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Sample records for conditioned fear memories

  1. Fear memory formation can affect a different memory: fear conditioning affects the extinction, but not retrieval, of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory

    PubMed Central

    Joels, Gil; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2014-01-01

    The formation of fear memory to a specific stimulus leads to subsequent fearful response to that stimulus. However, it is not apparent whether the formation of fear memory can affect other memories. We study whether specific fearful experience leading to fear memory affects different memories formation and extinction. We revealed that cued fear conditioning, but not unpaired or naïve training, inhibited the extinction of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) memory that was formed after fear conditioning training in rats. Fear conditioning had no effect on retrieval of CTA memory but specifically impaired its extinction. Extinguished fear memory, after fear extinction training, had no effect on future CTA memory extinction. Fear conditioning had no effect on CTA memory extinction if CTA memory was formed before fear conditioning. Conditioned taste aversion had no effect on fear conditioning memory extinction. We conclude that active cued fear conditioning memory can affect specifically the extinction, but not the formation, of future different memory. PMID:25324744

  2. [Mechanisms for regulation of fear conditioning and memory].

    PubMed

    Kida, Satoshi

    2014-11-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a model of fear learning and memory. The mechanisms regulating fear conditioning and memory have been investigated in humans and rodents. In this paradigm, animals learn and memorize an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS), such as context, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as an electrical footshock that induces fear. Fear memory generated though fear conditioning is stabilized via a memory consolidation process. Moreover, recent studies have shown the existence of memory processes that control fear memory following the retrieval of consolidated memory. Indeed, when fear memory is retrieved by re-exposure to the CS, the retrieved memory is re-stabilized via the reconsolidation process. On the other hand, the retrieval of fear memory by prolonged re-exposure to the CS also leads to fear memory extinction, new inhibitory learning against the fear memory, in which animals learn that they do not need to respond to the CS. Importantly, the reinforcement of fear memory after retrieval (i.e., re-experience such as flashbacks or nightmares) has been thought to be associated with the development of emotional disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this review, I summarize recent progress in studies on the mechanism of fear conditioning and memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction, and furthermore, introduce our recent establishment of a mouse PTSD model that shows enhancement of fear memory after retrieval.

  3. Different genetic factors underlie fear conditioning and episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Fredrikson, Mats; Annas, Peter; Hettema, John M

    2015-08-01

    Fear conditioning seems to account for the acquisition of post-traumatic stress disorder, whereas conscious recall of events in aftermath of trauma reflects episodic memory. Studies show that both fear conditioning and episodic memory are heritable, but no study has evaluated whether they reflect common or separate genetic factors. To this end, we studied episodic memory and fear conditioning in 173 healthy twin pairs using visual stimuli predicting unconditioned electric shocks. Fear conditioning acquisition and extinction was determined using conditioned visual stimuli predicting unconditioned mild electric shocks, whereas electrodermal activity served as the fear learning index. Episodic memory was evaluated using cued recall of pictorial stimuli unrelated to conditioning. We used multivariate structural equation modeling to jointly analyze memory performance and acquisition as well as extinction of fear conditioning. Best-fit twin models estimated moderate genetic loadings for conditioning and memory measures, with no genetic covariation between them. Individual differences in fear conditioning and episodic memory reflect distinct genetically influenced processes, suggesting that the genetic risk for learning-induced anxiety disorders includes at least two memory-related genetic factors. These findings are consistent with the facts that the two separate learning forms are distant in their evolutionary development, involve different brain mechanisms, and support that genetically independent memory systems are pivotal in the development and maintenance of syndromes related to fear learning.

  4. Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, Ivan; Furini, Cristiane R G; Myskiw, Jociane C

    2016-04-01

    Fear memory is the best-studied form of memory. It was thoroughly investigated in the past 60 years mostly using two classical conditioning procedures (contextual fear conditioning and fear conditioning to a tone) and one instrumental procedure (one-trial inhibitory avoidance). Fear memory is formed in the hippocampus (contextual conditioning and inhibitory avoidance), in the basolateral amygdala (inhibitory avoidance), and in the lateral amygdala (conditioning to a tone). The circuitry involves, in addition, the pre- and infralimbic ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the central amygdala subnuclei, and the dentate gyrus. Fear learning models, notably inhibitory avoidance, have also been very useful for the analysis of the biochemical mechanisms of memory consolidation as a whole. These studies have capitalized on in vitro observations on long-term potentiation and other kinds of plasticity. The effect of a very large number of drugs on fear learning has been intensively studied, often as a prelude to the investigation of effects on anxiety. The extinction of fear learning involves to an extent a reversal of the flow of information in the mentioned structures and is used in the therapy of posttraumatic stress disorder and fear memories in general.

  5. Hippocampal Structural Plasticity Accompanies the Resulting Contextual Fear Memory Following Stress and Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D.; Molina, Victor A.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  6. Hippocampal Structural Plasticity Accompanies the Resulting Contextual Fear Memory Following Stress and Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giachero, Marcelo; Calfa, Gaston D.; Molina, Victor A.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  7. Delayed effects of cortisol enhance fear memory of trace conditioning.

    PubMed

    Cornelisse, Sandra; van Ast, Vanessa A; Joëls, Marian; Kindt, Merel

    2014-02-01

    Corticosteroids induce rapid non-genomic effects followed by slower genomic effects that are thought to modulate cognitive function in opposite and complementary ways. It is presently unknown how these time-dependent effects of cortisol affect fear memory of delay and trace conditioning. This distinction is of special interest because the neural substrates underlying these types of conditioning may be differently affected by time-dependent cortisol effects. Delay conditioning is predominantly amygdala-dependent, while trace conditioning additionally requires the hippocampus. Here, we manipulated the timing of cortisol action during acquisition of delay and trace fear conditioning, by randomly assigning 63 men to one of three possible groups: (1) receiving 10mg hydrocortisone 240 min (slow cort) or (2) 60 min (rapid cort) before delay and trace acquisition, or (3) placebo at both times, in a double-blind design. The next day, we tested memory for trace and delay conditioning. Fear potentiated startle responses, skin conductance responses and unconditioned stimulus expectancy scores were measured throughout the experiment. The fear potentiated startle data show that cortisol intake 240 min before actual fear acquisition (slow cort) uniquely strengthened subsequent trace conditioned memory. No effects of cortisol delivery 60 min prior to fear acquisition were found on any measure of fear memory. Our findings emphasize that slow, presumably genomic, but not more rapid effects of corticosteroids enhance hippocampal-dependent fear memories. On a broader level, our findings underline that basic experimental research and clinically relevant pharmacological treatments employing corticosteroids should acknowledge the timing of corticosteroid administration relative to the learning phase, or therapeutic intervention.

  8. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction

    PubMed Central

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Sleep Deprivation Selectively Impairs Memory Consolidation for Contextual Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Laurel A.; Heller, Elizabeth A.; Pack, Allan I.; Abel, Ted

    2003-01-01

    Many behavioral and electrophysiological studies in animals and humans have suggested that sleep and circadian rhythms influence memory consolidation. In rodents, hippocampus-dependent memory may be particularly sensitive to sleep deprivation after training, as spatial memory in the Morris water maze is impaired by rapid eye movement sleep deprivation following training. Spatial learning in the Morris water maze, however, requires multiple training trials and performance, as measured by time to reach the hidden platform is influenced by not only spatial learning but also procedural learning. To determine if sleep is important for the consolidation of a single-trial, hippocampus-dependent task, we sleep deprived animals for 0–5 and 5–10 h after training for contextual and cued fear conditioning. We found that sleep deprivation from 0–5 h after training for this task impaired memory consolidation for contextual fear conditioning whereas sleep deprivation from 5–10 h after training had no effect. Sleep deprivation at either time point had no effect on cued fear conditioning, a hippocampus-independent task. Previous studies have determined that memory consolidation for fear conditioning is impaired when protein kinase A and protein synthesis inhibitors are administered at the same time as when sleep deprivation is effective, suggesting that sleep deprivation may act by modifying these molecular mechanisms of memory storage. PMID:12773581

  10. Cotinine enhances the extinction of contextual fear memory and reduces anxiety after fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Zeitlin, Ross; Patel, Sagar; Solomon, Rosalynn; Tran, John; Weeber, Edwin J; Echeverria, Valentina

    2012-03-17

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder triggered by traumatic events. Symptoms include anxiety, depression and deficits in fear memory extinction (FE). PTSD patients show a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking than the general population. The present study investigated the effects of cotinine, a tobacco-derived compound, over anxiety and contextual fear memory after fear conditioning (FC) in mice, a model for inducing PTSD-like symptoms. Two-month-old C57BL/6J mice were separated into three experimental groups. These groups were used to investigate the effect of pretreatment with cotinine on contextual fear memory and posttreatment on extinction and stability or retrievability of the fear memory. Also, changes induced by cotinine on the expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 were assessed after extinction in the hippocampus. An increase in anxiety and corticosterone levels were found after fear conditioning. Cotinine did not affect corticosterone levels but enhanced the extinction of contextual fear, decreased anxiety and the stability and/or retrievability of contextual fear memory. Cotinine-treated mice showed higher levels of the active forms of ERK1/2 than vehicle-treated mice after FC. This evidence suggests that cotinine is a potential new pharmacological treatment to reduce symptoms in individuals with PTSD.

  11. Topiramate diminishes fear memory consolidation and extinguishes conditioned fear in rats

    PubMed Central

    do Prado-Lima, Pedro Antônio Schmidt; Perrenoud, Myriam Fortes; Kristensen, Christian Haag; Cammarota, Martin; Izquierdo, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    Background Topiramate has been recognized as a drug that can induce memory and cognitive impairment. Using the one-trial inhibitory avoidance task, we sought to verify the effect of topiramate on consolidation and extinction of aversive memory. Our hypothesis was that topiramate inhibits the consolidation and enhances the extinction of this fear memory. Methods In experiment 1, which occured immediately or 3 hours after training, topiramate was administered to rats, and consolidation of memory was verified 18 days after the conditioning session. In experiment 2, which occured 18–22 days after the training session, rats were submitted to the extinction protocol. Rats received topiramate 14 days before or during the extinction protocol. Results Topiramate blocked fear memory retention (p < 0.01) and enhanced fear memory extinction (p < 0.001) only when administered during the extinction protocol. Limitations This experimental design did not allow us to determine whether topiramate also blocked the reconsolidation of fear memory. Conclusion Topiramate diminishes fear memory consolidation and promotes extinction of inhibitory avoidance memory. PMID:21392483

  12. Effects of sleep on memory for conditioned fear and fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Germain, Anne; Milad, Mohammed R

    2015-07-01

    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

  13. Brain Region-Specific Activity Patterns after Recent or Remote Memory Retrieval of Auditory Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Jhang, Jinho; Kim, Hyung-Su; Lee, Sujin; Han, Jin-Hee

    2012-01-01

    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…

  14. Brain Region-Specific Activity Patterns after Recent or Remote Memory Retrieval of Auditory Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Jhang, Jinho; Kim, Hyung-Su; Lee, Sujin; Han, Jin-Hee

    2012-01-01

    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…

  15. Memory and psychostimulants: Modulation of Pavlovian fear conditioning by amphetamine

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Suzanne C.; Anagnostaras, Stephan G.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale and Objectives With prescriptions of stimulants on the rise, it is important to examine the cognitive effects of low and moderate doses of stimulants, rather than only those typical of addicts. Methods The present study examined the effects a range of doses (0.005 – 8 mg/kg) of d-amphetamine sulfate on cued and contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning in mice. Results In agreement with previous research, subjects administered a moderately high dose of amphetamine (8 mg/kg) pre-training, typical of what addicts might take, displayed impaired memory when tested, off-drug. Alternately, subjects injected with a very low dose of amphetamine (0.005, 0.025, or 0.05 mg/kg), pre-training, similar to the therapeutic doses for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, displayed enhanced memory when tested, off-drug. A control study showed these effects were not due to state-dependent learning. Conclusions Thus, dose is a critical determinant of the cognitive effects of psychostimulants. PMID:18478205

  16. The roles of Eph receptors in contextual fear conditioning memory formation.

    PubMed

    Dines, Monica; Grinberg, Svetlana; Vassiliev, Maria; Ram, Alon; Tamir, Tal; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-10-01

    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.

