch, Thomas
Long-term potentiation (LTP) of inputs relaying sensory information from cortical and thalamic neurons to principal neurons in the lateral amygdala (LA) is thought to serve as a cellular mechanism for associative fear learning. Nitric oxide (NO), a messenger molecule widely implicated in synaptic plasticity and behavior, has been shown to enhance LTP in the LA as well as consolidation of associative fear memory. Additional evidence suggests that NO-induced enhancement of LTP and amygdala-dependent learning requires signaling through soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGK). Mammals possess two genes for cGK: the prkg1 gene gives rise to the cGK type I isoforms, cGKIalpha and cGKIbeta, and the prkg2 gene encodes the cGK type II. Reportedly, both cGKI and cGKII are expressed in the amygdala, and cGKII is involved in controlling anxiety-like behavior. Because selective pharmacological tools for individual cGK isoforms are lacking, we used different knock-out mouse models to examine the function of cGKI and cGKII for LTP in the LA and pavlovian fear conditioning. We found robust expression of the cGKI specifically in the LA with cGKIbeta as the prevailing isoform. We further show a marked reduction of LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA and a selective impairment of auditory-cued fear memory in cGKI-deficient mutants. In contrast, cGKII null mutants lack these phenotypes. Our data suggest a function of cGKI, likely the beta isoform, in the LA, supporting synaptic plasticity and consolidation of fear memory.
Full Text Available Neurons may compete against one another for integration into a memory trace. Specifically, neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala with relatively higher levels of CREB seem to be preferentially allocated to a fear memory trace, while neurons with relatively decreased CREB function seem to be excluded from a fear memory trace. CREB is a ubiquitous transcription factor that modulates many diverse cellular processes, raising the question as to which of these CREB-mediated processes underlie memory allocation. CREB is implicated in modulating dendritic spine number and morphology. As dendritic spines are intimately involved in memory formation, we investigated whether manipulations of CREB function alter spine number or morphology of neurons at the time of fear conditioning. We used viral vectors to manipulate CREB function in the lateral amygdala principal neurons in mice maintained in their homecages. At the time that fear conditioning normally occurs, we observed that neurons with high levels of CREB had more dendritic spines, while neurons with low CREB function had relatively fewer spines compared to control neurons. These results suggest that the modulation of spine density provides a potential mechanism for preferential allocation of a subset of neurons to the memory trace.
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
Keifer, Orion P.; Hurt, Robert C.; Ressler, Kerry J.
The historically understood role of the central amygdala (CeA) in fear learning is to serve as a passive output station for processing and plasticity that occurs elsewhere in the brain. However, recent research has suggested that the CeA may play a more dynamic role in fear learning. In particular, there is growing evidence that the CeA is a site of plasticity and memory formation, and that its activity is subject to tight regulation. The following review examines the evidence for these three main roles of the CeA as they relate to fear learning. The classical role of the CeA as a routing station to fear effector brain structures like the periaqueductal gray, the lateral hypothalamus, and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus will be briefly reviewed, but specific emphasis is placed on recent literature suggesting that the CeA 1) has an important role in the plasticity underlying fear learning, 2) is involved in regulation of other amygdala subnuclei, and 3) is itself regulated by intra- and extra-amygdalar input. Finally, we discuss the parallels of human and mouse CeA involvement in fear disorders and fear conditioning, respectively. PMID:26328883
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.
Butler, Christopher W.; 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…
Murphy, Conor P; Li, Xiang; Maurer, Verena; Oberhauser, Michael; Gstir, Ronald; Wearick-Silva, Luis Eduardo; Viola, Thiago Wendt; Schafferer, Simon; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo; Whittle, Nigel; Hüttenhofer, Alexander; Bredy, Timothy W; Singewald, Nicolas
MicroRNA (miRNA)-mediated control of gene expression suggests that miRNAs are interesting targets and/or biomarkers in the treatment of anxiety- and trauma-related disorders, where often memory-associated gene expression is adversely affected. The role of miRNAs in the rescue of impaired fear extinction was assessed using the 129S1/SvlmJ (S1) mouse model of impaired fear extinction. miRNA microarray analysis, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, fluorescent in situ hybridization, lentiviral overexpression, and Luciferase reporter assays were used to gain insight into the mechanisms underlying miRNA-mediated normalization of deficient fear extinction. Rescuing impaired fear extinction via dietary zinc restriction was associated with differential expression of miRNAs in the amygdala. One candidate, miR-144-3p, robustly expressed in the basolateral amygdala, showed specific extinction-induced, but not fear-induced, increased expression in both extinction-rescued S1 mice and extinction-intact C57BL/6 (BL6) mice. miR-144-3p upregulation and effects on subsequent behavioral adaption was assessed in S1 and BL6 mice. miR-144-3p overexpression in the basolateral amygdala rescued impaired fear extinction in S1 mice, led to enhanced fear extinction acquisition in BL6 mice, and furthermore protected against fear renewal in BL6 mice. miR-144-3p targets a number of genes implicated in the control of plasticity-associated signaling cascades, including Pten, Spred1, and Notch1. In functional interaction studies, we revealed that the miR-144-3p target, PTEN, colocalized with miR-144-3p in the basolateral amygdala and showed functional downregulation following successful fear extinction in S1 mice. These findings identify a fundamental role of miR-144-3p in the rescue of impaired fear extinction and suggest this miRNA as a viable target in developing novel treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder and related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological
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.
Zhu, Xiao-Na; Liu, Xian-Dong; Zhuang, Hanyi; Henkemeyer, Mark; Yang, Jing-Yu; Xu, Nan-Jie
The amygdala serves as emotional center to mediate innate fear behaviors that are reflected through neuronal responses to environmental aversive cues. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the initial neuron responses is poorly understood. In this study, we monitored the innate defensive responses to aversive stimuli of either elevated plus maze or predator odor in juvenile mice and found that glutamatergic neurons were activated in amygdala. Loss of EphB2, a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed in amygdala neurons, suppressed the reactions and led to defects in spine morphogenesis and fear behaviors. We further found a coupling of spinogenesis with these threat cues induced neuron activation in developing amygdala that was controlled by EphB2. A constitutively active form of EphB2 was sufficient to rescue the behavioral and morphological defects caused by ablation of ephrin-B3, a brain-enriched ligand to EphB2. These data suggest that kinase-dependent EphB2 intracellular signaling plays a major role for innate fear responses during the critical developing period, in which spinogenesis in amygdala glutamatergic neurons was involved. Generation of innate fear responses to threat as an evolutionally conserved brain feature relies on development of functional neural circuit in amygdala, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. We here identify that EphB2 receptor tyrosine kinase, which is specifically expressed in glutamatergic neurons, is required for the innate fear responses in the neonatal brain. We further reveal that EphB2 mediates coordination of spinogenesis and neuron activation in amygdala during the critical period for the innate fear. EphB2 catalytic activity plays a major role for the behavior upon EphB-ephrin-B3 binding and transnucleus neuronal connections. Our work thus indicates an essential synaptic molecular signaling within amygdala that controls synapse development and helps bring about innate fear emotions in the postnatal
Saulskaya, Natalia B; Fofonova, Nellia V; Sudorghina, Polina V; Saveliev, Sergey A
Nucleus accumbens (N.Acc) contains a subclass of nitric oxide (NO)-generating interneurons that are presumably regulated by the dopamine input. Receptor mechanisms underlying dopamine-NO interaction in the N.Acc are poorly understood. In the current study, we used in vivo microdialysis combined with high-performance liquid chromatography to examine participation of dopamine D1 receptors in regulation of extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the medial N.Acc of Sprague-Dawley rats during both pharmacological challenge and a conditioned fear response. The intraaccumbal infusion of the D1 receptor agonist SKF-38393 (100-500 microM) increased dose-dependently the local dialysate citrulline levels. The SKF-38393-induced increase in extracellular citrulline was prevented by intraaccumbal infusions of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole, a neuronal NO synthase inhibitor. In behavioral microdialysis experiment, the accumbal levels of extracellular citrulline markedly increased in rats given a mild footshock paired with tone. The presentation of the tone previously paired with footshock (the conditioned fear response) produced a "conditioned" rise of extracellular citrulline levels in the N.Acc which was attenuated by intraaccumbal infusion of 100 microM SCH-23390, a dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, and prevented by intraaccumbal infusion of 500 microM 7-nitroindazole. The results suggest that in the N.Acc, the dopamine D1 receptors might regulate the neuronal NO synthase activity; this dopamine-dependent mechanism seems to participate in activation of the neuronal NO synthase and probably NO formation in this brain area during the conditioned fear response.
Souza, R.R.; Dal Bó, S.; de Kloet, E.R.; Oitzl, M.S.; Carobrez, A.P.
There is general agreement that the substantial modification in memory and motivational states exerted by corticosteroids after a traumatic experience is mediated in complementary manner by the mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptors. Here we tested the hypothesis that
Mizumori, Sheri J Y; Jo, Yong Sang
While it is clear that many brain areas process mnemonic information, understanding how their interactions result in continuously adaptive behaviors has been a challenge. A homeostatic-regulated prediction model of memory is presented that considers the existence of a single memory system that is based on a multilevel coordinated and integrated network (from cells to neural systems) that determines the extent to which events and outcomes occur as predicted. The "multiple memory systems of the brain" have in common output that signals errors in the prediction of events and/or their outcomes, although these signals differ in terms of what the error signal represents (e.g., hippocampus: context prediction errors vs. midbrain/striatum: reward prediction errors). The prefrontal cortex likely plays a pivotal role in the coordination of prediction analysis within and across prediction brain areas. By virtue of its widespread control and influence, and intrinsic working memory mechanisms. Thus, the prefrontal cortex supports the flexible processing needed to generate adaptive behaviors and predict future outcomes. It is proposed that prefrontal cortex continually and automatically produces adaptive responses according to homeostatic regulatory principles: prefrontal cortex may serve as a controller that is intrinsically driven to maintain in prediction areas an experience-dependent firing rate set point that ensures adaptive temporally and spatially resolved neural responses to future prediction errors. This same drive by prefrontal cortex may also restore set point firing rates after deviations (i.e. prediction errors) are detected. In this way, prefrontal cortex contributes to reducing uncertainty in prediction systems. An emergent outcome of this homeostatic view may be the flexible and adaptive control that prefrontal cortex is known to implement (i.e. working memory) in the most challenging of situations. Compromise to any of the prediction circuits should result in
Full Text Available It is essential to understand the molecular processes underlying long-term memory to provide therapeutic targets of aberrant memory that produce pathological behaviour in humans. Under conditions of recall, fully-consolidated memories can undergo reconsolidation or extinction. These retrieval-mediated memory processes may rely on distinct molecular processes. The cellular mechanisms initiating the signature molecular events are not known. Using infusions of protein synthesis inhibitors, antisense oligonucleotide targeting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF mRNA or tPA-STOP (an inhibitor of the proteolysis of BDNF protein into the hippocampus of the awake rat, we show that acquisition and extinction of contextual fear memory depended on the increased and decreased proteolysis of proBDNF (precursor BDNF in the hippocampus, respectively. Conditions of retrieval that are known to initiate the reconsolidation of contextual fear memory, a BDNF-independent memory process, were not correlated with altered proBDNF cleavage. Thus, the processing of BDNF was associated with the acquisition of new information and the updating of information about a salient stimulus. Furthermore, the differential requirement for the processing of proBDNF by tPA in distinct memory processes suggest that the molecular events actively engaged to support the storage and/or the successful retrieval of memory depends on the integration of ongoing experience with past learning.
Thomas Francis Giustino
Full Text Available Once acquired, a fearful memory can persist for a lifetime. Although learned fear can be extinguished, extinction memories are fragile. The resilience of fear memories to extinction may contribute to the maintenance of disorders of fear and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. As such, considerable effort has been placed on understanding the neural circuitry underlying the acquisition, expression, and extinction of emotional memories in rodent models as well as in humans. A triad of brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, form an essential brain circuit involved in fear conditioning and extinction. Within this circuit, the prefrontal cortex is thought to exert top-down control over subcortical structures to regulate appropriate behavioral responses. Importantly, a division of labor has been proposed in which the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC regulate the expression and suppression of fear in rodents, respectively. Here we critically review the anatomical and physiological evidence that has led to this proposed dichotomy of function within mPFC. We propose that under some conditions, the PL and IL act in concert, exhibiting similar patterns of neural activity in response to aversive conditioned stimuli and during the expression or inhibition of conditioned fear. This may stem from common synaptic inputs, parallel downstream outputs, or cortico-cortical interactions. Despite this functional covariation, these mPFC subdivisions may still be coding for largely opposing behavioral outcomes, with PL biased towards fear expression and IL towards suppression.
