Inhibition and enhancement of contextual fear memory destabilization.

Jonathan Lee, Charlotte Law

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The reactivation of a memory can result in its destabilization, necessitating a process of memory reconsolidation to maintain its persistence. Here we show that the destabilization of a contextual fear memory is potentiated by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist Arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA). Co-infusion of ACEA and the IkappaB kinase (IKK) inhibitor sulfasalazine (Sulf) into the dorsal hippocampus impaired contextual fear memory reconsolidation. This observation was achieved under behavioral conditions that, by themselves, did not result in a reconsolidation impairment by Sulf alone. Moreover, we show that the destabilization of a contextual fear memory is dependent upon neuronal activity in the dorsal hippocampus, but not memory expression per se. The effect on contextual fear memory destabilization of intra-hippocampal ACEA was replicated by systemic injections, allowing an amnestic effect of MK-801. These results indicate that memory expression and destabilization, while being independent from one another, are both dependent upon memory reactivation. Moreover, memory destabilization can be enhanced pharmacologically, which may be of therapeutic potential.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 Lee and Flavell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


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