  17. Influence of stress on fear memory processes in an aversive differential conditioning paradigm in humans.

    PubMed

    Bentz, Dorothée; Michael, Tanja; Wilhelm, Frank H; Hartmann, Francina R; Kunz, Sabrina; von Rohr, Isabelle R Rudolf; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2013-07-01

    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.

  18. Noradrenergic blockade of memory reconsolidation: a failure to reduce conditioned fear responding.

    PubMed

    Bos, Marieke Geerte Nynke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2014-01-01

    Upon recall, a memory can enter a labile state in which it requires new protein synthesis to restabilize. This two-phased reconsolidation process raises the prospect to directly target excessive fear memory as opposed to the formation of inhibitory memory following extinction training. In our previous studies, we convincingly demonstrated that 40 mg propranolol HCl administration before or after memory reactivation eliminated the emotional expression of fear memory indexed by the fear potentiated startle reflex. To apply this procedure in clinical practice it is important to understand the optimal and boundary conditions of this procedure. As part of a large project aimed at unraveling putative boundary conditions of disrupting reconsolidation of associative fear memory with propranolol HCl, we again tested our memory reconsolidation procedure. Participants (N = 44) underwent a three-day differential fear conditioning procedure. Twenty-four hours after fear acquisition, participants received 40 mg propranolol HCl prior to memory reactivation. The next day, participants were subjected to extinction training and reinstatement testing. In sharp contrast to our previous findings, propranolol HCl before memory reactivation did not attenuate the startle fear response. Remarkably, the startle fear response even persisted during extinction training and did not show the usually observed gradual decline in conditioned physiological responding (startle potentiation and skin conductance) upon repeated unreinforced trials. We discuss these unexpected findings and propose some potential explanations. It remains, however, unclear why we observed a resistance to reduce conditioned fear responding by either disrupting reconsolidation or extinction training. The present results underscore that the success of human fear conditioning research may depend on subtle manipulations and instructions.

  19. Noradrenergic Blockade of Memory Reconsolidation: A Failure to Reduce Conditioned Fear Responding

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Marieke Geerte Nynke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2014-01-01

    Upon recall, a memory can enter a labile state in which it requires new protein synthesis to restabilize. This two-phased reconsolidation process raises the prospect to directly target excessive fear memory as opposed to the formation of inhibitory memory following extinction training. In our previous studies, we convincingly demonstrated that 40 mg propranolol HCl administration before or after memory reactivation eliminated the emotional expression of fear memory indexed by the fear potentiated startle reflex. To apply this procedure in clinical practice it is important to understand the optimal and boundary conditions of this procedure. As part of a large project aimed at unraveling putative boundary conditions of disrupting reconsolidation of associative fear memory with propranolol HCl, we again tested our memory reconsolidation procedure. Participants (N = 44) underwent a three-day differential fear conditioning procedure. Twenty-four hours after fear acquisition, participants received 40 mg propranolol HCl prior to memory reactivation. The next day, participants were subjected to extinction training and reinstatement testing. In sharp contrast to our previous findings, propranolol HCl before memory reactivation did not attenuate the startle fear response. Remarkably, the startle fear response even persisted during extinction training and did not show the usually observed gradual decline in conditioned physiological responding (startle potentiation and skin conductance) upon repeated unreinforced trials. We discuss these unexpected findings and propose some potential explanations. It remains, however, unclear why we observed a resistance to reduce conditioned fear responding by either disrupting reconsolidation or extinction training. The present results underscore that the success of human fear conditioning research may depend on subtle manipulations and instructions. PMID:25506319

  20. The retrosplenial cortex is involved in the formation of memory for context and trace fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.; Lee, Jonathan L.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2015-01-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is known to play a role in the retrieval of context memory, but its involvement in memory formation and consolidation is unclear. To better characterize the role of the RSC, we tested its involvement in the formation and retrieval of memory for trace fear conditioning, a task that requires the association of two cues separated by an empty period of time. We have previously shown that trace fear extinction requires the RSC (Kwapis et al., 2014) and have hypothesized that trace memory may be stored in a distributed cortical network that includes prelimbic and retrosplenial cortices (Kwapis et al., 2015). Whether the RSC participates in acquiring and storing cued trace fear, however, is currently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that blocking protein synthesis in the RSC before, but not after acquisition impairs rats’ memory for trace CS and context fear without affecting memory for the CS in standard delay fear conditioning. We also show that NMDA receptor blockade in the RSC transiently impairs memory retrieval for trace, but not delay memory. The RSC therefore appears to critically contribute to formation of trace and context fear memory in addition to its previously recognized role in context memory retrieval. PMID:26079095

  1. The retrosplenial cortex is involved in the formation of memory for context and trace fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Kwapis, Janine L; Jarome, Timothy J; Lee, Jonathan L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2015-09-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is known to play a role in the retrieval of context memory, but its involvement in memory formation and consolidation is unclear. To better characterize the role of the RSC, we tested its involvement in the formation and retrieval of memory for trace fear conditioning, a task that requires the association of two cues separated by an empty period of time. We have previously shown that trace fear extinction requires the RSC (Kwapis, Jarome, Lee, Gilmartin, & Helmstetter, 2014) and have hypothesized that trace memory may be stored in a distributed cortical network that includes prelimbic and retrosplenial cortices (Kwapis, Jarome, & Helmstetter, 2015). Whether the RSC participates in acquiring and storing cued trace fear, however, is currently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that blocking protein synthesis in the RSC before, but not after acquisition impairs rats' memory for trace CS and context fear without affecting memory for the CS in standard delay fear conditioning. We also show that NMDA receptor blockade in the RSC transiently impairs memory retrieval for trace, but not delay memory. The RSC therefore appears to critically contribute to formation of trace and context fear memory in addition to its previously recognized role in context memory retrieval.

  2. Relationship between Fear Conditionability and Aversive Memories: Evidence from a Novel Conditioned-Intrusion Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Wegerer, Melanie; Blechert, Jens; Kerschbaum, Hubert; Wilhelm, Frank H.

    2013-01-01

    Intrusive memories – a hallmark symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – are often triggered by stimuli possessing similarity with cues that predicted or accompanied the traumatic event. According to learning theories, intrusive memories can be seen as a conditioned response to trauma reminders. However, direct laboratory evidence for the link between fear conditionability and intrusive memories is missing. Furthermore, fear conditioning studies have predominantly relied on standardized aversive stimuli (e.g. electric stimulation) that bear little resemblance to typical traumatic events. To investigate the general relationship between fear conditionability and aversive memories, we tested 66 mentally healthy females in a novel conditioned-intrusion paradigm designed to model real-life traumatic experiences. The paradigm included a differential fear conditioning procedure with neutral sounds as conditioned stimuli and short violent film clips as unconditioned stimuli. Subsequent aversive memories were assessed through a memory triggering task (within 30 minutes, in the laboratory) and ambulatory assessment (involuntary aversive memories in the 2 days following the experiment). Skin conductance responses and subjective ratings demonstrated successful differential conditioning indicating that naturalistic aversive film stimuli can be used in a fear conditioning experiment. Furthermore, aversive memories were elicited in response to the conditioned stimuli during the memory triggering task and also occurred in the 2 days following the experiment. Importantly, participants who displayed higher conditionability showed more aversive memories during the memory triggering task and during ambulatory assessment. This suggests that fear conditioning constitutes an important source of persistent aversive memories. Implications for PTSD and its treatment are discussed. PMID:24244407

  3. Altered resting-state brain activity at functional MRI during automatic memory consolidation of fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Feng, Tingyong; Feng, Pan; Chen, Zhencai

    2013-07-26

    Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and extinction. However, the neural mechanism of automatic memory consolidation of fear conditioning is still unclear. To address this question, we measured brain activity following fear acquisition using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In the current study, we used a marker of fMRI, amplitude of low-frequency (0.01-0.08Hz) fluctuation (ALFF) to quantify the spontaneous brain activity. Brain activity correlated to fear memory consolidation was observed in parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus in resting-state. Furthermore, after acquired fear conditioning, compared with control group some brain areas showed ALFF increased in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in the experimental group, whereas some brain areas showed decreased ALFF in striatal regions (caudate, putamen). Moreover, the change of ALFF in vmPFC was positively correlated with the subjective fear ratings. These findings suggest that the parahippocampus, insula, and thalamus are the neural substrates of fear memory consolidation. The difference in activity could be attributed to a homeostatic process in which the vmPFC and ACC were involved in the fear recovery process, and change of ALFF in vmPFC predicts subjective fear ratings. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Inhibition of prefrontal protein synthesis following recall does not disrupt memory for trace fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Blum, Sonja; Runyan, Jason D; Dash, Pramod K

    2006-01-01

    Background The extent of similarity between consolidation and reconsolidation is not yet fully understood. One of the differences noted is that not every brain region involved in consolidation exhibits reconsolidation. In trace fear conditioning, the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are required for consolidation of long-term memory. We have previously demonstrated that trace fear memory is susceptible to infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin into the hippocampus following recall. In the present study, we examine whether protein synthesis inhibition in the mPFC following recall similarly results in the observation of reconsolidation of trace fear memory. Results Targeted intra-mPFC infusions of anisomycin or vehicle were performed immediately following recall of trace fear memory at 24 hours, or at 30 days, following training in a one-day or a two-day protocol. The present study demonstrates three key findings: 1) trace fear memory does not undergo protein synthesis dependent reconsolidation in the PFC, regardless of the intensity of the training, and 2) regardless of whether the memory is recent or remote, and 3) intra-mPFC inhibition of protein synthesis immediately following training impaired remote (30 days) memory. Conclusion These results suggest that not all structures that participate in memory storage are involved in reconsolidation. Alternatively, certain types of memory-related information may reconsolidate, while other components of memory may not. PMID:17026758

  5. Auditory conditioned stimulus presentation during NREM sleep impairs fear memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Purple, Ross J; Sakurai, Takeshi; Sakaguchi, Masanori

    2017-04-12

    Externally manipulating memories by presenting conditioned stimuli (CS) during sleep is a new approach to investigating memory processing during sleep. However, whether presenting a CS during REM or NREM sleep enhances or extinguishes fear memory has not been clearly delineated. In this study, mice underwent trace fear conditioning consisting of an auditory CS paired with a foot shock, and the auditory CS was re-presented during subsequent REM or NREM sleep. Mice that received auditory cueing during NREM but not REM sleep showed impaired fear memory upon later presentation of the auditory CS. These findings have implications for the use of cueing during sleep and advance our understanding of the role of REM and NREM sleep in memory consolidation.