Stafford, James M.; Maughan, DeeAnna K.; Ilioi, Elena C.; Lattal, K. Matthew
An issue of increasing theoretical and translational importance is to understand the conditions under which learned fear can be suppressed, or even eliminated. Basic research has pointed to extinction, in which an organism is exposed to a fearful stimulus (such as a context) in the absence of an expected aversive outcome (such as a shock). This…
Goode, Travis D.; Kim, Janice J.; Maren, Stephen
Aversive events can trigger relapse of extinguished fear memories, presenting a major challenge to the long-term efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Here, we examined factors regulating the relapse of extinguished fear after exposure of rats to a dangerous context. Rats received unsignaled shock in a distinct context ("dangerous"…
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
Claudianos, Charles; Lim, Julianne; Young, Melanie; Yan, Shanzhi; Cristino, Alexandre S; Newcomb, Richard D; Gunasekaran, Nivetha; Reinhard, Judith
Odor learning induces structural and functional modifications throughout the olfactory system, but it is currently unknown whether this plasticity extends to the olfactory receptors (Or) in the sensory periphery. Here, we demonstrate that odor learning induces plasticity in olfactory receptor expression in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Using quantitative RT-PCR analysis, we show that six putative floral scent receptors were differentially expressed in the bee antennae depending on the scent environment that the bees experienced. Or151, which we characterized using an in vitro cell expression system as a broadly tuned receptor binding floral odorants such as linalool, and Or11, the specific receptor for the queen pheromone 9-oxo-decenoic acid, were significantly down-regulated after honeybees were conditioned with the respective odorants in an olfactory learning paradigm. Electroantennogram recordings showed that the neural response of the antenna was similarly reduced after odor learning. Long-term odor memory was essential for inducing these changes, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms involved in olfactory memory also regulate olfactory receptor expression. Our study demonstrates for the first time that olfactory receptor expression is experience-dependent and modulated by scent conditioning, providing novel insight into how molecular regulation at the periphery contributes to plasticity in the olfactory system. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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…
Knox, Dayan; George, Sophie A.; Fitzpatrick, Christopher J.; Rabinak, Christine A.; Maren, Stephen; Liberzon, Israel
Clinical research has linked post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with deficits in fear extinction. However, it is not clear whether these deficits result from stress-related changes in the acquisition or retention of extinction or in the regulation of extinction memories by context, for example. In this study, we used the single prolonged stress…
del Palacio Gonzalez, Adriana; Berntsen, Dorthe; Watson, Lynn Ann
Retrieving personal memories may provoke different emotions and a need for emotion regulation. Emotional responses have been studied scarcely in relation to autobiographical memory retrieval. We examined the emotional response to everyday involuntary (spontaneously arising) and voluntary...... (strategically retrieved) memories, and how this response may be different during dysphoria. Participants (20 dysphoric and 23 non-depressed) completed a structured diary where the intensity of basic emotions and regulation strategies employed upon retrieval of memories were rated. Brooding, memory suppression......, and emotional suppression were higher for all individuals’ involuntary memories than voluntary memories. Negative emotions and regulation strategies were greater for dysphoric individuals for both involuntary and voluntary memories after controlling for the valence of the remembered events. The results provide...
Sun, Wei; Li, Xiaoliang; An, Lei
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been investigated for its positive role in regulation of fear acquisition and memory. The precursor of BDNF, proBDNF, has been identified as different protein from its mature form. The prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) sub-regions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are functionally distinct in fear behavior. However, the role of PL and IL proBDNF in fear memory is unclear. Here, through the infusion of cleavage-resistant proBDNF and its antibody, we identified the dissociable roles of PL and IL proBDNF in fear expression and extinction memory as well as explored proBDNF's potential mechanism of action. The results suggest that the infusion of proBDNF in the IL facilitates induction of fear extinction, while infusion in the PL depresses fear expression. Blocking proBDNF by using its antibody disrupted the acquisition of fear extinction in the IL, but not the PL. Furthermore, proBDNF-induced extinction was sufficient for extinguishing new and older memories, and required NR2B, but not NR2A, -containing NMDA receptors. We also observed extinction-related proBDNF expression increased in the PL and IL during successful fear expression and extinction, respectively. Importantly, enhanced proBDNF was required for maintaining an extinguished behavior. The extinction effects of proBDNF did not involve degrading the original fear memory. Therefore, proBDNF in the IL and PL differentially contribute to the inhibitory control of fear extinction behavior. Our findings provide a strong link between proBDNF activity and deficits in fear extinction, a hallmark of several psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
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.
Hirschler-Guttenberg, Yael; Feldman, Ruth; Ostfeld-Etzion, Sharon; Laor, Nathaniel; Golan, Ofer
Emotion regulation (ER) difficulties are a major concern in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Maternal temperament and parenting style have significant effects on children's ER. However, these effects have not been studied in children with ASD. Forty preschoolers with ASD and their mothers and forty matched controls engaged in fear and anger ER paradigms, micro-coded for child self- and co-regulatory behaviors and parent's regulation-facilitation. Mothers' parenting style and temperament were self-reported. In the ASD group only, maternal authoritarian style predicted higher self-regulation and lower co-regulation of anger and maternal authoritative style predicted higher self-regulation of fear. Maternal temperament did not predict child's ER. Findings emphasize the importance of maternal flexible parenting style in facilitating ER among children with ASD.
Eric D. Roth
Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms including altered DNA methylation are critical for altered gene transcription subserving synaptic plasticity and the retention of learned behavior. Here, we tested the idea that one role for activity-dependent altered DNA methylation is stabilization of cognition-associated hippocampal place cell firing in response to novel place learning. We observed that a behavioral protocol (spatial exploration of a novel environment known to induce hippocampal place cell remapping resulted in alterations of hippocampal Bdnf DNA methylation. Further studies using neurophysiological in vivo single-unit recordings revealed that pharmacological manipulations of DNA methylation decreased long-term but not short-term place field stability. Together, our data highlight a role for DNA methylation in regulating neurophysiological spatial representation and memory formation.
Roth, Eric D; Roth, Tania L; Money, Kelli M; SenGupta, Sonda; Eason, Dawn E; Sweatt, J David
Epigenetic mechanisms including altered DNA methylation are critical for altered gene transcription subserving synaptic plasticity and the retention of learned behavior. Here we tested the idea that one role for activity-dependent altered DNA methylation is stabilization of cognition-associated hippocampal place cell firing in response to novel place learning. We observed that a behavioral protocol (spatial exploration of a novel environment) known to induce hippocampal place cell remapping resulted in alterations of hippocampal Bdnf DNA methylation. Further studies using neurophysiological in vivo single unit recordings revealed that pharmacological manipulations of DNA methylation decreased long-term but not short-term place field stability. Together our data highlight a role for DNA methylation in regulating neurophysiological spatial representation and memory formation.
Chelini, Gabriele; Berciu, Cristina; Pilobello, Kanoelani; Peter, Durning; Rachel, Jenkins; Kahn, Moazzzam; Ramikie, Teniel; Subramanian, Siva; Ressler, Kerry; Pantazopoulos, Charalampos; Berretta, Sabina
Abstract Background Emerging evidence from our group and others has brought the brain extracellular matrix (ECM) to the forefront of investigations on brain disorders. Our group has shown that organized perisynaptic ECM aggregates, i.e. perineuronal nets (PNNs) are decreased in several brain regions in people with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). PNNs were detected by their expression of specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), main components of the ECM, thought to play a key role in synaptic regulation during development and adulthood. Our studies have also shown that glial cells expressing CSPGs are altered in these disorders, suggesting a link between glial cell and PNN abnormalities. Finally, we have recently shown that novel CSPG structures, bearing a distinct CS-6 sulfation pattern and named CS-6 glial clusters, are decreased in the amygdala of people with SZ and BD. The morphology and function of CS-6 glial clusters is not currently known, but evidence from rodents and on the role of CSPGs in regulating synaptic functions strongly suggest that they may affect synaptic plasticity. We tested this hypothesis using a combination of human postmortem and rodent brain studies. Methods High Resolution electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructural organization of CS-6 glia clusters. A transgenic mouse model expressing green fluorescent protein in a subset of excitatory pyramidal neurons was used to investigate dendritic spines association with CS-6 glia clusters. Mice were exposed to a single session of auditory fear conditioning for a total of 15 minutes. Animals were euthanized 4 hours after behavioral test. Multiplex immunocytochemistry was used to visualize CS-6 clusters. Results In human tissue, we show that CS-6 glia clusters are widespread in several brain regions, including the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, thalamus and hippocampus. Ultrastructural results show that CS-6 glia clusters are formed by CS-6 accumulations
Pick, Joseph E.; Malumbres, Marcos; Klann, Eric
The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is an E3 ligase regulated by Cdh1. Beyond its role in controlling cell cycle progression, APC/C-Cdh1 has been detected in neurons and plays a role in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Herein, we further examined the role of Cdh1 in synaptic plasticity and memory by generating…
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
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
Hirschler-Guttenberg, Yael; Feldman, Ruth; Ostfeld-Etzion, Sharon; Laor, Nathaniel; Golan, Ofer
Emotion regulation (ER) difficulties are a major concern in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Maternal temperament and parenting style have significant effects on children's ER. However, these effects have not been studied in children with ASD. Forty preschoolers with ASD and their mothers and forty matched controls engaged in fear and…
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.
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.
Pavesi, Eloisa; Heldt, Scott A.; Fletcher, Max L.
Experience-induced changes associated with odor learning are mediated by a number of signaling molecules, including nitric oxide (NO), which is predominantly synthesized by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the brain. In the current study, we investigated the role of nNOS in the acquisition and retention of conditioned olfactory fear. Mice…
Zhang, Yanting; Dong, Siqin; Fang, Wenjie; Chai, Xiaohui; Mei, Jiaojiao; Fan, Xiuzhen
Academic procrastination has been a widespread problem behavior among undergraduates. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions, and explore the mediation effects of self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure in the relationship between self-esteem and academic procrastination. A cross-sectional design was used to study 1184 undergraduates in health professions from China. Participants completed measures of academic procrastination, self-esteem, self-efficacy for self-regulation and fear of failure. We used Pearson product-moment correlation to examine the bivariate correlations between study variables, and path analysis to examine mediation. Among the 1184 undergraduates, 877 (74.1%) procrastinated on at least one type of academic task. The total score for academic procrastination was negatively correlated with scores for self-esteem and self-efficacy for self-regulation, and positively correlated with the score for fear of failure. Moreover, the relationship between self-esteem and academic procrastination was fully mediated by self-efficacy for self-regulation (indirect effect: β = - .15, 95% bootstrap CI - .19 to - .11) and fear of failure (indirect effect: β = - .06, 95% bootstrap CI - .09 to - .04). These findings suggest that interventions targeting the enhancement of self-efficacy for self-regulation and the conquest of fear of failure may prevent or reduce academic procrastination among undergraduates in health professions, especially for those with lower self-esteem.
Gisabella, B; Farah, S; Peng, X; Burgos-Robles, A; Lim, S H; Goosens, K A
Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the 'over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the process by which neurons compete to encode memories, to favor neurons that have stronger inputs. Viral overexpression of GH in the amygdala increased the number of amygdala cells activated by fear memory formation. GH-overexpressing cells were especially biased to express the immediate early gene c-Fos after fear conditioning, revealing strong autocrine actions of GH in the amygdala. In addition, we observed dramatically enhanced dendritic spine density in GH-overexpressing neurons. These data elucidate a previously unrecognized autocrine role for GH in the regulation of amygdala neuron function and identify specific mechanisms by which chronic stress, by enhancing GH in the amygdala, may predispose an individual to excessive fear memory formation.