  6. Memory consolidation of fear conditioning: Bi-stable amygdala connectivity with dorsal anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Pan; Chen, Zhencai; Lei, Xu

    2014-01-01

    Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and extinction. However, the neural mechanism of memory consolidation of fear conditioning is not well understood. To address this question, we measured brain activity and the changes in functional connectivity following fear acquisition using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The amygdala–dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and hippocampus–insula functional connectivity were enhanced, whereas the amygdala–medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) functional coupling was decreased during fear memory consolidation. Furthermore, the amygdala–mPFC functional connectivity was negatively correlated with the subjective fear ratings. These findings suggest the amygdala functional connectivity with dACC and mPFC may play an important role in memory consolidation of fear conditioning. The change of amygdala-mPFC functional connectivity could predict the subjective fear. Accordingly, this study provides a new perspective for understanding fear memory consolidation. PMID:24194579

  7. Effect of Conditioned Stimulus Exposure during Slow Wave Sleep on Fear Memory Extinction in Humans

    PubMed Central

    He, Jia; Sun, Hong-Qiang; Li, Su-Xia; Zhang, Wei-Hua; Shi, Jie; Ai, Si-Zhi; Li, Yun; Li, Xiao-Jun; Tang, Xiang-Dong; Lu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: Repeated exposure to a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) in the absence of a noxious unconditioned stimulus (US) elicits fear memory extinction. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of mild tone exposure (CS) during slow wave sleep (SWS) on fear memory extinction in humans. Design: The healthy volunteers underwent an auditory fear conditioning paradigm on the experimental night, during which tones served as the CS, and a mild shock served as the US. They were then randomly assigned to four groups. Three groups were exposed to the CS for 3 or 10 min or an irrelevant tone (control stimulus, CtrS) for 10 min during SWS. The fourth group served as controls and was not subjected to any interventions. All of the subjects completed a memory test 4 h after SWS-rich stage to evaluate the effect on fear extinction. Moreover, we conducted similar experiments using an independent group of subjects during the daytime to test whether the memory extinction effect was specific to the sleep condition. Participants: Ninety-six healthy volunteers (44 males) aged 18–28 y. Measurements and Results: Participants exhibited undisturbed sleep during 2 consecutive nights, as assessed by sleep variables (all P > 0.05) from polysomnographic recordings and power spectral analysis. Participants who were re-exposed to the 10 min CS either during SWS and wakefulness exhibited attenuated fear responses (wake-10 min CS, P < 0.05; SWS-10 min CS, P < 0.01). Conclusions: Conditioned stimulus re-exposure during slow wave sleep promoted fear memory extinction without altering sleep profiles. Citation: He J, Sun HQ, Li SX, Zhang WH, Shi J, Ai SZ, Li Y, Li XJ, Tang XD, Lu L. Effect of conditioned stimulus exposure during slow wave sleep on fear memory extinction in humans. SLEEP 2015;38(3):423–431. PMID:25348121

  8. Eye Movements Index Implicit Memory Expression in Fear Conditioning.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Lauren S; Schultz, Douglas H; Hannula, Deborah E; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  9. Eye Movements Index Implicit Memory Expression in Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Lauren S.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Hannula, Deborah E.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26562298

  10. Unconditioned stimulus revaluation to promote conditioned fear extinction in the memory reconsolidation window.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiang-Xing; Du, Juan; Zhuang, Chu-Qun; Zhang, Jun-Hua; Jia, Yan-Lei; Zheng, Xi-Fu

    2014-01-01

    The retrieval-extinction paradigm, which disrupts the reconsolidation of fear memories in humans, is a non-invasive technique that can be used to prevent the return of fear in humans. In the present study, unconditioned stimulus revaluation was applied in the retrieval-extinction paradigm to investigate its promotion of conditioned fear extinction in the memory reconsolidation window after participants acquired conditioned fear. This experiment comprised three stages (acquisition, unconditioned stimulus revaluation, retrieval-extinction) and three methods for indexing fear (unconditioned stimulus expectancy, skin conductance response, conditioned stimulus pleasure rating). After the acquisition phase, we decreased the intensity of the unconditioned stimulus in one group (devaluation) and maintained constant for the other group (control). The results indicated that both groups exhibited similar levels of unconditioned stimulus expectancy, but the devaluation group had significantly smaller skin conductance responses and exhibited a growth in conditioned stimulus + pleasure. Thus, our findings indicate unconditioned stimulus revaluation effectively promoted the extinction of conditioned fear within the memory reconsolidation window.

  11. Acute Exercise Enhances the Consolidation of Fear Extinction Memory and Reduces Conditioned Fear Relapse in a Sex-Dependent Manner

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bouchet, Courtney A.; Lloyd, Brian A.; Loetz, Esteban C.; Farmer, Caroline E.; Ostrovskyy, Mykola; Haddad, Natalie; Foright, Rebecca M.; Greenwood, Benjamin N.

    2017-01-01

    Fear extinction-based exposure therapy is the most common behavioral therapy for anxiety and trauma-related disorders, but fear extinction memories are labile and fear tends to return even after successful extinction. The relapse of fear contributes to the poor long-term efficacy of exposure therapy. A single session of voluntary exercise can…

  12. Basolateral amygdala is not critical for cognitive memory of contextual fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Vazdarjanova, Almira; McGaugh, James L.

    1998-01-01

    Evidence that lesions of the basolateral amygdala complex (BLC) impair memory for fear conditioning in rats, measured by lack of “freezing” behavior in the presence of cues previously paired with footshocks, has suggested that the BLC may be a critical locus for the memory of fear conditioning. However, evidence that BLC lesions may impair unlearned as well as conditioned freezing makes it difficult to interpret the findings of studies assessing conditioned fear with freezing. The present study investigated whether such lesions prevent the expression of several measures of memory for contextual fear conditioning in addition to freezing. On day 1, rats with sham lesions or BLC lesions explored a Y maze. The BLC-lesioned rats (BLC rats) displayed a greater exploratory activity. On day 2, each of the rats was placed in the “shock” arm of the maze, and all of the sham and half of the BLC rats received footshocks. A 24-hr retention test assessed the freezing, time spent per arm, entries per arm, and initial entry into the shock arm. As previously reported, shocked BLC rats displayed little freezing. However, the other measures indicated that the shocked BLC rats remembered the fear conditioning. They entered less readily and less often and spent less time in the shock arm than did the control nonshocked BLC rats. Compared with the sham rats, the shocked BLC rats entered more quickly and more often and spent more time in the shock arm. These findings indicate that an intact BLC is not essential for the formation and expression of long-term cognitive/explicit memory of contextual fear conditioning. PMID:9844005

  13. Effect of conditioned stimulus exposure during slow wave sleep on fear memory extinction in humans.

    PubMed

    He, Jia; Sun, Hong-Qiang; Li, Su-Xia; Zhang, Wei-Hua; Shi, Jie; Ai, Si-Zhi; Li, Yun; Li, Xiao-Jun; Tang, Xiang-Dong; Lu, Lin

    2015-03-01

    Repeated exposure to a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) in the absence of a noxious unconditioned stimulus (US) elicits fear memory extinction. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of mild tone exposure (CS) during slow wave sleep (SWS) on fear memory extinction in humans. The healthy volunteers underwent an auditory fear conditioning paradigm on the experimental night, during which tones served as the CS, and a mild shock served as the US. They were then randomly assigned to four groups. Three groups were exposed to the CS for 3 or 10 min or an irrelevant tone (control stimulus, CtrS) for 10 min during SWS. The fourth group served as controls and was not subjected to any interventions. All of the subjects completed a memory test 4 h after SWS-rich stage to evaluate the effect on fear extinction. Moreover, we conducted similar experiments using an independent group of subjects during the daytime to test whether the memory extinction effect was specific to the sleep condition. Ninety-six healthy volunteers (44 males) aged 18-28 y. Participants exhibited undisturbed sleep during 2 consecutive nights, as assessed by sleep variables (all P > 0.05) from polysomnographic recordings and power spectral analysis. Participants who were re-exposed to the 10 min CS either during SWS and wakefulness exhibited attenuated fear responses (wake-10 min CS, P < 0.05; SWS-10 min CS, P < 0.01). Conditioned stimulus re-exposure during SWS promoted fear memory extinction without altering sleep profiles. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  14. The hippocampus integrates context and shock into a configural memory in contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shih-Dar; Liang, K C

    2017-02-01

    Contextual fear conditioning involves forming a representation for the context and associating it with a shock, which were attributed by the prevailing view to functions of the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. Yet our recent evidence suggested that both processes require integrity of the dorsal hippocampus (DH). In view of the DH involvement in uniting multiple stimuli into a configuration, this study examined whether the DH would integrate context and shock into a shocked-context representation. Male Wistar rats were trained on a two-phase training paradigm of contextual fear conditioning. They explored a novel context on the first day to acquire a contextual representation, and received a shock in that context on the second day to form the context-shock memory. Tests of conditioned freezing given on the following days revealed two properties of configural memory-direct and mediated pattern completion: First, the contextual fear memory was retrieved in a novel context by a cue embedded in the configural set-a shock that did not elicit significant freezing on its own. Second, freezing was also elicited in a novel context by a transportation chamber that was not directly paired with the shock but could activate the fear memory inferentially. The effects were specific to the cue and not due to context generalization. Infusion of lidocaine into the DH, but not the amygdala, immediately after context-shock training impaired conditioned freezing elicited through either type of pattern completion. Our data suggest that the DH in contextual fear conditioning associates context and shock in parallel with the amygdala by incorporating the shock into an otherwise neutral context representation and turning it into a shocked-context representation. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Low levels of estradiol are associated with elevated conditioned responding during fear extinction and with intrusive memories in daily life

    PubMed Central

    Wegerer, Melanie; Kerschbaum, Hubert; Blechert, Jens; Wilhelm, Frank H.

    2014-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be conceptualized as a disorder of emotional memory showing strong (conditioned) responses to trauma reminders and intrusive memories among other symptoms. Women are at greater risk of developing PTSD than men. Recent studies have demonstrated an influence of ovarian steroid hormones in both fear conditioning and intrusive memory paradigms. However, although intrusive memories are considered non-extinguished emotional reactions to trauma reminders, none of the previous studies has investigated effects of ovarian hormones on fear conditioning mechanisms and intrusive memories in conjunction. This may have contributed to an overall inconsistent picture of the role of these hormones in emotional learning and memory. To remedy this, we exposed 37 healthy women with a natural menstrual cycle (during early follicular or luteal cycle phase) to a novel conditioned-intrusion paradigm designed to model real-life traumatic experiences. The paradigm included a differential fear conditioning procedure with short violent film clips as unconditioned stimuli. Intrusive memories about the film clips were assessed ambulatorily on subsequent days. Women with lower levels of estradiol displayed elevated differential conditioned skin conductance responding during fear extinction and showed stronger intrusive memories. The inverse relationship between estradiol and intrusive memories was at least partially accounted for by the conditioned responding observed during fear extinction. Progesterone levels were not associated with either fear acquisition/extinction or with intrusive memories. This suggests that lower levels of estradiol might promote stronger symptoms of PTSD through associative processes. PMID:25463649

  16. Modulation of hippocampal NCAM polysialylation and spatial memory consolidation by fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Sandi, Carmen; Merino, José J; Cordero, M Isabel; Kruyt, Nyika D; Murphy, Keith J; Regan, Ciaran M

    2003-09-15

    Cell adhesion molecule function is involved in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and associated with memory consolidation. At the infragranular zone of the dentate gyrus, neurons expressing the polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM PSA) transiently increase their frequency 12 hours after training in different tasks. Using immunohistochemical procedures, we investigated NCAM polysialylation following training in a contextual fear conditioning paradigm that employed increasing shock intensities to separately model stressful and traumatic experiences in adult male Wistar rats. Fear conditioning with a stressful.4-mA stimulus resulted in an increased frequency of dentate polysialylated neurons, the magnitude of which was indistinguishable from that observed following water maze training. By contrast, training with a traumatic 1-mA stimulus resulted in a significant decrease in the frequency of polysialylated neurons at the 12 hours posttraining time. Whereas sequential training in the water maze paradigm followed by fear conditioning resulted in potentiated consolidation of spatial information when conditioning involved a.4-mA stimulus, amnesia for spatial learning occurred when conditioning was performed with a 1-mA stimulus. These results suggest traumatic fear conditioning suppresses NCAM-PSA-mediated plasticity and the concomitant inability to store the trace of recently acquired information.