Lina Zhang; Weiwei Dai; Xueli Zhang; Zhangbin Gong; Guoqin Jin
Rehmannia is a commonly used Chinese herb, which improves learning and memory. However, the crucial components of the signal transduction pathway associated with this effect remain elusive. Pri-mary hippocampal neurons were cultured in vitro, insulted with high-concentration (1 × 10-4 mol/L) cor-ticosterone, and treated with 1 × 10-4 mol/L mannotriose. Thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide assay and western blot analysis showed that hippocampal neuron survival rates and protein levels of glucocorti-coid receptor, serum and glucocorticoid-regulated protein kinase, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor were al dramatical y decreased after high-concentration corticosterone-induced injury. This effect was reversed by mannotriose, to a similar level as RU38486 and donepezil. Our findings indicate that mannotriose could protect hippocampal neurons from high-concentration corticosterone-induced injury. The mechanism by which this occurred was associated with levels of glucocorticoid receptor protein, serum and glucocorticoid-regulated protein kinase, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
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.
King, Stanley O., II; Williams, Cedric L.
Exposure to novel contexts produce heightened states of arousal and biochemical changes in the brain to consolidate memory. However, processes permitting simple exposure to unfamiliar contexts to elevate sympathetic output and to improve memory are poorly understood. This shortcoming was addressed by examining how novelty-induced changes in…
Full Text Available Fear is a well-characterized biological response to threatening or stressful situations in humans and other social animals. Importantly, fearful stimuli in the natural environment are likely to be encountered concurrently by a group of animals. The modulation of fear acquisition and fear memory by a group as opposed to an individual experience, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate a robust reduction in fear memory to an aversive event undertaken in a group despite similar fear learning between individually- and group-conditioned rats. This reduction persists outside the group confines, appears to be a direct outcome of group cognizance and is counteracted by loss of olfactory signaling among the group members. These results show that a group experience of fear can be protective and suggest that distinct neural pathways from those classically studied in individuals modulate collective fear memories.
Henrich-Noack, Petra; Krautwald, Karla; Reymann, Klaus G; Wetzel, Wolfram
Transient global ischaemia induces cell death in the CA1 layer of the hippocampus. To evaluate the functional consequences, we performed context-dependent fear conditioning. Ischaemia was induced by 2-vessel-occlusion (2VO) in gerbils. On day 6 post ischaemia or sham procedures (in control group) gerbils were placed in a test chamber and after 3 min adaption time exposed to foot-shocks (training session). On the next day the animals were placed in the same test chamber without foot-shocks (test session). As a parameter for memory performance we used the standard method of measuring the total freezing time via a cumulative time-sampling procedure during the test session. We found a significant longer total freezing time in control animals than in ischaemic animals. In addition, however, we applied a more detailed analysis of (i) quantifying the number of freezing bouts, (ii) the average duration of single freezing bouts, (iii) the activity pattern during the training and test situation and (iv) we differentially evaluated all the single time segments of the experiment. These analyses revealed that although maintenance of freezing (duration of freezing bout) was significantly lower in ischaemic animals compared to controls, the initiation of freezing (number of freezing bouts) was not significantly different between the two groups during the test session. The activity scores of ischaemic and non-ischaemic gerbils were similar during the adaption time of the training session. The foot-shock, however, induced a significantly different pattern of behaviour in the ischaemic animals, which was selectively reproduced during the test session. In conclusion, ischaemic gerbils reacted to a fearsome thread with a behavioural pattern different from unlesioned animals and they revealed this specific foot-shock induced behaviour again during the test session. This indicated that CA1 hippocampal death did not interrupt memory performance but changed expression of fear. Therefore
Qi, Chu-Chu; Wang, Qing-Jun; Ma, Xue-Zhu; Chen, Hai-Chao; Gao, Li-Ping; Yin, Jie; Jing, Yu-Hong
Following a social defeat, the balanced establishment and extinction of aversive information is a beneficial strategy for individual survival. Abnormal establishment or extinction is implicated in the development of mental disorders. This study investigated the time course of the establishment and extinction of aversive information from acute social defeat and the temporal responsiveness of the basolateral amygdala (BLA), ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in this process. Mouse models of acute social defeat were established by using the resident-intruder paradigm. To evaluate the engram of social defeat, the intruder mice were placed into the novel context at designated time to test the social behavior. Furthermore, responses of BLA, vHIP and mPFC were investigated by analyzing the expression of immediate early genes, such as zif268, arc, and c-fos. The results showed after an aggressive attack, aversive memory was maintained for approximately 7 days before gradually diminishing. The establishment and maintenance of aversive stimulation were consistently accompanied by BLA activity. By contrast, vHIP and mPFC response was inhibited from this process. Additionally, injecting muscimol (Mus), a GABA receptor agonist, into the BLA alleviated the freezing behavior and social fear and avoidance. Simultaneously, Mus treatment decreased the zif268 and arc expression in BLA, but it increased their expression in vHIP. Our data support and extend earlier findings that implicate BLA, vHIP and mPFC in social defeat. The time courses of the establishment and extinction of social defeat are particularly consistent with the contrasting BLA and vHIP responses involved in this process.
Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo
Rhythmic activity in the theta range is thought to promote neuronal communication between brain regions. In this study, we performed chronic telemetric recordings in socially behaving rats to monitor electrophysiological activity in limbic brain regions linked to social behavior. Social encounters were associated with increased rhythmicity in the high theta range (7-10 Hz) that was proportional to the stimulus degree of novelty. This modulation of theta rhythmicity, which was specific for social stimuli, appeared to reflect a brain-state of social arousal. In contrast, the same network responded to a fearful stimulus by enhancement of rhythmicity in the low theta range (3-7 Hz). Moreover, theta rhythmicity showed different pattern of coherence between the distinct brain regions in response to social and fearful stimuli. We suggest that the two types of stimuli induce distinct arousal states that elicit different patterns of theta rhythmicity, which cause the same brain areas to communicate in different modes.
Malan-Müller, Stefanie; Fairbairn, Lorren; Daniels, Willie M U; Dashti, Mahjoubeh Jalali Sefid; Oakeley, Edward J; Altorfer, Marc; Kidd, Martin; Seedat, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Hemmings, Sîan Megan Joanna
D-cycloserine (DCS) has been shown to be effective in facilitating fear extinction in animal and human studies, however the precise mechanisms whereby the co-administration of DCS and behavioural fear extinction reduce fear are still unclear. This study investigated the molecular mechanisms of intrahippocampally administered D-cycloserine in facilitating fear extinction in a contextual fear conditioning animal model. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were grouped into four experimental groups (n = 30) based on fear conditioning and intrahippocampal administration of either DCS or saline. The light/dark avoidance test was used to differentiate maladapted (MA) (anxious) from well-adapted (WA) (not anxious) subgroups. RNA extracted from the left dorsal hippocampus was used for RNA sequencing and gene expression data was compared between six fear-conditioned + saline MA (FEAR + SALINE MA) and six fear-conditioned + DCS WA (FEAR + DCS WA) animals. Of the 424 significantly downregulated and 25 significantly upregulated genes identified in the FEAR + DCS WA group compared to the FEAR + SALINE MA group, 121 downregulated and nine upregulated genes were predicted to be relevant to fear conditioning and anxiety and stress-related disorders. The majority of downregulated genes transcribed immune, proinflammatory and oxidative stress systems molecules. These molecules mediate neuroinflammation and cause neuronal damage. DCS also regulated genes involved in learning and memory processes, and genes associated with anxiety, stress-related disorders and co-occurring diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, digestive system diseases and nervous system diseases). Identifying the molecular underpinnings of DCS-mediated fear extinction brings us closer to understanding the process of fear extinction.
Effting, M.; Salemink, E.; Verschuere, B.; Beckers, T.
Background and objectives: 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
Kindt, M.; Soeter, M.; Vervliet, B.
Animal studies have shown that fear memories can change when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. We found that oral administration of the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory reactivation in humans erased the behavioral expression of the fear memory 24 h
Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R
Pavlovian fear conditioning is an evolutionary conserved and extensively studied form of associative learning and memory. In mammals, the lateral amygdala (LA) is an essential locus for Pavlovian fear learning and memory. Despite significant progress unraveling the cellular mechanisms responsible for fear conditioning, very little is known about the anatomical organization of neurons encoding fear conditioning in the LA. One key question is how fear conditioning to different sensory stimuli is organized in LA neuronal ensembles. Here we show that Pavlovian fear conditioning, formed through either the auditory or visual sensory modality, activates a similar density of LA neurons expressing a learning-induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK1/2). While the size of the neuron population specific to either memory was similar, the anatomical distribution differed. Several discrete sites in the LA contained a small but significant number of p-ERK1/2-expressing neurons specific to either sensory modality. The sites were anatomically localized to different levels of the longitudinal plane and were independent of both memory strength and the relative size of the activated neuronal population, suggesting some portion of the memory trace for auditory and visually cued fear conditioning is allocated differently in the LA. Presenting the visual stimulus by itself did not activate the same p-ERK1/2 neuron density or pattern, confirming the novelty of light alone cannot account for the specific pattern of activated neurons after visual fear conditioning. Together, these findings reveal an anatomical distribution of visual and auditory fear conditioning at the level of neuronal ensembles in the LA. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Harmen J Krugers
Full Text Available Humans and rodents retain memories for stressful events very well. The facilitated retention of these memories is normally very useful. However, in susceptible individuals a variety of pathological conditions may develop in which memories related to stressful events remain inappropriately present, such as in post-traumatic stress disorder. The memory enhancing effects of stress are mediated by hormones, such as norepinephrine and glucocorticoids which are released during stressful experiences. Here we review recently identified molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects of stress hormones on synaptic efficacy and learning and memory. We discuss AMPA receptors as major target for stress hormones and describe a model in which norepinephrine and glucocorticoids are able to strengthen and prolong different phases of stressful memories.
Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O
In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.
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.
Furini, Cristiane R G; Behling, Jonny A K; Zinn, Carolina G; Zanini, Mara Lise; Assis Brasil, Eduardo; Pereira, Luiza Doro; Izquierdo, Ivan; de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane
Extinction is defined as the learned inhibition of retrieval and is the mainstay of exposure therapy, which is widely used to treat drug addiction, phobias and fear disorders. The psychostimulant, methylphenidate (MPH) is known to increase extracellular levels of noradrenaline and dopamine by blocking their reuptake and studies have demonstrated that MPH can modulate hippocampal physiology and/or functions including long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. However, the influence of MPH on fear extinction memory has been insufficiently studied. Here we investigate the effect of MPH infused into the CA1 region of the hippocampus on extinction memory in animals normally incapable of showing contextual fear conditioning (CFC) extinction because of weak training, and the possible mechanisms through which it acts during this process. For this, male Wistar rats with infusion cannulae stereotaxically implanted in the CA1 region were submitted to a weak extinction protocol in a CFC apparatus. Animals that received intra-CA1 infusion of MPH (12.5μg/side) 20min before the extinction training (Ext Tr) expressed less freezing behavior than Veh-treated animals during both Ext Tr and extinction retention Test (Ext Test). Additionally, the administration of MPH+Timolol (1μg/side) or MPH+SCH23390 (1.5μg/side) intra-CA1 20min before the Ext Tr blocked the enhancing effect of the MPH on extinction learning. These results suggest that MPH in the CA1 region of the hippocampus is able to induce the consolidation of extinction memory and this process occurs through both β-adrenergic and D1/D5 dopaminergic receptors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lubinski, Alexander J; Page, Terry L
The cockroach, Leucophaea maderae, can be trained in an associative olfactory memory task by either classical or operant conditioning. When trained by classical conditioning, memory formation is regulated by a circadian clock, but once the memory is formed, it can be recalled at any circadian time. In contrast, when trained via operant conditioning, animals can learn the task at any circadian phase, but the ability to recall the long-term memory is tied to the phase of training. The optic lobes of the cockroach contain a circadian clock that drives circadian rhythms of locomotor activity, mating behavior, sensitivity of the compound eye to light, and the sensitivity of olfactory receptors in the antennae. To evaluate the role of the optic lobes in regulating learning and memory processes, the authors examined the effects of surgical ablation of the optic lobes on memory formation in classical conditioning and memory recall following operant conditioning. The effect of optic lobe ablation was to "rescue" the deficit in memory acquisition at a time the animals normally cannot learn and "rescue" the animal's ability to recall a memory formed by operant conditioning at a phase where memory was not normally expressed. The results suggested that the optic lobe pacemaker regulates these processes through inhibition at "inappropriate" times of day. As a pharmacological test of this hypothesis, the authors showed that injections of fipronil, an antagonist of GABA and glutamate-activated chloride channels, had the same effects as optic lobe ablation on memory formation and recall. The data suggest that the optic lobes contain the circadian clock(s) that regulate learning and memory processes via inhibition of neural processes in the brain. © 2015 The Author(s).