  17. Divergent effects of brain interleukin-1ß in mediating fever, lethargy, anorexia and conditioned fear memory.

    PubMed

    Baartman, Tamzyn L; Swanepoel, Tanya; Barrientos, Ruth M; Laburn, Helen P; Mitchell, Duncan; Harden, Lois M

    2017-05-01

    The influence of brain interleukin-1 (IL-1ß) on memory processes includes both detrimental and beneficial effects. To further explore the dynamics of brain IL-1ß in mediating learning and memory during acute sickness, we injected species-homologous rat IL-1ß (100ng/5μl) or vehicle (0.1% bovine serum albumin, 5μl) directly into the cisterna magna (i.c.m.) of male Sprague-Dawley rats. We measured, in parallel, body temperature, food intake, body mass, cage activity, as well as learning and memory using contextual fear conditioning. To investigate the effects of IL-1ß on learning and memory processes we used: (1) a retrograde experiment that involved injecting rats i.c.m. with IL-1ß immediately after training in the novel context, and (2) an anterograde experiment that involved injecting rats i.c.m. with IL-1ß two hours before training in the novel context. In addition, hypothalamic and hippocampal concentrations of IL-1β were measured at several time points following injection. Administration of IL-1ß induced fever, lethargy and anorexia for∼two-to-three days and increased the concentration of IL-1ß in the hippocampus and hypothalamus for at least eight hours. Training in the context immediately before IL-1ß administration (retrograde experiment), did not impair contextual and auditory fear memory. However, when training in the context occurred concurrently with elevated hippocampal IL-1ß levels, two hours after IL-1ß administration (anterograde experiment), contextual, but not auditory, fear memory was impaired. Our results show that there are instances where memory consolidation can occur concurrently with elevated levels of IL-1ß in the hippocampus, fever, anorexia and lethargy during acute short-term sickness.

  18. The accurate measurement of fear memory in Pavlovian conditioning: Resolving the baseline issue.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Nathan S; Cushman, Jesse D; Fanselow, Michael S

    2010-07-15

    Fear conditioning has become an indispensable behavioral task in an increasingly vast array of research disciplines. Yet one unresolved issue is how conditional fear to an explicit cue interacts with and is potentially confounded by fear prior to tone presentation, referred to as baseline fear. After tone-shock pairings, we experimentally manipulated baseline fear by presenting unpaired shocks in the testing chamber and then analyzed the accuracy of common methods for reporting tone fear. Our findings indicate that baseline fear and tone fear tend to interact, where freezing to the tone increases as baseline fear increases. However, the form of interaction is not linear across all conditions and none of the commonly used reporting methods were consistently able to eliminate the confounding effects of baseline fear. We propose a methodological solution in which baseline fear is reduced to very low levels by first extinguishing fear to the training context and then pre-exposing to the testing context.

  19. An inhibitor of DNA recombination blocks memory consolidation, but not reconsolidation, in context fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Colón-Cesario, Melissa; Wang, Jianpeng; Ramos, Xiomara; García, Hermes G; Dávila, Jorge J; Laguna, Jessenia; Rosado, Claribel; Peña de Ortiz, Sandra

    2006-05-17

    Genomic recombination requires cutting, processing, and rejoining of DNA by endonucleases, polymerases, and ligases, among other factors. We have proposed that DNA recombination mechanisms may contribute to long-term memory (LTM) formation in the brain. Our previous studies with the nucleoside analog 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine triphosphate (ara-CTP), a known inhibitor of DNA ligases and polymerases, showed that this agent blocked consolidation of conditioned taste aversion without interfering with short-term memory (STM). However, because polymerases and ligases are also essential for DNA replication, it remained unclear whether the effects of this drug on consolidation were attributable to interference with DNA recombination or neurogenesis. Here we show, using C57BL/6 mice, that ara-CTP specifically blocks consolidation but not STM of context fear conditioning, a task previously shown not to require neurogenesis. The effects of a single systemic dose of cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) on LTM were evident as early as 6 h after training. In addition, although ara-C impaired LTM, it did not impair general locomotor activity nor induce brain neurotoxicity. Importantly, hippocampal, but not insular cortex, infusions of ara-C also blocked consolidation of context fear conditioning. Separate studies revealed that context fear conditioning training significantly induced nonhomologous DNA end joining activity indicative of DNA ligase-dependent recombination in hippocampal, but not cortex, protein extracts. Finally, unlike inhibition of protein synthesis, systemic ara-C did not block reconsolidation of context fear conditioning. Our results support the idea that DNA recombination is a process specific to consolidation that is not involved in the postreactivation editing of memories.

  20. Serotonergic Modulation of Conditioned Fear

    PubMed Central

    Homberg, Judith R.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:24278743

  1. Tracking the fear memory engram: discrete populations of neurons within amygdala, hypothalamus, and lateral septum are specifically activated by auditory fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Tracking the fear memory engram: discrete populations of neurons within amygdala, hypothalamus, and lateral septum are specifically activated by auditory fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Butler, Christopher W; Wilson, Yvette M; Gunnersen, Jenny M; Murphy, Mark

    2015-08-01

    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.

  3. Mice lacking synapsin III show abnormalities in explicit memory and conditioned fear.

    PubMed

    Porton, B; Rodriguiz, R M; Phillips, L E; Gilbert, J W; Feng, J; Greengard, P; Kao, H-T; Wetsel, W C

    2010-04-01

    Synapsin III is a neuron-specific phosphoprotein that plays an important role in synaptic transmission and neural development. While synapsin III is abundant in embryonic brain, expression of the protein in adults is reduced and limited primarily to the hippocampus, olfactory bulb and cerebral cortex. Given the specificity of synapsin III to these brain areas and because it plays a role in neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, we investigated whether it may affect learning and memory processes in mice. To address this point, synapsin III knockout mice were examined in a general behavioral screen, several tests to assess learning and memory function, and conditioned fear. Mutant animals displayed no anomalies in sensory and motor function or in anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. Although mutants showed minor alterations in the Morris water maze, they were deficient in object recognition 24 h and 10 days after training and in social transmission of food preference at 20 min and 24 h. In addition, mutants displayed abnormal responses in contextual and cued fear conditioning when tested 1 or 24 h after conditioning. The synapsin III knockout mice also showed aberrant responses in fear-potentiated startle. As synapsin III protein is decreased in schizophrenic brain and because the mutant mice do not harbor obvious anatomical deficits or neurological disorders, these mutants may represent a unique neurodevelopmental model for dissecting the molecular pathways that are related to certain aspects of schizophrenia and related disorders.

  4. Mice lacking synapsin III show abnormalities in explicit memory and conditioned fear

    PubMed Central

    Porton, Barbara; Rodriguiz, Ramona M.; Phillips, Lindsey E.; Gilbert, John W.; Feng, Jian; Greengard, Paul; Kao, Hung-Teh; Wetsel, William C.

    2010-01-01

    Synapsin III is a neuron-specific phosphoprotein that plays an important role in synaptic transmission and neural development. While synapsin III is abundant in embryonic brain, expression of the protein in adults is reduced and limited primarily to the hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and cerebral cortex. Given the specificity of synapsin III to these brain areas and because it plays a role in neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, we investigated whether it may affect learning and memory processes in mice. To address this point, synapsin III knockout mice were examined in a general behavioral screen, several tests to assess learning and memory function, and conditioned fear. Mutant animals displayed no anomalies in sensory and motor function or in anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. Although mutants showed minor alterations in the Morris water maze, they were deficient in object recognition 24 hr and 10 days after training and in social transmission of food preference at 20 min and 24 hr. Additionally, mutants displayed abnormal responses in contextual and cued fear conditioning when tested 1 or 24 hr after conditioning. The synapsin III knockout mice also showed aberrant responses in fear-potentiated startle. Since synapsin III protein is decreased in schizophrenic brain and because the mutant mice do not harbor obvious anatomical deficits or neurological disorders, these mutants may represent a unique neurodevelopmental model for dissecting the molecular pathways that are related to certain aspects of schizophrenia and related disorders. PMID:20050925

  5. A role for amygdaloid PKA and PKC in the acquisition of long-term conditional fear memories in rats.

    PubMed

    Goosens, K A; Holt, W; Maren, S

    2000-09-01

    Although there is great interest in the cellular mechanisms underlying Pavlovian conditioning, few studies have directly examined the contribution of intracellular signaling pathways in the amygdala to the acquisition and expression of conditional fear memories. In the present study, we examined this issue by infusing 1-(5'-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine (H7), a potent inhibitor of both protein kinase C (PKC) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), directly into the amygdala prior to fear conditioning or retention testing. We found that infusion of H7 prior to training attenuated long-term conditional fear in a dose-dependent manner (Experiment 1), but short-term fear memories were spared. The contribution of protein kinases to conditional fear was region-specific within the amygdala: infusion of H7 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) but not the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) resulted in attenuated freezing (Experiment 2). Moreover, the deficits in fear conditioning produced by PKA/PKC inhibition were not modality-specific, insofar as intra-BLA H7 reduced both contextual and auditory fear. The effects of H7 on conditional freezing were not attributable to either state-dependency or performance deficits (Experiment 3). Together, these experiments suggest that amygdaloid PKA and PKC play an important role in the acquisition of fear memories.

  6. Effects of enhanced zinc and copper in drinking water on spatial memory and fear conditioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chrosniak, L.D.; Smith, L.N.; McDonald, C.G.; Jones, B.F.; Flinn, J.M.

    2006-01-01

    Ingestion of enhanced zinc can cause memory impairments and copper deficiencies. This study examined the effect of zinc supplementation, with and without copper, on two types of memory. Rats raised pre- and post-natally on 10 mg/kg ZnCO3 or ZnSO4 in the drinking water were tested in a fear-conditioning experiment at 11 months of age. Both zinc groups showed a maladaptive retention of fearful memories compared to controls raised on tap water. Rats raised on 10 mg/kg ZnCO3, 10 mg/kg ZnCO3 + 0.25 mg/kg CuCl2, or tap water, were tested for spatial memory ability at 3 months of age. Significant improvements in performance were found in the ZnCO3 + CuCl2 group compared to the ZnCO3 group, suggesting that some of the cognitive deficits associated with zinc supplementation may be remediated by addition of copper. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapid Changes in the Light/Dark Cycle Disrupt Memory of Conditioned Fear in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Dawn H.; Navarro, Juliana; Hagopian, Arkady; Wang, Louisa M.; Deboer, Tom; Colwell, Christopher S.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20824058

  8. Interactions of the dorsal hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in formation of fear memory: difference in inhibitory avoidance learning and contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fang-Chi; Liang, K C

    2014-07-01

    Learning active or reactive responses to fear involves different brain circuitry. This study examined how the nuclus accumbens (NAc), dorsal hippocampus (DH) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) may interact in memory processing for these two kinds of responses. Male Wistar rats with cannulae implanted in these areas were trained on a contextual fear conditioning or inhibitory avoidance task that respectively engaged a reactive or active response to fear in the test. Immediately after training, a memory modulating factor released by stress, norepinephrine (NE), was infused into one region and 4% lidocaine into another to examine if an upstream activation effect could be blocked by the downstream suppression. Retention tested 1 day later showed that in both tasks posttraining infusion of NE at different doses into either the DH or mPFC enhanced retention but the enhancement was blocked by concurrent infusion of lidocaine into the other region, suggesting reliance of the effect on functional integrity of both regions. Further, posttraining intra-NAc lidocaine infusion attenuated memory enhancement of NE infused to the DH or mPFC in the inhibitory avoidance task but did not do so in contextual fear conditioning. These results suggest that NE regulation of memory formation for the reactive and active responses to fear may rely on distinct interactions among the DH, mPFC and NAc. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Serotonin in fear conditioning processes.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Elizabeth P

    2015-01-15

    This review describes the latest developments in our understanding of how the serotonergic system modulates Pavlovian fear conditioning, fear expression and fear extinction. These different phases of classical fear conditioning involve coordinated interactions between the extended amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortices. Here, I first define the different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. The serotonergic system can be manipulated by administering serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists, as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and these can have significant effects on emotional learning and memory. Moreover, variations in serotonergic genes can influence fear conditioning and extinction processes, and can underlie differential responses to pharmacological manipulations. This research has considerable translational significance as imbalances in the serotonergic system have been linked to anxiety and depression, while abnormalities in the mechanisms of conditioned fear contribute to anxiety disorders.