LaBar, Kevin S
Lane et al. emphasize the role of emotional arousal as a precipitating factor for successful psychotherapy. However, as therapy ensues, the arousal diminishes. How can the unfolding therapeutic process generate long-term memories for reconsolidated emotional material without the benefit of arousal? Studies investigating memory for emotionally regulated material provide some clues regarding the neural pathways that may underlie therapy-based memory reconsolidation.
Jasmeet P Hayes
Full Text Available During times of emotional stress, individuals often engage in emotion regulation to reduce the experiential and physiological impact of negative emotions. Interestingly, emotion regulation strategies also influence memory encoding of the event. Cognitive reappraisal is associated with enhanced memory while expressive suppression is associated with impaired explicit memory of the emotional event. However, the mechanism by which these emotion regulation strategies affect memory is unclear. We used event-related fMRI to investigate the neural mechanisms that give rise to memory formation during emotion regulation. Twenty-five participants viewed negative pictures while alternately engaging in cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression, or passive viewing. As part of the subsequent memory design, participants returned to the laboratory two weeks later for a surprise memory test. Behavioral results showed a reduction in negative affect and a retention advantage for reappraised stimuli relative to the other conditions. Imaging results showed that successful encoding during reappraisal was uniquely associated with greater co-activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus, amygdala and hippocampus, suggesting a possible role for elaborative encoding of negative memories. This study provides neurobehavioral evidence that engaging in cognitive reappraisal is advantageous to both affective and mnemonic processes.
Smith, Noelle B; Doran, Jennifer M; Sippel, Lauren M; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with alterations in critical brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. This brief review has two objectives: (1) to discuss research examining extinction and reconsolidation processes as mechanisms in PTSD psychotherapy, and (2) present possibilities for augmenting extinction and reconsolidation within treatment through alterations to therapeutic interventions and novel approaches. A key component of many effective PTSD therapies is exposure, which involves intentional confrontation and processing of the traumatic memory. Our review suggests that extinction and reconsolidation processes underlie effective exposure-based treatment, but the neurobiological mechanisms of these processes in behavioral treatments for PTSD remains unclear. We argue that enhancing extinction and/or disrupting reconsolidation of a feared memory may improve the efficacy of existing treatments (e.g., increased change for limited/non-responders, faster/greater changes for responders), which can be done through multiple channels. Potential avenues for augmentation of the processes of extinction and reconsolidation in PTSD psychotherapies are reviewed, including behavioral modifications, pharmacotherapy agents, and the use of devices during therapy. We further suggest that investigations towards understanding the extent to which extinction and reconsolidation processes are necessary in effective PTSD psychotherapy is an important future direction for enhancing clinical care among PTSD populations. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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.
Kwon, Wookbong; Kim, Hyeng-Soo; Jeong, Jain; Sung, Yonghun; Choi, Minjee; Park, Song; Lee, Jinhee; Jang, Soyoung; Kim, Sung Hyun; Lee, Sanggyu; Kim, Myoung Ok; Ryoo, Zae Young
Ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase 1 ( Tet1 ) initiates DNA demethylation by converting 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) at CpG-rich regions of genes, which have key roles in adult neurogenesis and memory. In addition, the overexpression of Tet1 with 5-hmC alteration in patients with psychosis has also been reported, for instance in schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. The mechanism underlying Tet1 overexpression in the brain; however, is still elusive. In the present study, we found that Tet1-transgenic (Tet1-TG) mice displayed abnormal behaviors involving elevated anxiety and enhanced fear memories. We confirmed that Tet1 overexpression affected adult neurogenesis with oligodendrocyte differentiation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of Tet1-TG mice. In addition, Tet1 overexpression induced the elevated expression of immediate early genes, such as Egr1 , c-fos , Arc , and Bdnf , followed by the activation of intracellular calcium signals ( i.e. , CamKII, ERK, and CREB) in prefrontal and hippocampal neurons. The expression of GABA receptor subunits ( Gabra2 and Gabra4 ) fluctuated in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. We evaluated the effects of Tet1 overexpression on intracellular calcium-dependent cascades by activating the Egr1 promoter in vitro Tet1 enhanced Egr1 expression, which may have led to alterations in Gabra2 and Gabra4 expression in neurons. Taken together, we suggest that the Tet1 overexpression in our Tet1-TG mice can be applied as an effective model for studying various stress-related diseases that show hyperactivation of intracellular calcium-dependent cascades in the brain.-Kwon, W., Kim, H.-S., Jeong, J., Sung, Y., Choi, M., Park, S., Lee, J., Jang, S., Kim, S. H., Lee, S., Kim, M. O., Ryoo, Z. Y. Tet1 overexpression leads to anxiety-like behavior and enhanced fear memories via the activation of calcium-dependent cascade through Egr1 expression in mice. © FASEB.
Gazarini, Lucas; Stern, Cristina A. Jark; Carobrez, Antonio P.; Bertoglio, Leandro J.
Consolidation and reconsolidation are phases of memory stabilization that diverge slightly. Noradrenaline is known to influence both processes, but the relative contribution of alpha1- and beta-adrenoceptors is unclear. The present study sought to investigate this matter by comparing their recruitment to consolidate and/or reconsolidate a…
Espejo, Pablo Javier; Ortiz, Vanesa; Martijena, Irene Delia; Molina, Victor Alejandro
Consolidated memories can enter into a labile state after reactivation followed by a restabilization process defined as reconsolidation. This process can be interfered with Midazolam (MDZ), a positive allosteric modulator of the GABA-A receptor. The present study has evaluated the influence of prior stress on MDZ's interfering effect. We also assessed the influence of both systemic and intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of d-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist of the NMDA receptors, on the MDZ effect in previously stressed rats. Furthermore, we analyzed the effect of stress on the expression of Zif-268 and the GluN2B sites, two molecular markers of the labilization/reconsolidation process, following reactivation. The results revealed that prior stress resulted into a memory trace that was insensitive to the MDZ impairing effect. Both systemic and intra-BLA DCS administration previous to reactivation restored MDZ's disruptive effect on memory reconsolidation in stressed animals. Further, reactivation enhanced Zif-268 expression in the BLA in control unstressed rats, whereas no elevation was observed in stressed animals. In agreement with the behavioral findings, DCS restored the increased level of Zif-268 expression in the BLA in stressed animals. Moreover, memory reactivation in unstressed animals elevated GluN2B expression in the BLA, thus suggesting that this effect is involved in memory destabilization, whereas stressed animals did not reveal any changes. These findings are consistent with resistance to the MDZ effect in these rats, indicating that stress exposure prevents the onset of destabilization following reactivation. In summary, prior stress limited both the occurrence of the reactivation-induced destabilization and restabilization. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brill-Maoz, Naama; Maroun, Mouna
This study addressed the question of whether extinction in pairs would have a beneficial effect on extinction of fear conditioning. To that end, we established an experimental setting for extinction in which we trained animals to extinguish contextual fear memory in pairs. Taking advantage of the role of oxytocin (OT) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the mediation of memory extinction and social interaction, we also sought to study its role in social interaction-induced effects on extinction. Our results clearly show that the social presence of another animal in the extinction context facilitates extinction, and that this facilitation is mediated through mPFC-OT. Our results suggest that social interaction may be a positive regulator of fear inhibition, implying that social interaction may be an easy, accessible therapeutic tool for the treatment of fear-associated disorders. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Andero, Raül; Daniel, Sarah; Guo, Ji-Dong; Bruner, Robert C; Seth, Shivani; Marvar, Paul J; Rainnie, Donald; Ressler, Kerry J
Recently we determined that activation of the tachykinin 2 (Tac2) pathway in the central amygdala (CeA) is necessary and sufficient for the modulation of fear memories. The Tac2 pathway includes the Tac2 gene, which encodes the neuropeptide neurokinin B and its corresponding receptor neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R). In this study, using Tac2-cre and Tac2-GFP mice, we applied a combination of in vivo (optogenetics) and multiple in vitro techniques to further explore the mechanisms of action within the Tac2 pathway. In transgenic mice that express ChR2 solely in Tac2 neurons, in vivo optogenetic stimulation of CeA Tac2-expressing neurons during fear acquisition enhanced fear memory consolidation and drove action potential firing in vitro. In addition, Tac2-CeA neurons were shown to co-express striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase, which may have an important role in regulating Nk3R signaling during fear conditioning. These data extend our current understanding for the underlying mechanism(s) for the role of the Tac2 pathway in the regulation of fear memory, which may serve as a new therapeutic target in the treatment of fear-related disorders.
Andero, Raül; Daniel, Sarah; Guo, Ji-Dong; Bruner, Robert C; Seth, Shivani; Marvar, Paul J; Rainnie, Donald; Ressler, Kerry J
Recently we determined that activation of the tachykinin 2 (Tac2) pathway in the central amygdala (CeA) is necessary and sufficient for the modulation of fear memories. The Tac2 pathway includes the Tac2 gene, which encodes the neuropeptide neurokinin B and its corresponding receptor neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R). In this study, using Tac2–cre and Tac2–GFP mice, we applied a combination of in vivo (optogenetics) and multiple in vitro techniques to further explore the mechanisms of action within the Tac2 pathway. In transgenic mice that express ChR2 solely in Tac2 neurons, in vivo optogenetic stimulation of CeA Tac2-expressing neurons during fear acquisition enhanced fear memory consolidation and drove action potential firing in vitro. In addition, Tac2–CeA neurons were shown to co-express striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase, which may have an important role in regulating Nk3R signaling during fear conditioning. These data extend our current understanding for the underlying mechanism(s) for the role of the Tac2 pathway in the regulation of fear memory, which may serve as a new therapeutic target in the treatment of fear-related disorders. PMID:27238620
Gershman, Samuel J; Hartley, Catherine A
Using a laboratory analogue of learned fear (Pavlovian fear conditioning), we show that there is substantial heterogeneity across individuals in spontaneous recovery of fear following extinction training. We propose that this heterogeneity might stem from qualitative individual differences in the nature of extinction learning. Whereas some individuals tend to form a new memory during extinction, leaving their fear memory intact, others update the original threat association with new safety information, effectively unlearning the fear memory. We formalize this account in a computational model of fear learning and show that individuals who, according to the model, are more likely to form new extinction memories tend to show greater spontaneous recovery compared to individuals who appear to only update a single memory. This qualitative variation in fear and extinction learning may have important implications for understanding vulnerability and resilience to fear-related psychiatric disorders.
Chauveau, Frédéric; Lange, Maren Denise; Jüngling, Kay; Lesting, Jörg; Seidenbecher, Thomas; Pape, Hans-Christian
Stressful and traumatic events can create aversive memories, which are a predisposing factor for anxiety disorders. The amygdala is critical for transforming such stressful events into anxiety, and the recently discovered neuropeptide S transmitter system represents a promising candidate apt to control these interactions. Here we test the hypothesis that neuropeptide S can regulate stress-induced hyperexcitability in the amygdala, and thereby can interact with stress-induced alterations of fear memory. Mice underwent acute immobilization stress (IS), and neuropeptide S and a receptor antagonist were locally injected into the lateral amygdala (LA) during stress exposure. Ten days later, anxiety-like behavior, fear acquisition, fear memory retrieval, and extinction were tested. Furthermore, patch-clamp recordings were performed in amygdala slices prepared ex vivo to identify synaptic substrates of stress-induced alterations in fear responsiveness. (1) IS increased anxiety-like behavior, and enhanced conditioned fear responses during extinction 10 days after stress, (2) neuropeptide S in the amygdala prevented, while an antagonist aggravated, these stress-induced changes of aversive behaviors, (3) excitatory synaptic activity in LA projection neurons was increased on fear conditioning and returned to pre-conditioning values on fear extinction, and (4) stress resulted in sustained high levels of excitatory synaptic activity during fear extinction, whereas neuropeptide S supported the return of synaptic activity during fear extinction to levels typical of non-stressed animals. Together these results suggest that the neuropeptide S system is capable of interfering with mechanisms in the amygdala that transform stressful events into anxiety and impaired fear extinction.