  10. Retrieving fear memories, as time goes by….

    PubMed

    Do Monte, F H; Quirk, G J; Li, B; Penzo, M A

    2016-08-01

    Research in fear conditioning has provided a comprehensive picture of the neuronal circuit underlying the formation of fear memories. In contrast, our understanding of 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 some clarity and raise awareness about 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 following auditory fear conditioning. We focus on the temporal recruitment of the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) for the retrieval and maintenance of fear memories. Finally, we speculate as to why retrieval circuits change with time, and consider the functional strategy of recruiting structures not previously considered as part of the retrieval circuit.

  11. Pre-test metyrapone impairs memory recall in fear conditioning tasks: lack of interaction with β-adrenergic activity

    PubMed Central

    Careaga, Mariella B. L.; Tiba, Paula A.; Ota, Simone M.; Suchecki, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, are essential for our adaptation to environmental changes and consequently for survival. Numerous studies indicate that hormones secreted during stressful situations, such as glucocorticoids (GCs), adrenaline and noradrenaline, regulate memory functions, modulating aversive memory consolidation and retrieval, in an interactive and complementary way. Thus, the facilitatory effects of GCs on memory consolidation as well as their suppressive effects on retrieval are substantially explained by this interaction. On the other hand, low levels of GCs are also associated with negative effects on memory consolidation and retrieval and the mechanisms involved are not well understood. The present study sought to investigate the consequences of blocking the rise of GCs on fear memory retrieval in multiple tests, assessing the participation of β-adrenergic signaling on this effect. Metyrapone (GCs synthesis inhibitor; 75 mg/kg), administered 90 min before the first test of contextual or tone fear conditioning (TFC), negatively affected animals’ performances, but this effect did not persist on a subsequent test, when the conditioned response was again expressed. This result suggested that the treatment impaired fear memory retrieval during the first evaluation. The administration immediately after the first test did not affect the animals’ performances in contextual fear conditioning (CFC), suggesting that the drug did not interfere with processes triggered by memory reactivation. Moreover, metyrapone effects were independent of β-adrenergic signaling, since concurrent administration with propranolol (2 mg/kg), a β-adrenergic antagonist, did not modify the effects induced by metyrapone alone. These results demonstrate that pre-test metyrapone administration led to negative effects on fear memory retrieval and this action was independent of a β-adrenergic signaling. PMID:25784866

  12. Neurotoxic basolateral amygdala lesions impair learning and memory but not the performance of conditional fear in rats.

    PubMed

    Maren, S

    1999-10-01

    We examined the influence of extensive overtraining (75 trials) on the impact of neurotoxic basolateral amygdala (BLA) lesions on Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats. As we have shown previously, pretraining BLA lesions yielded severe deficits in the acquisition of conditional freezing in rats trained with either 1 or 25 conditioning trials. However, extensive overtraining (50 or 75 trials) mitigated deficits in conditional freezing. Under these conditions the rats with BLA lesions expressed normal and robust freezing behavior, although they required at least 10 times as much training as control rats to reach this level of performance. The ability of rats with BLA lesions to acquire and express conditional freezing after extensive overtraining was modality-specific; conditional freezing in individual rats was acquired to contextual, but not acoustic, conditional stimuli. These results suggest that neural circuitry outside of the amygdala can mediate contextual fear conditioning under some conditions. In contrast to pretraining lesions, post-training BLA lesions eradicated the memory for Pavlovian fear in rats trained with either 1 or 75 trials; this deficit was not modality-specific. Together, these results reveal that impairments in the acquisition and expression of conditional fear in rats with BLA lesions are not attributable to deficits in the performance of the freezing response but are attributable to disruptions in the learning and memory of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

  13. AMYLOID BETA OLIGOMERS IMPAIR FEAR CONDITIONED MEMORY IN A CALCINEURIN-DEPENDENT FASHION IN MICE

    PubMed Central

    Dineley, Kelly T.; Kayed, Rakez; Neugebauer, Volker; Fu, Yu; Zhang, Wenru; Reese, Lindsay C.; Taglialatela, Giulio

    2010-01-01

    Soluble oligomeric aggregates of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide are believed to be the most neurotoxic Aβ species affecting the brain in Alzheimer Disease (AD), a terminal neurodegenerative disorder involving severe cognitive decline underlined by initial synaptic dysfunction and later extensive neuronal death in the CNS. Recent evidence indicates that Aβ oligomers are recruited at the synapse, oppose expression of long term potentiation (LTP), perturb intracellular calcium balance, disrupt dendritic spines and induce memory deficits. However, the molecular mechanisms behind these outcomes are only partially understood; achieving such insight is necessary for the comprehension of Aβ-mediated neuronal dysfunction. We have investigated the role of the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) in the pathological processes of AD. CaN is especially abundant in the CNS where it is involved in synaptic activity, LTP and memory function. Here, we describe how oligomeric Aβ treatment causes memory deficits and depresses LTP expression in a CaN-dependent fashion. Mice given a single intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ oligomers exhibited increased CaN activity and decreased pCREB, a transcription factor involved in proper synaptic function, accompanied by decreased memory in a fear conditioning task. These effects were reversed by treatment with the CaN inhibitor FK506. We further found that expression of hippocampal LTP in acutely cultured rodent brain slices was opposed by Aβ oligomers and that this effect was also reversed by FK506. Collectively, these results indicate that CaN activation may play a central role in mediating synaptic and memory disrupting effect induced by acute oligomeric Aβ treatment in mice. PMID:20544830

  14. Amyloid-beta oligomers impair fear conditioned memory in a calcineurin-dependent fashion in mice.

    PubMed

    Dineley, Kelly T; Kayed, Rakez; Neugebauer, Volker; Fu, Yu; Zhang, Wenru; Reese, Lindsay C; Taglialatela, Giulio

    2010-10-01

    Soluble oligomeric aggregates of the amyloid-beta (A beta) peptide are believed to be the most neurotoxic A beta species affecting the brain in Alzheimer disease (AD), a terminal neurodegenerative disorder involving severe cognitive decline underscored by initial synaptic dysfunction and later extensive neuronal death in the CNS. Recent evidence indicates that A beta oligomers are recruited at the synapse, oppose expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), perturb intracellular calcium balance, disrupt dendritic spines, and induce memory deficits. However, the molecular mechanisms behind these outcomes are only partially understood; achieving such insight is necessary for the comprehension of A beta-mediated neuronal dysfunction. We have investigated the role of the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) in these pathological processes of AD. CaN is especially abundant in the CNS, where it is involved in synaptic activity, LTP, and memory function. Here, we describe how oligomeric A beta treatment causes memory deficits and depresses LTP expression in a CaN-dependent fashion. Mice given a single intracerebroventricular injection of A beta oligomers exhibited increased CaN activity and decreased pCREB, a transcription factor involved in proper synaptic function, accompanied by decreased memory in a fear conditioning task. These effects were reversed by treatment with the CaN inhibitor FK506. We further found that expression of hippocampal LTP in acutely cultured rodent brain slices was opposed by A beta oligomers and that this effect was also reversed by FK506. Collectively, these results indicate that CaN activation may play a central role in mediating synaptic and memory disruption induced by acute oligomeric A beta treatment in mice. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Retrieving fear memories, as time goes by…

    PubMed Central

    Do Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.; Li, Bo; Penzo, Mario A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor deficiency increases contextual fear memory under highly aversive conditions and long-term potentiation in vivo.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Wolfgang; Marsch, Rudolph; Marsicano, Giovanni; Lutz, Beat; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2012-07-01

    The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is abundantly expressed in the central nervous system where it negatively controls the release of several neurotransmitters. CB1 activity plays a crucial role in learning and memory and in synaptic plasticity. In the present study, the role of CB1 was investigated in three different hippocampus-dependent memory tasks and in in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in knockout (CB1-ko) and wildtype mice. There was no difference in short-term and long-term social and object recognition memory between CB1-ko and wildtype mice. In contrast, in background contextual fear conditioning CB1-ko mice showed enhanced freezing levels in the conditioning context and increased generalised contextual fear after a high-intensity conditioning foot shock of 1.5 mA, but not after 0.7 mA. In in vivo field potential recordings in the dentate gyrus, CB1-ko mice displayed a decreased paired-pulse facilitation of the populations spikes, suggesting an altered inhibitory synaptic drive onto hippocampal granule cells. Furthermore, CB1-ko mice displayed significantly higher levels of in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus. In conclusion, CB1 deficiency leads to enhanced contextual fear memory and altered synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, supporting the key role of endocannabinoid signalling in learning and memory, in particular following highly aversive encounters.

  17. Characterization of fear memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Duvarci, Sevil; Nader, Karim

    2004-10-20

    Reactivation of consolidated memories returns them to a protein synthesis-dependent state. One interpretation of these findings is that the memory reconsolidates after use. Two alternative interpretations are that protein synthesis inhibition facilitates extinction and that postreactivation protein synthesis inhibition leads to an inability to retrieve the consolidated memory. First, using two different approaches, we report that reconsolidation cannot be reduced down to facilitated extinction. We show that the reconsolidation deficit does not show renewal after a contextual shift, whereas an extinguished auditory fear memory does under the same conditions and the deficit occurs regardless of whether the memory is reactivated with an extinction [conditioned stimulus (CS) alone] or a reinforced trial (CS-unconditioned stimulus). To address the issue of whether postreactivation anisomycin leads to an inability to retrieve the consolidated memory, we used two traditional assays for retrieval deficits. First, we demonstrate that the amnesia induced by blockade of reconsolidation does not show any spontaneous recovery. Second, we show that application of reminder shock does not result in the reinstatement of the memory. These findings support the idea that reactivation of consolidated memories initiates a second time-dependent memory formation process.

  18. HDAC7 Ubiquitination by the E3 Ligase CBX4 Is Involved in Contextual Fear Conditioning Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Jing, Xu; Sui, Wen-Hai; Wang, Shuai; Xu, Xu-Feng; Yuan, Rong-Rong; Chen, Xiao-Rong; Ma, Hui-Xian; Zhu, Ying-Xiao; Sun, Jin-Kai; Yi, Fan; Chen, Zhe-Yu; Wang, Yue

    2017-04-05

    Histone acetylation, an epigenetic modification, plays an important role in long-term memory formation. Recently, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors were demonstrated to promote memory formation, which raises the intriguing possibility that they may be used to rescue memory deficits. However, additional research is necessary to clarify the roles of individual HDACs in memory. In this study, we demonstrated that HDAC7, within the dorsal hippocampus of C57BL6J mice, had a late and persistent decrease after contextual fear conditioning (CFC) training (4-24 h), which was involved in long-term CFC memory formation. We also showed that HDAC7 decreased via ubiquitin-dependent degradation. CBX4 was one of the HDAC7 E3 ligases involved in this process. Nur77, as one of the target genes of HDAC7, increased 6-24 h after CFC training and, accordingly, modulated the formation of CFC memory. Finally, HDAC7 was involved in the formation of other hippocampal-dependent memories, including the Morris water maze and object location test. The current findings facilitate an understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of HDAC7 in the regulation of hippocampal-dependent memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The current findings demonstrated the effects of histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) on hippocampal-dependent memories. Moreover, we determined the mechanism of decreased HDAC7 in contextual fear conditioning (CFC) through ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation. We also verified that CBX4 was one of the HDAC7 E3 ligases. Finally, we demonstrated that Nur77, as one of the important targets for HDAC7, was involved in CFC memory formation. All of these proteins, including HDAC7, CBX4, and Nur77, could be potential therapeutic targets for preventing memory deficits in aging and neurological diseases.

  19. Chronic Vortioxetine Treatment Reduces Exaggerated Expression of Conditioned Fear Memory and Restores Active Coping Behavior in Chronically Stressed Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Connie

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: Stress is a risk factor for depression and anxiety disorders, disrupting neuronal processes leading to exaggerated fear and compromised coping behaviors. Current antidepressants are only partially effective. Vortioxetine, a novel multimodal antidepressant, is a serotonin transporter inhibitor; 5-HT3, 5-HT7, and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist; 5-HT1B partial agonist; and 5-HT1A agonist. We have shown that chronic dietary vortioxetine administration reversed stress-induced deficits in cognitive flexibility. In the present studies, we investigated the generality of vortioxetine’s effects on other stress-related behavioral changes after different types of chronic stress. Methods: In experiment 1, rats were fear-conditioned by pairing a tone with footshock, then exposed to chronic plus acute prolonged stress. In experiment 2, rats were exposed to chronic unpredictable stress. In both experiments, beginning on day 4 of chronic stress, vortioxetine was given in the diet (24 mg/kg/d). In experiment 1, effects of vortioxetine were tested on stress-induced changes in retention and extinction of cue-conditioned fear, and in experiment 2, on coping behavior on the shock probe defensive burying test after chronic stress. Results: Chronic stress exaggerated the expression of conditioned fear memory. Vortioxetine restored fear memory to control levels and rendered extinction in stressed rats comparable with that in controls. In experiment 2, chronic unpredictable stress caused a shift from active to passive coping behavior, and vortioxetine restored active coping. Conclusions: Vortioxetine reduced exaggerated expression of conditioned fear and restored adaptive coping behavior following 2 different types of chronic stress, adding to the evidence of its therapeutic potential in the management of depression and anxiety disorders. PMID:27927740

  20. Chronic Vortioxetine Treatment Reduces Exaggerated Expression of Conditioned Fear Memory and Restores Active Coping Behavior in Chronically Stressed Rats.

    PubMed

    Hatherall, Lauren; Sánchez, Connie; Morilak, David A

    2016-12-29

    Stress is a risk factor for depression and anxiety disorders, disrupting neuronal processes leading to exaggerated fear and compromised coping behaviors. Current antidepressants are only partially effective. Vortioxetine, a novel multimodal antidepressant, is a serotonin transporter inhibitor; 5-HT3, 5-HT7, and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist; 5-HT1B partial agonist; and 5-HT1A agonist. We have shown that chronic dietary vortioxetine administration reversed stress-induced deficits in cognitive flexibility. In the present studies, we investigated the generality of vortioxetine's effects on other stress-related behavioral changes after different types of chronic stress. In experiment 1, rats were fear-conditioned by pairing a tone with footshock, then exposed to chronic plus acute prolonged stress. In experiment 2, rats were exposed to chronic unpredictable stress. In both experiments, beginning on day 4 of chronic stress, vortioxetine was given in the diet (24 mg/kg/d). In experiment 1, effects of vortioxetine were tested on stress-induced changes in retention and extinction of cue-conditioned fear, and in experiment 2, on coping behavior on the shock probe defensive burying test after chronic stress. Chronic stress exaggerated the expression of conditioned fear memory. Vortioxetine restored fear memory to control levels and rendered extinction in stressed rats comparable with that in controls. In experiment 2, chronic unpredictable stress caused a shift from active to passive coping behavior, and vortioxetine restored active coping. Vortioxetine reduced exaggerated expression of conditioned fear and restored adaptive coping behavior following 2 different types of chronic stress, adding to the evidence of its therapeutic potential in the management of depression and anxiety disorders. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  1. Effects of stress memory by fear conditioning on nerve-mast cell circuit in skin.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Masayo; Nagano, Masatoshi; Suzuki, Hidenori; Kawana, Seiji

    2011-06-01

    Inflammatory skin disorder aggravates when a horrific memory is evoked, but the mechanism of this effect is unclear. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of evocation of a horrific memory on the skin and mast cells in an animal model. A sound stimulus linked to an electric shock was given to C57BL/6 mice (7-week old, males). One, 3 and 5 days later, the mice received the sound stimulus again. The reactions of mice that received the initial sound stimulus were compared with those of mice that did not receive the initial stimulus. A freezing phenomenon was observed when the sound stimulus was given to mice that received the initial stimulus, which indicated evocation of a past memory of fear. The degranulation rate of dermal mast cells and the length of substance P (SP)-positive nerve fibers of the skin significantly increased on days 1 and 3, the SP level decreased significantly, and the number of SP-expressing cells in the dorsal root ganglion significantly increased on day 1. These findings suggest that prior experience of severe stress linked to a stimulus subsequently evokes fear associated with the same stimulus and results in activation of dermal mast cells and skin nerves. © 2010 Japanese Dermatological Association.

  2. Contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kenney, Justin W; Scott, Ian C; Josselyn, Sheena A; Frankland, Paul W

    2017-10-01

    Zebrafish are a genetically tractable vertebrate that hold considerable promise for elucidating the molecular basis of behavior. Although numerous recent advances have been made in the ability to precisely manipulate the zebrafish genome, much less is known about many aspects of learning and memory in adult fish. Here, we describe the development of a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using an electric shock as the aversive stimulus. We find that contextual fear conditioning is modulated by shock intensity, prevented by an established amnestic agent (MK-801), lasts at least 14 d, and exhibits extinction. Furthermore, fish of various background strains (AB, Tu, and TL) are able to acquire fear conditioning, but differ in fear extinction rates. Taken together, we find that contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish shares many similarities with the widely used contextual fear conditioning paradigm in rodents. Combined with the amenability of genetic manipulation in zebrafish, we anticipate that our paradigm will prove to be a useful complementary system in which to examine the molecular basis of vertebrate learning and memory. © 2017 Kenney et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  3. Fear Conditioning Increases NREM Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Hellman, Kevin; Abel, Ted

    2010-01-01

    To understand the role that sleep may play in memory storage, the authors investigated how fear conditioning affects sleep–wake states by performing electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic recordings of C57BL/6J mice receiving fear conditioning, exposure to conditioning stimuli, or immediate shock treatment. This experimental design allowed us to examine the effects of associative learning, presentation of the conditioning stimuli, and presentation of the unconditioned stimuli on sleep–wake states. During the 24 hr after training, fear-conditioned mice had approximately 1 hr more of nonrapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep and less wakefulness than mice receiving exposure to conditioning stimuli or immediate shock treatment. Mice receiving conditioning stimuli had more delta power during NREM sleep, whereas mice receiving fear conditioning had less theta power during rapid-eye-movement sleep. These results demonstrate that a single trial of fear conditioning alters sleep–wake states and EEG oscillations over a 24-hr period, supporting the idea that sleep is modified by experience and that such changes in sleep–wake states and EEG oscillations may play a role in memory consolidation. PMID:17469920

  4. Hippocampal Arc (Arg3.1) expression is induced by memory recall and required for memory reconsolidation in trace fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Chia, Chester; Otto, Tim

    2013-11-01

    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.

  5. Combination of chronic stress and ovariectomy causes conditioned fear memory deficits and hippocampal cholinergic neuronal loss in mice.

    PubMed

    Takuma, K; Mizoguchi, H; Funatsu, Y; Hoshina, Y; Himeno, Y; Fukuzaki, E; Kitahara, Y; Arai, S; Ibi, D; Kamei, H; Matsuda, T; Koike, K; Inoue, M; Nagai, T; Yamada, K

    2012-04-05

    We have recently found that the combination of ovariectomy (OVX) and chronic restraint stress (CS) causes hippocampal pyramidal cell loss and cognitive dysfunction in female rats and that estrogen replacement prevents the OVX/CS-induced morphological and behavioral changes. In this study, to clarify the mechanisms underlying the OVX/CS-mediated memory impairment further, we examined the roles of cholinergic systems in the OVX/CS-induced memory impairment in mice. Female Slc:ICR strain mice were randomly divided into two groups: OVX and sham-operated groups. Two weeks after the operation, the mice of each group were further assigned to CS (6 h/day) or non-stress group. Following the 3-week-stress period, all mice were subjected to contextual fear conditioning, and context- and tone-dependent memory tests were conducted 1 or 24 h after the conditioning. Overburden with 3 weeks of CS from 2 weeks after OVX impaired context- and tone-dependent freezing and the OVX/CS caused significant Nissl-stained neuron-like cell loss in the hippocampal CA3 region, although OVX and CS alone did not cause such behavioral and histological changes. Replacement of 17β-estradiol for 5 weeks after OVX suppressed OVX/CS-induced memory impairment and hippocampal Nissl-positive cell loss. Furthermore, the OVX/CS mice exhibited a significant decrease in choline acetyltransferase in the hippocampus compared with other groups. The cholinesterase inhibitors donepezil and galantamine ameliorated OVX/CS-induced memory impairment. These data suggest that cholinergic dysfunction may be involved in the OVX/CS-induced conditioned fear memory impairment. Overall, our findings suggest that the OVX/CS mouse model is useful to study the mechanisms underlying estrogen loss-induced memory deficits.

  6. Absence of verbal recall or memory for symptom acquisition in fear and trauma exposure: a conceptual case for fear conditioning and learned nonuse in assessment and treatment.

    PubMed

    Seifert, A Ronald

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. Improvement of memory recall by quercetin in rodent contextual fear conditioning and human early-stage Alzheimer's disease patients.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-06-15

    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.

  8. Quantitative proteomics of auditory fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ingie; Kang, Taewook; Yun, Ki Na; Yoo, YongCheol; Park, Sungmo; Kim, Jihye; An, Bobae; Song, Sukwoon; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Song, Beomjong; Kwon, Kyung-Hoon; Kim, Jin Young; Park, Young Mok; Choi, Sukwoo

    2013-04-26

    Auditory fear conditioning is a well-characterized rodent learning model where a neutral auditory cue is paired with an aversive outcome to induce associative fear memory. The storage of long-term auditory fear memory requires long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala and de novo protein synthesis. Although many studies focused on individual proteins have shown their contribution to LTP and fear conditioning, non-biased genome-wide studies have only recently been possible with microarrays, which nevertheless fall short of measuring changes at the level of proteins. Here we employed quantitative proteomics to examine the expression of hundreds of proteins in the lateral amygdala in response to auditory fear conditioning. We found that various proteins previously implicated in LTP, learning and axon/dendrite growth were regulated by fear conditioning. A substantial number of proteins that were regulated by fear conditioning have not yet been studied specifically in learning or synaptic plasticity.