Helen L Fitzsimons
Full Text Available A growing body of research indicates that pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs correlates with enhancement of long-term memory and current research is concentrated on determining the roles that individual HDACs play in cognitive function. Here, we investigate the role of HDAC4 in long-term memory formation in Drosophila. We show that overexpression of HDAC4 in the adult mushroom body, an important structure for memory formation, resulted in a specific impairment in long-term courtship memory, but had no affect on short-term memory. Overexpression of an HDAC4 catalytic mutant also abolished LTM, suggesting a mode of action independent of catalytic activity. We found that overexpression of HDAC4 resulted in a redistribution of the transcription factor MEF2 from a relatively uniform distribution through the nucleus into punctate nuclear bodies, where it colocalized with HDAC4. As MEF2 has also been implicated in regulation of long-term memory, these data suggest that the repressive effects of HDAC4 on long-term memory may be through interaction with MEF2. In the same genetic background, we also found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of HDAC4 impairs long-term memory, therefore we demonstrate that HDAC4 is not only a repressor of long-term memory, but also modulates normal memory formation.
Fitzsimons, Helen L; Schwartz, Silvia; Given, Fiona M; Scott, Maxwell J
A growing body of research indicates that pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) correlates with enhancement of long-term memory and current research is concentrated on determining the roles that individual HDACs play in cognitive function. Here, we investigate the role of HDAC4 in long-term memory formation in Drosophila. We show that overexpression of HDAC4 in the adult mushroom body, an important structure for memory formation, resulted in a specific impairment in long-term courtship memory, but had no affect on short-term memory. Overexpression of an HDAC4 catalytic mutant also abolished LTM, suggesting a mode of action independent of catalytic activity. We found that overexpression of HDAC4 resulted in a redistribution of the transcription factor MEF2 from a relatively uniform distribution through the nucleus into punctate nuclear bodies, where it colocalized with HDAC4. As MEF2 has also been implicated in regulation of long-term memory, these data suggest that the repressive effects of HDAC4 on long-term memory may be through interaction with MEF2. In the same genetic background, we also found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of HDAC4 impairs long-term memory, therefore we demonstrate that HDAC4 is not only a repressor of long-term memory, but also modulates normal memory formation.
Trogrlic, Lidia; Wilson, Yvette M.; Newman, Andrew G.; Murphy, Mark
The identity and distribution of neurons that are involved in any learning or memory event is not known. In previous studies, we identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral amygdala that show learning-specific activation of a c-"fos"-regulated transgene following context fear conditioning. Here, we have extended these studies to…
Flores, Luis E; Berenbaum, Howard
Memories for emotional events tend to be stronger than for neutral events, and weakening negative memories can be helpful to promote well-being. The present study examined whether the social regulation of emotion (in the form of handholding) altered the strength of emotional long-term memory. A sample of 219 undergraduate students viewed sets of negative, neutral, and positive images. Each participant held a stress ball while viewing half of the images and held someone's hand while viewing the other half. Participants returned 1 week later to complete a recognition task. Performance on the recognition task demonstrated that participants had lower memory accuracy for negative but not for positive pictures that were shown while they were holding someone's hand compared with when they were holding a stress ball. Although handholding altered the strength of negative emotional long-term memory, it did not down-regulate negative affective response as measured by self-report or facial expressivity. The present findings provide evidence that the social regulation of emotion can help weaken memory for negative information. Given the role of strong negative memories in different forms of psychopathology (e.g., depression, posttraumatic stress disorder), these findings may help better understand how close relationships protect against psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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.
Maekawa, Yoichi; Ishifune, Chieko; Tsukumo, Shin-ichi; Hozumi, Katsuto; Yagita, Hideo; Yasutomo, Koji
CD4+ T cells differentiate into memory T cells that protect the host from subsequent infection. In contrast, autoreactive memory CD4+ T cells harm the body by persisting in the tissues. The underlying pathways controlling the maintenance of memory CD4+ T cells remain undefined. We show here that memory CD4+ T cell survival is impaired in the absence of the Notch signaling protein known as recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin κ J region (Rbpj). Treatment of mice with a Notch inhibitor reduced memory CD4+ T cell numbers and prevented the recurrent induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Rbpj-deficient CD4+ memory T cells exhibit reduced glucose uptake due to impaired AKT phosphorylation, resulting in low Glut1 expression. Treating mice with pyruvic acid, which bypasses glucose uptake and supplies the metabolite downstream of glucose uptake, inhibited the decrease of autoimmune memory CD4+ T cells in the absence of Notch signaling, suggesting memory CD4+ T cell survival relies on glucose metabolism. Together, these data define a central role for Notch signaling in maintaining memory CD4+ T cells through the regulation of glucose uptake.
Yan, Y; Kong, H; Wu, E J; Newman, A H; Xu, M
Memories of learned associations between the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse and environmental cues contribute to craving and relapse in humans. Disruption of reconsolidation dampens or even erases previous memories. Dopamine (DA) mediates the acquisition of reward memory and drugs of abuse can pathologically change related neuronal circuits in the mesolimbic DA system. Previous studies showed that DA D3 receptors are involved in cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) and reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. However, the role of D3 receptors in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced reward memory remains unclear. In the present study, we combined genetic and pharmacological approaches to investigate the role of D3 receptors in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP. We found that the mutation of the D3 receptor gene weakened reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in mice triggered by a 3-min (min) retrieval. Furthermore, treatment of a selective D3 receptor antagonist PG01037 immediately following the 3-min retrieval disrupted reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in wild-type mice and such disruption remained at least 1 week after the 3-min retrieval. These results suggest that D3 receptors play a key role in reconsolidation of cocaine-induced CPP in mice, and that pharmacological blockade of these receptors may be therapeutic for the treatment of cocaine craving and relapse in clinical settings. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Andrew J. Kennedy
Full Text Available Human haploinsufficiency of the transcription factor Tcf4 leads to a rare autism spectrum disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS, which is associated with severe language impairment and development delay. Here, we demonstrate that Tcf4 haploinsufficient mice have deficits in social interaction, ultrasonic vocalization, prepulse inhibition, and spatial and associative learning and memory. Despite learning deficits, Tcf4(+/− mice have enhanced long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. In translationally oriented studies, we found that small-molecule HDAC inhibitors normalized hippocampal LTP and memory recall. A comprehensive set of next-generation sequencing experiments of hippocampal mRNA and methylated DNA isolated from Tcf4-deficient and WT mice before or shortly after experiential learning, with or without administration of vorinostat, identified “memory-associated” genes modulated by HDAC inhibition and dysregulated by Tcf4 haploinsufficiency. Finally, we observed that Hdac2 isoform-selective knockdown was sufficient to rescue memory deficits in Tcf4(+/− mice.
Kennedy, Andrew J; Rahn, Elizabeth J; Paulukaitis, Brynna S; Savell, Katherine E; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; Wang, Jing; Lewis, John W; Posey, Jessica; Strange, Sarah K; Guzman-Karlsson, Mikael C; Phillips, Scott E; Decker, Kyle; Motley, S Timothy; Swayze, Eric E; Ecker, David J; Michael, Todd P; Day, Jeremy J; Sweatt, J David
Human haploinsufficiency of the transcription factor Tcf4 leads to a rare autism spectrum disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS), which is associated with severe language impairment and development delay. Here, we demonstrate that Tcf4 haploinsufficient mice have deficits in social interaction, ultrasonic vocalization, prepulse inhibition, and spatial and associative learning and memory. Despite learning deficits, Tcf4(+/-) mice have enhanced long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. In translationally oriented studies, we found that small-molecule HDAC inhibitors normalized hippocampal LTP and memory recall. A comprehensive set of next-generation sequencing experiments of hippocampal mRNA and methylated DNA isolated from Tcf4-deficient and WT mice before or shortly after experiential learning, with or without administration of vorinostat, identified "memory-associated" genes modulated by HDAC inhibition and dysregulated by Tcf4 haploinsufficiency. Finally, we observed that Hdac2 isoform-selective knockdown was sufficient to rescue memory deficits in Tcf4(+/-) mice. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Radchenko, A N
Recording and retrieving functions of the neural memory are simulated as a control of local conformational processes in neural synaptic fields. The localization of conformational changes is related to the afferent temporal-spatial pulse pattern flow, the microstructure of connections and a plurality of temporal delays in synaptic fields and afferent pathways. The loci of conformations are described by sets of afferent addresses named address domains. Being superimposed on each other, address domains form a multilayer covering of the address space of the neuron or the ensemble. The superposition factor determines the dissemination of the conformational process, and the fuzzing of memory, and its accuracy and reliability. The engram is formed as detects in the packing of the address space and hence can be retrieved in inverse form. The accuracy of the retrieved information depends on the threshold level of conformational transitions, the distribution of conformational changes in synaptic fields of the neuronal population, and the memory loading factor. The latter is represented in the model by a slow potential. It reflects total conformational changes and displaces the membrane potential to monostable conformational regimes, by governing the exit from the recording regime, the potentiation of the neurone, and the readiness to reproduction. A relative amplitude of the slow potential and the coefficient of postconformational modification of ionic conductivity, which provides maximum reliability, accuracy, and capacity of memory, are calculated.
Szilagyi, B A; Triebus, J; Kressler, C; de Almeida, M; Tierling, S; Durek, P; Mardahl, M; Szilagyi, A; Floess, S; Huehn, J; Syrbe, U; Walter, J; Polansky, J K; Hamann, A
The concept of a "topographical memory" in lymphocytes implies a stable expression of homing receptors mediating trafficking of lymphocytes back to the tissue of initial activation. However, a significant plasticity of the gut-homing receptor α 4 β 7 was found in CD8 + T cells, questioning the concept. We now demonstrate that α 4 β 7 expression in murine CD4 + memory T cells is, in contrast, imprinted and remains stable in the absence of the inducing factor retinoic acid (RA) or other stimuli from mucosal environments. Repetitive rounds of RA treatment enhanced the stability of de novo induced α 4 β 7 . A novel enhancer element in the murine Itga4 locus was identified that showed, correlating to stability, selective DNA demethylation in mucosa-seeking memory cells and methylation-dependent transcriptional activity in a reporter gene assay. This implies that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to the stabilization of α 4 β 7 expression. Analogous DNA methylation patterns could be observed in the human ITGA4 locus, suggesting that its epigenetic regulation is conserved between mice and men. These data prove that mucosa-specific homing mediated by α 4 β 7 is imprinted in CD4 + memory T cells, reinstating the validity of the concept of "topographical memory" for mucosal tissues, and imply a critical role of epigenetic mechanisms.