  9. What's wrong with fear conditioning?

    PubMed

    Beckers, Tom; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Boddez, Yannick; Effting, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2013-01-01

    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 diathesis-stress model of psychopathology. Starting from the apparent paradox between the adaptive nature of fear conditioning and the dysfunctional nature of pathological anxiety, we present a critique of the human fear conditioning paradigm as an experimental model for psychopathology. We discuss the potential benefits of expanding the human fear conditioning paradigm by (1) including action tendencies as an important index of fear and (2) paying more attention to "weak" (i.e., ambiguous) rather than "strong" fear learning situations (Lissek et al., 2006), such as contained in selective learning procedures. We present preliminary data that illustrate these ideas and discuss the importance of response systems divergence in understanding individual differences in vulnerability for the development of pathological anxiety.

  10. Effects of memory age and interval of fear extinction sessions on contextual fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Shingo; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Ishii, Daisuke; Tomizawa, Haruna; Shimizu, Eiji

    2014-08-22

    Fear extinction is a major task in our understanding of the biological mechanisms of exposure therapy, one of the most used treatments for stress-related disorders. It was recently reported that an extinction of 5 consecutive days prevents spontaneous recovery of fear memory. Memory age and the timing of fear extinction influence the effect of fear extinction. In this study, we used contextual fear extinction in adult male mice to examine whether memory age influences an extinction of 5 consecutive days and whether consecutiveness is necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Our results showed that, although fear memory was not affected by the passage of time, the old fear memory (28 days after fear conditioning) was more sensitive to fear extinction than the young fear memory (7 days after fear conditioning). Additionally, we demonstrated that consecutiveness of extinction sessions is not necessary to prevent spontaneous recovery. Instead, fear extinction sessions at spaced intervals were found to be more effective than consecutive extinction sessions for young fear memory. Our results suggest that taking memory age and the interval of fear extinction sessions into consideration would help to optimize exposure therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Differences in memory development among C57BL/6NCrl, 129S2/SvPasCrl, and FVB/NCrl mice after delay and trace fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    March, Amelia; Borchelt, David; Golde, Todd; Janus, Christopher

    2014-02-01

    Fear-conditioning testing paradigms have been used to study differences in memory formation between inbred mouse strains, including numerous mouse models of human diseases. In this study, we characterized the conditioned fear memory of 3 inbred strains: C57BL/6NCrl, 129S2/SvPasCrl, and FVB/NCrl, obtained from Charles River Laboratories. We used 2 training paradigms: delay conditioning, in which an unconditional stimulus coterminates with the presentation of a conditional stimulus, and trace conditioning, in which the conditional and unconditional stimuli are separated by a trace interval. In each paradigm, we evaluated the recent (3 d) and remote (25 d) memory of the mice by using a longitudinal design. Our results showed that both C57BL/6NCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice developed strong and long-lasting context and tone memories in both paradigms, but FVB/NCrl mice showed a weaker but nevertheless consistent tone memory after delay training. Tone memory in the FVB strain was stronger in male than female mice. The remote tone memory of 129S2/SvPasCrl mice diminished after delay training but was stable and stronger than that of C57BL/6NCrl mice after trace training. In conclusion, both C57BL/6NCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice showed reliable and long-lasting fear memory after delay or trace training, with 129 mice showing particularly strong tone memory after trace conditioning. The FVB/NCrl strain, especially male mice, showed reliable tone fear memory after delay training. Our findings confirm that both C57BL/6NCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice develop strong context and tone memory in delay and trace fear-conditioning paradigms.

  12. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    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

  13. Involvement of dopaminergic and cholinergic systems in social isolation-induced deficits in social affiliation and conditional fear memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Okada, R; Fujiwara, H; Mizuki, D; Araki, R; Yabe, T; Matsumoto, K

    2015-07-23

    Post-weaning social isolation rearing (SI) in rodents elicits various behavioral abnormalities including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-like behaviors. In order to obtain a better understanding of SI-induced behavioral abnormalities, we herein investigated the effects of SI on social affiliation and conditioned fear memory as well as the neuronal mechanism(s) underlying these effects. Four-week-old male mice were group-housed (GH) or socially isolated for 2-4 weeks before the experiments. The social affiliation test and fear memory conditioning were conducted at the age of 6 and 7 weeks, respectively. SI mice were systemically administered saline or test drugs 30 min before the social affiliation test and fear memory conditioning. Contextual and auditory fear memories were elucidated 1 and 4 days after fear conditioning. Social affiliation and contextual and auditory fear memories were weaker in SI mice than in GH mice. Methylphenidate (MPH), an inhibitor for dopamine transporters, ameliorated the SI-induced social affiliation deficit and the effect was attenuated by SCH23390, a D1 receptor antagonist, but not by sulpiride, a D2 receptor antagonist. On the other hand, tacrine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, had no effect on this deficit. In contrast, tacrine improved SI-induced deficits in fear memories in a manner that was reversed by the muscarinic receptor antagonist scopolamine, while MPH had no effect on memory deficits. Neurochemical studies revealed that SI down-regulated the expression levels of the phosphorylated forms of neuro-signaling proteins, calmodulin-dependent kinase II (p-CaMKII), and cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein (p-CREB), as well as early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1) in the hippocampus. The administration of MPH or tacrine before fear conditioning had no effect on the levels of the phosphorylated forms of the neuro-signaling proteins elucidated following completion of the auditory fear memory test; however

  14. Prefrontocortical dopamine loss in rats delays long-term extinction of contextual conditioned fear, and reduces social interaction without affecting short-term social interaction memory.

    PubMed

    Fernandez Espejo, Emilio

    2003-03-01

    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 (p<0.01), supporting the hypothesis that a hyperdopaminergic tone emerges in the nucleus accumbens after prefrontocortical dopamine loss. 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

  15. The similarities and diversities of signal pathways leading to consolidation of conditioning and consolidation of extinction of fear memory.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chih-Hung; Yeh, Shiu-Hwa; Lu, Hsin-Yi; Gean, Po-Wu

    2003-09-10

    It is generally believed that consolidation of long-term memory requires activation of protein kinases, transcription of genes, and new protein synthesis. However, little is known about the signal cascades involved in the extinction of memory, which occurs when the conditioned stimulus is no longer followed by the unconditioned stimulus. Here, we show for the first time that an intra-amygdala injection of transcription inhibitor actinomycin D at the dose that blocked acquisition failed to affect extinction of a learned response. Conversely, protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin blocked both acquisition and extinction. Extinction training-induced expression of calcineurin was blocked by anisomycin but not by actinomycin D. NMDA receptor antagonist, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3 kinase), and MAP kinase inhibitors that blocked the acquisition also blocked the extinction of conditioned fear. Likewise, PI-3 kinase inhibitor blocked fear training-induced cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation as well as extinction training-induced decrease in CREB phosphorylation, the latter of which was associated with calcineurin expression and could be reversed by a specific calcineurin inhibitor. Thus, molecular processes that underlie long-term behavioral changes after acquisition and extinction share some common mechanisms and also display different characteristics.

  16. Inhibiting corticosterone synthesis during fear memory formation exacerbates cued fear extinction memory deficits within the single prolonged stress model.

    PubMed

    Keller, Samantha M; Schreiber, William B; Stanfield, Briana R; Knox, Dayan

    2015-01-01

    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.

  17. Deletion of glutamate delta-1 receptor in mouse leads to enhanced working memory and deficit in fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Roopali; Hillman, Brandon G; Gupta, Subhash C; Suryavanshi, Pratyush; Bhatt, Jay M; Pavuluri, Ratnamala; Stairs, Dustin J; Dravid, Shashank M

    2013-01-01

    Glutamate delta-1 (GluD1) receptors are expressed throughout the forebrain during development with high levels in the hippocampus during adulthood. We have recently shown that deletion of GluD1 receptor results in aberrant emotional and social behaviors such as hyperaggression and depression-like behaviors and social interaction deficits. Additionally, abnormal expression of synaptic proteins was observed in amygdala and prefrontal cortex of GluD1 knockout mice (GluD1 KO). However the role of GluD1 in learning and memory paradigms remains unknown. In the present study we evaluated GluD1 KO in learning and memory tests. In the eight-arm radial maze GluD1 KO mice committed fewer working memory errors compared to wildtype mice but had normal reference memory. Enhanced working memory in GluD1 KO was also evident by greater percent alternation in the spontaneous Y-maze test. No difference was observed in object recognition memory in the GluD1 KO mice. In the Morris water maze test GluD1 KO mice showed no difference in acquisition but had longer latency to find the platform in the reversal learning task. GluD1 KO mice showed a deficit in contextual and cue fear conditioning but had normal latent inhibition. The deficit in contextual fear conditioning was reversed by D-Cycloserine (DCS) treatment. GluD1 KO mice were also found to be more sensitive to foot-shock compared to wildtype. We further studied molecular changes in the hippocampus, where we found lower levels of GluA1, GluA2 and GluK2 subunits while a contrasting higher level of GluN2B in GluD1 KO. Additionally, we found higher postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) and lower glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression in GluD1 KO. We propose that GluD1 is crucial for normal functioning of synapses and absence of GluD1 leads to specific abnormalities in learning and memory. These findings provide novel insights into the role of GluD1 receptors in the central nervous system.

  18. Deletion of Glutamate Delta-1 Receptor in Mouse Leads to Enhanced Working Memory and Deficit in Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Roopali; Hillman, Brandon G.; Gupta, Subhash C.; Suryavanshi, Pratyush; Bhatt, Jay M.; Pavuluri, Ratnamala; Stairs, Dustin J.; Dravid, Shashank M.

    2013-01-01

    Glutamate delta-1 (GluD1) receptors are expressed throughout the forebrain during development with high levels in the hippocampus during adulthood. We have recently shown that deletion of GluD1 receptor results in aberrant emotional and social behaviors such as hyperaggression and depression-like behaviors and social interaction deficits. Additionally, abnormal expression of synaptic proteins was observed in amygdala and prefrontal cortex of GluD1 knockout mice (GluD1 KO). However the role of GluD1 in learning and memory paradigms remains unknown. In the present study we evaluated GluD1 KO in learning and memory tests. In the eight-arm radial maze GluD1 KO mice committed fewer working memory errors compared to wildtype mice but had normal reference memory. Enhanced working memory in GluD1 KO was also evident by greater percent alternation in the spontaneous Y-maze test. No difference was observed in object recognition memory in the GluD1 KO mice. In the Morris water maze test GluD1 KO mice showed no difference in acquisition but had longer latency to find the platform in the reversal learning task. GluD1 KO mice showed a deficit in contextual and cue fear conditioning but had normal latent inhibition. The deficit in contextual fear conditioning was reversed by D-Cycloserine (DCS) treatment. GluD1 KO mice were also found to be more sensitive to foot-shock compared to wildtype. We further studied molecular changes in the hippocampus, where we found lower levels of GluA1, GluA2 and GluK2 subunits while a contrasting higher level of GluN2B in GluD1 KO. Additionally, we found higher postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) and lower glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression in GluD1 KO. We propose that GluD1 is crucial for normal functioning of synapses and absence of GluD1 leads to specific abnormalities in learning and memory. These findings provide novel insights into the role of GluD1 receptors in the central nervous system. PMID:23560106

  19. Memory suppression trades prolonged fear and sleep-dependent fear plasticity for the avoidance of current fear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu

    2013-07-01

    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.