Fiorenza, Anna; Lopez-Atalaya, Jose P; Rovira, Victor; Scandaglia, Marilyn; Geijo-Barrientos, Emilio; Barco, Angel
The RNase Dicer is essential for the maturation of most microRNAs, a molecular system that plays an essential role in fine-tuning gene expression. To gain molecular insight into the role of Dicer and the microRNA system in brain function, we conducted 2 complementary RNA-seq screens in the hippocampus of inducible forebrain-restricted Dicer1 mutants aimed at identifying the microRNAs primarily affected by Dicer loss and their targets, respectively. Functional genomics analyses predicted the main biological processes and phenotypes associated with impaired microRNA maturation, including categories related to microRNA biology, signal transduction, seizures, and synaptic transmission and plasticity. Consistent with these predictions, we found that, soon after recombination, Dicer-deficient mice exhibited an exaggerated seizure response, enhanced induction of immediate early genes in response to different stimuli, stronger and more stable fear memory, hyperphagia, and increased excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons. In the long term, we also observed slow and progressive excitotoxic neurodegeneration. Overall, our results indicate that interfering with microRNA biogenesis causes an increase in neuronal responsiveness and disrupts homeostatic mechanisms that protect the neuron against overactivation, which may explain both the initial and late phenotypes associated with the loss of Dicer in excitatory neurons. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Wang, Manjie; Saudino, Kimberly J
This is the first study to explore genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in emotion regulation in toddlers, and the first to examine the genetic and environmental etiology underlying the association between emotion regulation and working memory. In a sample of 304 same-sex twin pairs (140 MZ, 164 DZ) at age 3, emotion regulation was assessed using the Behavior Rating Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BRS; Bayley, 1993), and working memory was measured by the visually cued recall (VCR) task (Zelazo, Jacques, Burack, & Frye, 2002) and several memory tasks from the Mental Scale of the BSID. Based on model-fitting analyses, both emotion regulation and working memory were significantly influenced by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. Shared environmental effects were significant for working memory, but not for emotion regulation. Only genetic factors significantly contributed to the covariation between emotion regulation and working memory.
McQuown, Susan C.; Barrett, Ruth M.; Matheos, Dina P.; Post, Rebecca J.; Rogge, George A.; Alenghat, Theresa; Mullican, Shannon E.; Jones, Steven; Rusche, James R.; Lazar, Mitchell A.; Wood, Marcelo A.
Gene expression is dynamically regulated by chromatin modifications on histone tails, such as acetylation. In general, histone acetylation promotes transcription, whereas histone deacetylation negatively regulates transcription. The interplay between histone acetyl-transerases and histone deacetylases (HDACs) is pivotal for the regulation of gene expression required for long-term memory processes. Currently, very little is known about the role of individual HDACs in learning and memory. We examined the role of HDAC3 in long-term memory using a combined genetic and pharmacologic approach. We used HDAC3–FLOX genetically modified mice in combination with adeno-associated virus-expressing Cre recombinase to generate focal homozygous deletions of Hdac3 in area CA1 of the dorsal hippocampus. To complement this approach, we also used a selective inhibitor of HDAC3, RGFP136 [N-(6-(2-amino-4-fluorophenylamino)-6-oxohexyl)-4-methylbenzamide]. Immunohistochemistry showed that focal deletion or intrahippocampal delivery of RGFP136 resulted in increased histone acetylation. Both the focal deletion of HDAC3 as well as HDAC3 inhibition via RGFP136 significantly enhanced long-term memory in a persistent manner. Next we examined expression of genes implicated in long-term memory from dorsal hippocampal punches using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Expression of nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A, member 2 (Nr4a2) and c-fos was significantly increased in the hippocampus of HDAC3–FLOX mice compared with wild-type controls. Memory enhancements observed in HDAC3–FLOX mice were abolished by intrahippocampal delivery of Nr4a2 small interfering RNA, suggesting a mechanism by which HDAC3 negatively regulates memory formation. Together, these findings demonstrate a critical role for HDAC3 in the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term memory formation. PMID:21228185
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.
Knight, Marisa; Ponzio, Allison
Although previous work has shown that emotion regulation strategies can influence memory, the mechanisms through which different strategies produce different memory outcomes are not well understood. We examined how two cognitive reappraisal strategies with similar elaboration demands but diverging effects on visual attention and emotional arousal influenced explicit memory for emotional stimuli and for the strategies used to evaluate the stimuli. At encoding, participants used reappraisal to increase and decrease the personal relevance of neutral and emotional pictures. In two experiments, recall accuracy was highest for emotional pictures featured on increase trials, intermediate for emotional pictures featured on look (respond naturally) trials, and lowest for emotional pictures featured on decrease trials. This recall pattern emerged after a short delay (15 min) and persisted over a longer delay (48 hr). Memory accuracy for the strategies used to evaluate the pictures showed a different pattern: Strategy memory was better for emotional pictures featured on decrease and increase trials than for pictures featured on look trials. Our findings show that the effects of emotion regulation on memory depend both on the particular strategy engaged and the particular aspect of memory being tested.
Andero, Raül; Ressler, Kerry J
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most studied neurotrophin involved in synaptic plasticity processes that are required for long-term learning and memory. Specifically, BDNF gene expression and activation of its high-affinity TrkB receptor are necessary in the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex for the formation of emotional memories, including fear memories. Among the psychiatric disorders with altered fear processing there is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is characterized by an inability to extinguish fear memories. Since BDNF appears to enhance extinction of fear, targeting impaired extinction in anxiety disorders such as PTSD via BDNF signalling may be an important and novel way to enhance treatment efficacy. The aim of this review is to provide a translational point of view that stems from findings in the BDNF regulation of synaptic plasticity and fear extinction. In addition, there are different systems that seem to alter fear extinction through BDNF modulation like the endocannabionoid system and the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis (HPA). Recent work also finds that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and PAC1 receptor, which are upstream of BDNF activation, may be implicated in PTSD. Especially interesting are data that exogenous fear extinction enhancers such as antidepressants, histone deacetylases inhibitors (HDACi) and D-cycloserine, a partial NMDA agonist, may act through or in concert with the BDNF-TrkB system. Finally, we review studies where recombinant BDNF and a putative TrkB agonist, 7,8-DHF, may enhance extinction of fear. These approaches may lead to novel agents that improve extinction in animal models and eventually humans. PMID:22530815
Das-Smaal, E.A.; Jong, de, P.F.; Koopmans, J.R.
The Star Counting Test (SCT) has been developed to measure the regulatory function of attention. In a previous study it was shown that the SCT is suited for assessment of this attentional aspect with children. The present study concerns a more difficult version aimed at young adults. In the literature, the regulatory function of attention is increasingly stressed and it has been linked to working memory functioning. In order to further determine the validity of the SCT, performance was checke...
Full Text Available The ability to form associations between aversive threats and their predictors is fundamental to survival. However, fear and anxiety in excess are detrimental and are a hallmark of psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. PTSD symptomatology includes persistent and intrusive thoughts of an experienced trauma, suggesting an inability to downregulate fear when a corresponding threat has subsided. Convergent evidence from human and rodent studies supports a role for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC-amygdala network in both PTSD and the regulation of fear memory expression. In particular, current models stipulate that the prelimbic and infralimbic subdivisions of the rodent mPFC bidirectionally regulate fear expression via differential recruitment of amygdala neuronal subpopulations. However, an array of recent studies that employ new technical approaches has fundamentally challenged this interpretation. Here we explore how a new emphasis on the contribution of inhibitory neuronal populations, subcortical structures and the passage of time is reshaping our understanding of mPFC-amygdala circuits and their control over fear.
Pearson-Leary, Jiah; McNay, Ewan C
The insulin-regulated glucose transporter-4 (GluT4) is critical for insulin- and contractile-mediated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. GluT4 is also expressed in some hippocampal neurons, but its functional role in the brain is unclear. Several established molecular modulators of memory processing regulate hippocampal GluT4 trafficking and hippocampal memory formation is limited by both glucose metabolism and insulin signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that hippocampal GluT4 might be involved in memory processes. Here, we show that, in male rats, hippocampal GluT4 translocates to the plasma membrane after memory training and that acute, selective intrahippocampal inhibition of GluT4-mediated glucose transport impaired memory acquisition, but not memory retrieval. Other studies have shown that prolonged systemic GluT4 blockade causes insulin resistance. Unexpectedly, we found that prolonged hippocampal blockade of glucose transport through GluT4-upregulated markers of hippocampal insulin signaling prevented task-associated depletion of hippocampal glucose and enhanced both working and short-term memory while also impairing long-term memory. These effects were accompanied by increased expression of hippocampal AMPA GluR1 subunits and the neuronal GluT3, but decreased expression of hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, consistent with impaired ability to form long-term memories. Our findings are the first to show the cognitive impact of brain GluT4 modulation. They identify GluT4 as a key regulator of hippocampal memory processing and also suggest differential regulation of GluT4 in the hippocampus from that in peripheral tissues. The role of insulin-regulated glucose transporter-4 (GluT4) in the brain is unclear. In the current study, we demonstrate that GluT4 is a critical component of hippocampal memory processes. Memory training increased hippocampal GluT4 translocation and memory acquisition was impaired by GluT4 blockade. Unexpectedly, whereas long
Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.
Although memory for emotionally arousing and stressful experiences is strong and resistant to change, recent years have witnessed rapidly emerging evidence for the plasticity of fear memories. Upon retrieval a memory may be rendered labile and vulnerable to the disruptive effects of amnestic agents.
Full Text Available Maternal immune activation during pregnancy is an environmental risk factor for psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism in the offspring. Hence, changes in an array of behaviors, including behavioral flexibility, consistent with altered functioning of cortico-limbic circuits have been reported in rodent models of maternal immune activation. Surprisingly, previous studies have not examined the effect of maternal immune activation on the extinction of fear conditioning which depends on cortico-limbic circuits. Thus, we tested the effects of treating pregnant Long Evans rats with the viral mimetic polyI:C (gestational day 15; 4 mg/kg; i.v. on fear conditioning and extinction in the male offspring using two different tasks. In the first experiment, we observed no effect of polyI:C treatment on the acquisition or extinction of a classically conditioned fear memory in a non-discriminative auditory cue paradigm. However, polyI:C-treated offspring did increase contextual freezing during the recall of fear extinction in this non-discriminative paradigm. The second experiment utilized a recently developed task to explicitly test the ability of rats to discriminate among cues signifying fear, reward, and safety; a task that requires behavioral flexibility. To our surprise, polyI:C-treated rats acquired the task in a manner similar to saline-treated rats. However, upon subsequent extinction training, they showed significantly faster extinction of the freezing response to the fear cue. In contrast, during the extinction recall test, polyI:C-treated offspring showed enhanced freezing behavior before and after presentation of the fear cue, suggesting an impairment in their ability to regulate fear behavior. These behavioral results are integrated into the literature suggesting impairments in cortico-limbic brain function in the offspring of rats treated with polyI:C during pregnancy.
Phan, Mimi L.; Bieszczad, Kasia M.
Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded. PMID:26881129
Phan, Mimi L; Bieszczad, Kasia M
Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded.
Mimi L. Phan
Full Text Available Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded.
del Palacio Gonzalez, Adriana; Berntsen, Dorthe
examined. Non-clinical participants (N = 216) identified low and high-centrality events and reported the extent to which they employed a selection of emotion regulation strategies when remembering each event. Dispositional emotion regulation, depressive symptoms, and posttraumatic stress symptoms were also...... and posttraumatic stress symptoms beyond event valence and dispositional emotion regulation. Memory suppresion and reflection upon central events were not related to psychological symptoms. None of the emotion regulation strategies employed for low-centrality events were related to psychological symptoms...
Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J
In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Furthermore, we implemented a reappraisal instruction to manipulate (down-regulate) emotional arousal at encoding to examine the relation between emotional arousal and subsequent memory. Participants (8-year-old girls) viewed emotional scenes as electrophysiological (EEG) data were recorded and participated in a memory task 1 to 5days later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. The reappraisal instruction successfully reduced emotional arousal responses to negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. Similarly, recognition performance in both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavior was impaired for reappraised negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. The findings indicate that ERPs are sensitive to the reappraisal of negative stimuli in children as young as 8years. Furthermore, the findings suggest an interaction of emotion and memory during the school years, implicating the explanatory role of emotional arousal at encoding on subsequent memory performance in female children as young as 8years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bertolino, Alessandro; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Blasi, Giuseppe; Sambataro, Fabio; Caforio, Grazia; Sinibaldi, Lorenzo; Latorre, Valeria; Rampino, Antonio; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Romano, Raffaella; Douzgou, Sofia; Popolizio, Teresa; Kolachana, Bhaskar; Nardini, Marcello; Weinberger, Daniel R; Dallapiccola, Bruno
Dopamine modulation of neuronal activity in prefrontal cortex maps to an inverted U-curve. Dopamine is also an important factor in regulation of hippocampal mediated memory processing. Here, we investigated the effect of genetic variation of dopamine inactivation via catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and the dopamine transporter (DAT) on hippocampal activity in healthy humans during different memory conditions. Using blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 82 subjects matched for a series of demographic and genetic variables, we studied the effect of the COMT valine (Val)(158)methionine (Met) and the DAT 3' variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms on function of the hippocampus during encoding of recognition memory and during working memory. Our results consistently demonstrated a double dissociation so that DAT 9-repeat carrier alleles modulated activity in the hippocampus in the exact opposite direction of DAT 10/10-repeat alleles based on COMT Val(158)Met genotype during different memory conditions. Similar results were evident in ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that genetically determined dopamine signaling during memory processing maps to a nonlinear relationship also in the hippocampus. Our data also demonstrate in human brain epistasis of two genes implicated in dopamine signaling on brain activity during different memory conditions.
Guan, Zhuo; Buhl, Lauren K.; Quinn, William G.; Littleton, J. Troy
Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed two separable long-term memory pathways defined as anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) and long-lasting long-term memory (LLTM). ARM is disrupted in radish (rsh) mutants, whereas LLTM requires CREB-dependent protein synthesis. Although the downstream effectors of ARM and LLTM are distinct, pathways leading to these forms of memory may share the cAMP cascade critical for associative learning. Dunce, which encodes a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase, and rutabaga, which encodes an adenylyl cyclase, both disrupt short-term memory. Amnesiac encodes a pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide homolog and is required for middle-term memory. Here, we demonstrate that the Radish protein localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus and is a PKA phosphorylation target in vitro. To characterize how these plasticity pathways may manifest at the synaptic level, we assayed synaptic connectivity and performed an expression analysis to detect altered transcriptional networks in rutabaga, dunce, amnesiac, and radish mutants. All four mutants disrupt specific aspects of synaptic connectivity at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis revealed ∼375 transcripts that are altered in these mutants, suggesting defects in multiple neuronal signaling pathways. In particular, the transcriptional target Lapsyn, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat cell adhesion protein, localizes to synapses and regulates synaptic growth. This analysis provides insights into the Radish-dependent ARM pathway and novel transcriptional targets that may contribute to memory processing in Drosophila. PMID:21422168
Maren, Stephen; Hobin, Jennifer A.
Pavlovian fear conditioning is a robust and enduring form of emotional learning that provides an ideal model system for studying contextual regulation of memory retrieval. After extinction the expression of fear conditional responses (CRs) is context-specific: A conditional stimulus (CS) elicits greater conditional responding outside compared with…
Evers, Ellen; de Vries, Han; Spruijt, Berry M.; Sterck, Elisabeth H. M.
Agent-based models provide a promising tool to investigate the relationship between individuals’ behavior and emerging group-level patterns. An individual’s behavior may be regulated by its emotional state and its interaction history with specific individuals. Emotional bookkeeping is a candidate mechanism to keep track of received benefits from specific individuals without requiring high cognitive abilities. However, how this mechanism may work is difficult to study in real animals, due to the complexity of primate social life. To explore this theoretically, we introduce an agent-based model, dubbed EMO-model, in which we implemented emotional bookkeeping. In this model the social behaviors of primate-like individuals are regulated by emotional processes along two dimensions. An individual’s emotional state is described by an aversive and a pleasant dimension (anxiety and satisfaction) and by its activating quality (arousal). Social behaviors affect the individuals’ emotional state. To implement emotional bookkeeping, the receiver of grooming assigns an accumulated affiliative attitude (LIKE) to the groomer. Fixed partner-specific agonistic attitudes (FEAR) reflect the stable dominance relations between group members. While the emotional state affects an individual’s general probability of executing certain behaviors, LIKE and FEAR affect the individual’s partner-specific behavioral probabilities. In this way, emotional processes regulate both spontaneous behaviors and appropriate responses to received behaviors, while emotional bookkeeping via LIKE attitudes regulates the development and maintenance of affiliative relations. Using an array of empirical data, the model processes were substantiated and the emerging model patterns were partially validated. The EMO-model offers a framework to investigate the emotional bookkeeping hypothesis theoretically and pinpoints gaps that need to be investigated empirically. PMID:24504194
Amer M. Burhan
Full Text Available In mild cognitive impairment (MCI, a risk state for Alzheimer’s disease, patients have objective cognitive deficits with relatively preserved functioning. fMRI studies have identified anomalies during working memory (WM processing in individuals with MCI. The effect of task-irrelevant emotional face distractor on WM processing in MCI remains unclear. We aim to explore the impact of fearful-face task-irrelevant distractor on WM processing in MCI using fMRI. Hypothesis. Compared to healthy controls (HC, MCI patients will show significantly higher BOLD signal in a priori identified regions of interest (ROIs during a WM task with a task-irrelevant emotional face distractor. Methods. 9 right-handed female participants with MCI and 12 matched HC performed a WM task with standardized task-irrelevant fearful versus neutral face distractors randomized and counterbalanced across WM trials. MRI images were acquired during the WM task and BOLD signal was analyzed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM to identify signal patterns during the task response phase. Results. Task-irrelevant fearful-face distractor resulted in higher activation in the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and frontal areas, in MCI participants compared to HC. Conclusions. This exploratory study suggests altered WM processing as a result of fearful-face distractor in MCI.
Desseilles, Martin; Duclos, Catherine
During dreaming, as well as during wakefulness, elaborative encoding, indexing and ancient art of memory (AAOM) techniques, such as the method of loci, may coincide with emotion regulation. These techniques shed light on the link between dreaming and emotional catharsis, post-traumatic stress disorder, supermemorization during sleep as opposed to wakefulness, and the developmental role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in children.
... it has to decide what is worth remembering. Memory is the process of storing and then remembering this information. There are different types of memory. Short-term memory stores information for a few ...
Lin, Chen-Cheng; Tung, Che-Se; Lin, Pin-Hsuan; Huang, Chuen-Lin; Liu, Yia-Ping
Central catecholamines regulate fear memory across the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), amygdala (AMYG), and hippocampus (HPC). However, inadequate evidence exists to address the relationships among these fear circuit areas in terms of the fear symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By examining the behavioral profile in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm together with tissue/efflux levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) and their reuptake abilities across the fear circuit areas in rats that experienced single prolonged stress (SPS, a rodent model of PTSD), we demonstrated that SPS-impaired extinction retrieval was concomitant with the changes of central DA/NE in a dissociable manner. For tissue levels, diminished DA and increased NE were both observed in the mPFC and AMYG. DA efflux and synaptosomal DA transporter were consistently reduced in the AMYG/vHPC, whereas SPS reduced NE efflux in the infralimbic cortex and synaptosomal NE transporter in the mPFC. Furthermore, a lower expression of synaptosomal VMAT2 was observed in the mPFC, AMYG, and vHPC after SPS. Finally, negative correlations were observed between retrieval freezing and DA in the mPFC/AMYG; nevertheless, the phenomena became invalid after SPS. Our results suggest that central catecholamines are crucially involved in the retrieval of fear extinction in which DA and NE play distinctive roles across the fear circuit areas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Besnard, Antoine; Sahay, Amar
The generalization of fear is an adaptive, behavioral, and physiological response to the likelihood of threat in the environment. In contrast, the overgeneralization of fear, a cardinal feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), manifests as inappropriate, uncontrollable expression of fear in neutral and safe environments. Overgeneralization of fear stems from impaired discrimination of safe from aversive environments or discernment of unlikely threats from those that are highly probable. In addition, the time-dependent erosion of episodic details of traumatic memories might contribute to their generalization. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the overgeneralization of fear will guide development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat PTSD. Here, we conceptualize generalization of fear in terms of resolution of interference between similar memories. We propose a role for a fundamental encoding mechanism, pattern separation, in the dentate gyrus (DG)–CA3 circuit in resolving interference between ambiguous or uncertain threats and in preserving episodic content of remote aversive memories in hippocampal–cortical networks. We invoke cellular-, circuit-, and systems-based mechanisms by which adult-born dentate granule cells (DGCs) modulate pattern separation to influence resolution of interference and maintain precision of remote aversive memories. We discuss evidence for how these mechanisms are affected by stress, a risk factor for PTSD, to increase memory interference and decrease precision. Using this scaffold we ideate strategies to curb overgeneralization of fear in PTSD. PMID:26068726
Beckers, T.; Krypotos, A.M.; Boddez, Y.; Effting, M.; Kindt, M.
Fear conditioning is one of the prime paradigms of behavioural neuroscience and a source of tremendous insight in the fundamentals of learning and memory and the psychology and neurobiology of emotion. It is also widely regarded as a model for the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders in a
Dube, Blaire; Emrich, Stephen M; Al-Aidroos, Naseem
Across 2 experiments we revisited the filter account of how feature-based attention regulates visual working memory (VWM). Originally drawing from discrete-capacity ("slot") models, the filter account proposes that attention operates like the "bouncer in the brain," preventing distracting information from being encoded so that VWM resources are reserved for relevant information. Given recent challenges to the assumptions of discrete-capacity models, we investigated whether feature-based attention plays a broader role in regulating memory. Both experiments used partial report tasks in which participants memorized the colors of circle and square stimuli, and we provided a feature-based goal by manipulating the likelihood that 1 shape would be probed over the other across a range of probabilities. By decomposing participants' responses using mixture and variable-precision models, we estimated the contributions of guesses, nontarget responses, and imprecise memory representations to their errors. Consistent with the filter account, participants were less likely to guess when the probed memory item matched the feature-based goal. Interestingly, this effect varied with goal strength, even across high probabilities where goal-matching information should always be prioritized, demonstrating strategic control over filter strength. Beyond this effect of attention on which stimuli were encoded, we also observed effects on how they were encoded: Estimates of both memory precision and nontarget errors varied continuously with feature-based attention. The results offer support for an extension to the filter account, where feature-based attention dynamically regulates the distribution of resources within working memory so that the most relevant items are encoded with the greatest precision. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Ostaszkiewicz, Joan; O'Connell, Beverly; Dunning, Trisha
Most residents in residential aged-care facilities are incontinent. This study explored how continence care was provided in residential aged-care facilities, and describes a subset of data about staffs' beliefs and experiences of the quality framework and the funding model on residents' continence care. Using grounded theory methodology, 18 residential aged-care staff members were interviewed and 88 hours of field observations conducted in two facilities. Data were analysed using a combination of inductive and deductive analytic procedures. Staffs' beliefs and experiences about the requirements of the quality framework and the funding model fostered a climate of fear and risk adversity that had multiple unintended effects on residents' continence care, incentivising dependence on continence management, and equating effective continence care with effective pad use. There is a need to rethink the quality of continence care and its measurement in Australian residential aged-care facilities. © 2015 AJA Inc.
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
Monje, Francisco J; Kim, Eun-Jung; Pollak, Daniela D; Cabatic, Maureen; Li, Lin; Baston, Arthur; Lubec, Gert
The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase abundantly expressed in the mammalian brain and highly enriched in neuronal growth cones. Inhibitory and facilitatory activities of FAK on neuronal growth have been reported and its role in neuritic outgrowth remains controversial. Unlike other tyrosine kinases, such as the neurotrophin receptors regulating neuronal growth and plasticity, the relevance of FAK for learning and memory in vivo has not been clearly defined yet. A comprehensive study aimed at determining the role of FAK in neuronal growth, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory was therefore undertaken using the mouse model. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments indicated that FAK is a critical regulator of hippocampal cell morphology. FAK mediated neurotrophin-induced neuritic outgrowth and FAK inhibition affected both miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials and activity-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation prompting us to explore the possible role of FAK in spatial learning and memory in vivo. Our data indicate that FAK has a growth-promoting effect, is importantly involved in the regulation of the synaptic function and mediates in vivo hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Jeremy A Sullivan
Full Text Available CD8 T cell responses have three phases: expansion, contraction, and memory. Dynamic alterations in proliferation and apoptotic rates control CD8 T cell numbers at each phase, which in turn dictate the magnitude of CD8 T cell memory. Identification of signaling pathways that control CD8 T cell memory is incomplete. The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway controls cell growth in many cell types by modulating the activity of FOXO transcription factors. But the role of FOXOs in regulating CD8 T cell memory remains unknown. We show that phosphorylation of Akt, FOXO and mTOR in CD8 T cells occurs in a dynamic fashion in vivo during an acute viral infection. To elucidate the potentially dynamic role for FOXO3 in regulating homeostasis of activated CD8 T cells in lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs, we infected global and T cell-specific FOXO3-deficient mice with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV. We found that FOXO3 deficiency induced a marked increase in the expansion of effector CD8 T cells, preferentially in the spleen, by T cell-intrinsic mechanisms. Mechanistically, the enhanced accumulation of proliferating CD8 T cells in FOXO3-deficient mice was not attributed to an augmented rate of cell division, but instead was linked to a reduction in cellular apoptosis. These data suggested that FOXO3 might inhibit accumulation of growth factor-deprived proliferating CD8 T cells by reducing their viability. By virtue of greater accumulation of memory precursor effector cells during expansion, the numbers of memory CD8 T cells were strikingly increased in the spleens of both global and T cell-specific FOXO3-deficient mice. The augmented CD8 T cell memory was durable, and FOXO3 deficiency did not perturb any of the qualitative attributes of memory T cells. In summary, we have identified FOXO3 as a critical regulator of CD8 T cell memory, and therapeutic modulation of FOXO3 might enhance vaccine-induced protective immunity against intracellular pathogens.
Luke R Johnson
Full Text Available Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning crucially involves the integration of information about and acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. The auditory CS reaches the LA subcortically via a direct connection from the auditory thalamus and also from the auditory association cortex itself. How neural modulators, especially those activated during stress, such as norepinephrine (NE, regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity in this network is poorly understood. Here we show that NE inhibits synaptic transmission in both the subcortical and cortical input pathway but that sensory processing is biased towards the subcortical pathway. In addition binding of NE to β-adrenergic receptors further dissociates sensory processing in the LA. These findings suggest a network mechanism that shifts sensory balance towards the faster but more primitive subcortical input.
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.
Schiller, Daniela; Raio, Candace M; Phelps, Elizabeth A
Fear is maladaptive when it persists long after circumstances have become safe. It is therefore crucial to develop an approach that persistently prevents the return of fear. Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms are commonly employed to create a controlled, novel fear association in the laboratory. After pairing an innocuous stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) with an aversive outcome (unconditioned stimulus, US) we can elicit a fear response (conditioned response, or CR) by presenting just the stimulus alone. Once fear is acquired, it can be diminished using extinction training, whereby the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the aversive outcome until fear is no longer expressed. This inhibitory learning creates a new, safe representation for the CS, which competes for expression with the original fear memory. Although extinction is effective at inhibiting fear, it is not permanent. Fear can spontaneously recover with the passage of time. Exposure to stress or returning to the context of initial learning can also cause fear to resurface. Our protocol addresses the transient nature of extinction by targeting the reconsolidation window to modify emotional memory in a more permanent manner. Ample evidence suggests that reactivating a consolidated memory returns it to a labile state, during which the memory is again susceptible to interference. This window of opportunity appears to open shortly after reactivation and close approximately 6 hrs later, although this may vary depending on the strength and age of the memory. By allowing new information to incorporate into the original memory trace, this memory may be updated as it reconsolidates. Studies involving non-human animals have successfully blocked the expression of fear memory by introducing pharmacological manipulations within the reconsolidation window, however, most agents used are either toxic to humans or show equivocal effects when used in human studies. Our protocol addresses these
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.
Radurisation can give a new lease of shelf life to food and cut down contamination, but it is bound to cause problems - even among comparatively tame South African consumers. In this article the facts about radurization are discussed: the labelling of irradiated products, the problem of making a bad product good by using irradiation, consumer pressure, attitudes, fears and resistance. The economics of radurised foodstuffs are also discussed
Feng, Pan; Zheng, Yong
Investigations of fear conditioning have elucidated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition, consolidation and extinction, but it is not clear how the neural activation following fear reminder influence the following extinction. To address this question, we measured human brain activity following fear reminder using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and investigated whether the extinction effect can be predicted by resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). Behaviorally, we found no significant differences of fear ratings between the reminder group and the no reminder group at the fear acquisition and extinction stages, but spontaneous recovery during re-extinction stage appeared only in the no reminder group. Imaging data showed that functional connectivity between ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala in the reminder group was greater than that in the no reminder group after fear memory reactivation. More importantly, the functional connectivity between amygdala and vmPFC of the reminder group after fear memory reactivation was positively correlated with extinction effect. These results suggest RSFC between amygdala and the vmPFC following fear reminder can predict fear extinction, which provide important insight into the neural mechanisms of fear memory after fear memory reactivation. PMID:27013104
Marie Elizabeth Gibbs
Full Text Available This paper reviews the role played by glycogen breakdown (glycogenolysis and glycogen re-synthesis in memory processing in two different chick brain regions, (1 the hippocampus and (2 the avian equivalent of the mammalian cortex, the intermediate medial mesopallium (IMM. Memory processing is regulated by the neuromodulators noradrenaline and serotonin soon after training and glycogen breakdown and re-synthesis are involved. In day-old domestic chicks, memory formation is dependent on the breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis at three specific times during the first 60 min after learning (around 2.5, 30 and 55 min. The chicks learn to discriminate in a single trial between beads of two colours and tastes. Inhibition of glycogen breakdown by the inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-D-arabinitol (DAB given at specific times prior to the formation of long-term memory prevents memory forming. Noradrenergic stimulation of cultured chicken astrocytes by a selective β2-adrenergic (AR agonist reduces glycogen levels and we believe that in vivo this triggers memory consolidation at the second stage of glycogenolysis. Serotonin acting at 5-HT2B receptors acts on the first stage, but not on the second. We have shown that noradrenaline, acting via post-synaptic α2-ARs, is also responsible for the synthesis of glycogen and our experiments suggest that there is a readily accessible labile pool of glycogen in astrocytes which is depleted within 10 min if glycogen synthesis is inhibited. Endogenous ATP promotion of memory consolidation at 2.5 and 30 min is also dependent on glycogen breakdown. ATP acts at P2Y1 receptors and the action of thrombin suggests that it causes the release of internal calcium ([Ca2+]i] in astrocytes. Glutamate and GABA, the primary neurotransmitters in the brain, cannot be synthesized in neurons de novo. Neurons rely on astrocytic glutamate synthesis, requiring glycogenolysis.
Plattner, Florian; Hernandéz, Adan; Kistler, Tara M.; Pozo, Karine; Zhong, Ping; Yuen, Eunice Y.; Tan, Chunfeng; Hawasli, Ammar H.; Cooke, Sam F.; Nishi, Akinori; Guo, Ailan; Wiederhold, Thorsten; Yan, Zhen; Bibb, James A.
SUMMARY Many psychiatric and neurological disorders are characterized by learning and memory deficits, for which cognitive enhancement is considered a valid treatment strategy. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is a prime target for the development of cognitive enhancers due to its fundamental role in learning and memory. In particular, the NMDAR subunit NR2B improves synaptic plasticity and memory when over-expressed in neurons. However, NR2B regulation is not well understood and no therapies potentiating NMDAR function have been developed. Here, we show that serine 1116 of NR2B is phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5). Cdk5-dependent NR2B phosphorylation is regulated by neuronal activity and controls the receptor’s cell surface expression. Disrupting NR2B-Cdk5 interaction using a small interfering peptide (siP) increases NR2B surface levels, facilitates synaptic transmission, and improves memory formation in vivo. Our results reveal a novel regulatory mechanism critical to NR2B function that can be targeted for the development of cognitive enhancers. PMID:24607229
Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis
We review recent work on the role of intrinsic amygdala networks in the regulation of classically conditioned defensive behaviors, commonly known as conditioned fear. These new developments highlight how conditioned fear depends on far more complex networks than initially envisioned. Indeed, multiple parallel inhibitory and excitatory circuits are differentially recruited during the expression versus extinction of conditioned fear. Moreover, shifts between expression and extinction circuits involve coordinated interactions with different regions of the medial prefrontal cortex. However, key areas of uncertainty remain, particularly with respect to the connectivity of the different cell types. Filling these gaps in our knowledge is important because much evidence indicates that human anxiety disorders results from an abnormal regulation of the networks supporting fear learning. PMID:24908482
Maren, Stephen; Holmes, Andrew
Stress has a critical role in the development and expression of many psychiatric disorders, and is a defining feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress also limits the efficacy of behavioral therapies aimed at limiting pathological fear, such as exposure therapy. Here we examine emerging evidence that stress impairs recovery from trauma by impairing fear extinction, a form of learning thought to underlie the suppression of trauma-related fear memories. We describe the major structural and functional abnormalities in brain regions that are particularly vulnerable to stress, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus, which may underlie stress-induced impairments in extinction. We also discuss some of the stress-induced neurochemical and molecular alterations in these brain regions that are associated with extinction deficits, and the potential for targeting these changes to prevent or reverse impaired extinction. A better understanding of the neurobiological basis of stress effects on extinction promises to yield novel approaches to improving therapeutic outcomes for PTSD and other anxiety and trauma-related disorders. PMID:26105142
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…
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...
Desseilles, Martin; Duclos, Catherine
During dreaming, as well as during wakefulness, elaborative encoding, indexing and ancient art of memory (AAOM) techniques, such as the method of loci, may coincide with emotion regulation. These techniques shed light on the link between dreaming and emotional catharsis, post-traumatic stress disorder, supermemorization during sleep as opposed to wakefulness, and the developmental role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in children. Peer reviewed
Knox, Dayan; Stanfield, Briana R; Staib, Jennifer M; David, Nina P; DePietro, Thomas; Chamness, Marisa; Schneider, Elizabeth K; Keller, Samantha M; Lawless, Caroline
Neural circuits via which stress leads to disruptions in fear extinction is often explored in animal stress models. Using the single prolonged stress (SPS) model of post traumatic stress disorder and the immediate early gene (IEG) c-Fos as a measure of neural activity, we previously identified patterns of neural activity through which SPS disrupts extinction retention. However, none of these stress effects were specific to fear or extinction learning and memory. C-Jun is another IEG that is sometimes regulated in a different manner to c-Fos and could be used to identify emotional learning/memory specific patterns of neural activity that are sensitive to SPS. Animals were either fear conditioned (CS-fear) or presented with CSs only (CS-only) then subjected to extinction training and testing. C-Jun was then assayed within neural substrates critical for extinction memory. Inhibited c-Jun levels in the hippocampus (Hipp) and enhanced functional connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) during extinction training was disrupted by SPS in the CS-fear group only. As a result, these effects were specific to emotional learning/memory. SPS also disrupted inhibited Hipp c-Jun levels, enhanced BLA c-Jun levels, and altered functional connectivity among the vmPFC, BLA, and Hipp during extinction testing in SPS rats in the CS-fear and CS-only groups. As a result, these effects were not specific to emotional learning/memory. Our findings suggest that SPS disrupts neural activity specific to extinction memory, but may also disrupt the retention of fear extinction by mechanisms that do not involve emotional learning/memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
de la Fuente, Verónica; Freudenthal, Ramiro; Romano, Arturo
In fear conditioning, aversive stimuli are readily associated with contextual features. A brief reexposure to the training context causes fear memory reconsolidation, whereas a prolonged reexposure induces memory extinction. The regulation of hippocampal gene expression plays a key role in contextual memory consolidation and reconsolidation. However, the mechanisms that determine whether memory will reconsolidate or extinguish are not known. Here, we demonstrate opposing roles for two evolutionarily related transcription factors in the mouse hippocampus. We found that nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is required for fear memory reconsolidation. Conversely, calcineurin phosphatase inhibited NF-κB and induced nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) nuclear translocation in the transition between reconsolidation and extinction. Accordingly, the hippocampal inhibition of both calcineurin and NFAT independently impaired memory extinction, whereas inhibition of NF-κB enhanced memory extinction. These findings represent the first insight into the molecular mechanisms that determine memory reprocessing after retrieval, supporting a transcriptional switch that directs memory toward reconsolidation or extinction. The precise molecular characterization of postretrieval processes has potential importance to the development of therapeutic strategies for fear memory disorders.
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 associ