  20. Memory suppression trades prolonged fear and sleep-dependent fear plasticity for the avoidance of current fear

    PubMed Central

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Honma, Motoyasu; Yoshiike, Takuya; Kim, Yoshiharu

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23863955

  1. P2X7 purinergic receptors participate in the expression and extinction processes of contextual fear conditioning memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Domingos, L B; Hott, S C; Terzian, A L B; Resstel, L B M

    2017-08-09

    The purinergic system consists of two large receptor families - P2X and P2Y. Both are activated by adenosine triphosphate (ATP), although presenting different functions. These receptors are present in several brain regions, including those involved in emotion and stress-related behaviors. Hence, they seem to participate in fear- and anxiety-related responses. However, few studies have investigated the purinergic system in threatening situations, as observed in contextual fear conditioning (CFC). Therefore, this study investigated the involvement of purinergic receptors in the expression and extinction of aversive memories. C57Bl/6 background mice were submitted to the CFC protocol. Wildtype (WT) mice received i.p. injection of either a nonselective P2 receptor (P2R) antagonist, P178 (10 or 30 mg/kg); a selective P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) antagonist, A438079 (10 mg/kg); a selective P2Y1 receptor (P2Y1R) antagonist, MRS2179 (10 mg/kg); or vehicle 10 min prior to or immediately after the extinction session. Additionally, P2X7R KO mice were tested in the CFC protocol. After P2R antagonist treatment, contextual fear recall increased, while acquisition of extinction was impaired. Similar results were observed with the selective P2X7R antagonist, but not with the selective P2Y1R antagonist. Interestingly, P2X7R KO mice showed increased contextual fear recall, associated with impaired acquisition of extinction, in accordance with pharmacologic P2X7R antagonism. Our results suggest that specific pharmacological or genetic blockade of P2X7R promotes anxiogenic-like effects, along with deficits in extinction learning. Thus, these receptors could present an alternative treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Circadian modulation of learning and memory in fear-conditioned mice.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, Dipesh; Colwell, Christopher S

    2002-06-15

    Endogenous processes referred to as circadian oscillators generate many of the daily rhythms in physiology and behavior of a variety of animals including humans. We investigated the possible circadian regulation of acquisition, recall and extinction in two strains of mice (C-57/6J and C-3H). Mice were trained in either the day or night with a tone and context fear conditioning protocol. The mice were then tested over the course of several days for their ability to recall the training. When comparing the performance of animals in the day and night, the mice acquired the conditioning faster in the day than in the night. Furthermore, the recall for context and tone consistently peaked during the day for at least 3 days after training, irrespective of the time of training. Finally, the loss of this training (or extinction) exhibited a rhythm in that mice trained in night exhibited a greater degree of extinction than mice trained in the day. For all of these rhythms in acquisition, recall, and extinction the phase of the rhythm was controlled by the prior light-dark (LD) cycle. When we reversed the phase of the LD cycle, the phase of the rhythm also reversed. Importantly, all three of the rhythms also continued in constant darkness demonstrating the endogenous, and presumably circadian nature, of the rhythms.

  3. Contextual fear, gestalt memories, and the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Fanselow, M S

    2000-06-01

    This review examines the relationship between exploration and contextual fear conditioning. The fear acquired to places or contexts associated with aversive events is a form of Pavlovian conditioning. However, an initial period of exploration is necessary to allow the animal to form an integrated memory of the features of the context before conditioning can take place. The hippocampal formation plays a critical role in this process. Cells within the dorsal hippocampus are involved in the formation, storage and consolidation of this integrated representation of context. Projections from the subiculum to the nucleus accumbens regulate the exploration necessary for the acquisition of information about the features of the context. This model explains why electrolytic but not excitotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus cause enhanced exploratory activity but both cause deficits in contextual fear. It also explains why retrograde amnesia of contextual fear is greater than anterograde amnesia.

  4. Sequential learning during contextual fear conditioning guides the rate of systems consolidation: Implications for consolidation of multiple memory traces.

    PubMed

    Pedraza, Lizeth K; Sierra, Rodrigo O; Crestani, Ana P; Quillfeldt, Jorge A; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas

    2017-05-01

    Systems consolidation has been described as a time-dependent reorganization process involving the neocortical and hippocampal networks underlying memory storage and retrieval. Previous studies of our lab were able to demonstrate that systems consolidation is a dynamic process, rather than a merely passive, time-dependent phenomenon. Here, we studied the influence of sequential learning in contextual fear conditioning (CFC) with different training intensities in the time-course of hippocampal dependency and contextual specificity. We found that sequential learning with high-intensity shocks during CFC induces generalization of the first learning (context A) and maintains contextual specificity of the second learning (context B) 15 days after acquisition. Moreover, subsequent experiences reorganize brain structures involved in retrieval, accelerating the involvement of cortical structures and diminishing the hippocampal participation. Exposure to original context before novelty seems to only induce context specificity in hippocampal-dependent memories. We propose that systems consolidation could be considered a potential biological mechanism for reducing possible interferences between similar memory traces. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Post-training re-exposure to fear conditioned stimuli enhances memory consolidation and biases rats toward the use of dorsolateral striatum-dependent response learning.

    PubMed

    Leong, Kah-Chung; Goodman, Jarid; Packard, Mark G

    2015-09-15

    In a dual-solution task that can be acquired using either hippocampus-dependent "place" or dorsolateral striatum-dependent "response" learning, emotional arousal induced by unconditioned stimuli (e.g. anxiogenic drug injections or predator odor exposure) biases rats toward response learning. In the present experiments emotionally-arousing conditioned stimuli were used to modulate the relative use of multiple memory systems. In Experiment 1, adult male Long-Evans rats initially received three standard fear-conditioning trials in which a tone (2 kHz, 75 dB) was paired with a brief electrical shock (1 mA, 2s). On day 2, the rats were trained in a dual-solution plus-maze task to swim from the same start arm (South) to a hidden escape platform always located in the same goal arm (East). Immediately following training, rats received post-training re-exposure to the fear-conditioned stimuli (i.e. tone and context) without shock. On day 3, the relative use of place or response learning was assessed on a probe trial in which rats were started from the opposite start arm (North). Post-training re-exposure to fear-conditioned stimuli produced preferential use of a response strategy. In Experiment 2, different rats received fear conditioning and were then trained in a single-solution task that required the use of response learning. Immediately following training, rats received post-training re-exposure to the fear-conditioned stimuli without shock. Re-exposure to fear-conditioned stimuli enhanced memory consolidation in the response learning task. Thus, re-exposure to fear-conditioned stimuli biases rats toward the use of dorsolateral striatum-dependent response learning and enhances memory consolidation of response learning.

  6. Encoding of fear learning and memory in distributed neuronal circuits.

    PubMed

    Herry, Cyril; Johansen, Joshua P

    2014-12-01

    How sensory information is transformed by learning into adaptive behaviors is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Studies of auditory fear conditioning have revealed much about the formation and expression of emotional memories and have provided important insights into this question. Classical work focused on the amygdala as a central structure for fear conditioning. Recent advances, however, have identified new circuits and neural coding strategies mediating fear learning and the expression of fear behaviors. One area of research has identified key brain regions and neuronal coding mechanisms that regulate the formation, specificity and strength of fear memories. Other work has discovered critical circuits and neuronal dynamics by which fear memories are expressed through a medial prefrontal cortex pathway and coordinated activity across interconnected brain regions. Here we review these recent advances alongside prior work to provide a working model of the extended circuits and neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear learning and memory.

  7. Acute Ethanol Has Biphasic Effects on Short- and Long-Term Memory in Both Foreground and Background Contextual Fear Conditioning in C57BL/6 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Gulick, Danielle; Gould, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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). Conclusions 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. PMID:17760787

  8. Modeling fear-conditioned bradycardia in humans.

    PubMed

    Castegnetti, Giuseppe; Tzovara, Athina; Staib, Matthias; Paulus, Philipp C; Hofer, Nicolas; Bach, Dominik R

    2016-06-01

    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear-conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to complement SCR as an index of fear memory in humans. We analyze four datasets involving delay and trace conditioning, in which heart beats are identified via electrocardiogram or pulse oximetry, to show that fear-conditioned heart rate deceleration (bradycardia) is elicited and robustly distinguishes CS+ from CS-. We then develop a psychophysiological model (PsPM) of fear-conditioned HPR. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of autonomic input into the heart. We show that the sensitivity to distinguish CS+ and CS- (predictive validity) is higher for model-based estimates than peak-scoring analysis, and compare this with SCR. Our work provides a novel tool to investigate fear memory in humans that allows direct comparison between species. © 2016 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  9. Chronic fluoxetine dissociates contextual from auditory fear memory.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Jeff; Mayford, Mark

    2016-10-06

    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.

  10. Cerebellar role in fear-conditioning consolidation

    PubMed Central

    Sacchetti, Benedetto; Baldi, Elisabetta; Lorenzini, Carlo Ambrogi; Bucherelli, Corrado

    2002-01-01

    Some cerebellar structures are known to be involved in the memorization of several conditioned responses. The role of the interpositus nucleus (IN) and the vermis (VE) in fear-conditioning consolidation was investigated by means of a combined behavioral and neurophysiological technique. The IN and VE were subjected to fully reversible tetrodotoxin (TTX) inactivation during consolidation in adult male Wistar rats that underwent acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS) and context fear training. TTX was injected in different groups of rats at increasing intervals after the acquisition session. Memory was assessed as conditioned freezing duration measured during retention testing, always performed 72 and 96 h after the stereotaxic TTX administration. This schedule ensures that there is no interference with normal cerebellar function during either the acquisition or the retrieval phase so that any amnesic effect may be due only to consolidation disruption. Our results show that IN functional integrity is necessary for acoustic CS fear response memory formation up to the 96-h after-acquisition delay. VE functional integrity was shown to be necessary for memory formation of both context (up to the 96-h after-acquisition delay) and acoustic CS (up to the 192-h after-acquisition delay) fear responses. The present findings help to elucidate the role of the cerebellum in memory consolidation and better define the neural circuits involved in fear memories. PMID:12034877

  11. Corticosterone administration after a single-trial contextual fear conditioning does not influence the strength and specificity of recent and remote memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Ana Paula A; de Paiva, Joselisa Péres Queiroz; Corrêa, Moisés Dos Santos; Tiba, Paula Ayako; Fornari, Raquel Vecchio

    2017-03-15

    It is well established that corticosterone (CORT) enhances memory consolidation of emotionally arousing experiences. Despite emotional memories being usually referred to as well remembered for long periods, there are no studies that have investigated the effects of CORT in modulating the duration and specificity of memory. In the present study, we trained Wistar rats in a single-trial contextual fear conditioning protocol and injected CORT (0.3, 1.0 or 3.0mg/kg), immediately after training, to investigate its effects on memory consolidation. Rats were tested 2 and 29days after the training session or only 29days after training to assess recent or remote memory. Our results show that animals tested for recent memory discriminated the training context from a novel one, while those tested only for remote memory generalized the fear response to both contexts. Animals tested for remote memory after being tested for recent memory were able to discriminate both contexts. These results support the literature regarding memory specificity and duration. However, CORT treatment, even at the dose of 1.0mg/kg that effectively enhanced the plasmatic hormone levels, did not affect the strength or the specificity of memory in either recent or remote memory tests. We hypothesize that the lack of effect of CORT treatment could be due to the low arousing training experience of the single-trial protocol which, despite being sufficient to induce significant recent and remote memory consolidation, may not be sufficient to allow the memory-enhancing effect of CORT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Paradoxical mineralocorticoid receptor-mediated effect in fear memory encoding and expression of rats submitted to an olfactory fear conditioning task.

    PubMed

    Souza, Rimenez R; Dal Bó, Silvia; de Kloet, E Ronald; Oitzl, Melly S; Carobrez, Antonio P

    2014-04-01

    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 pharmacological manipulation of MR activity would affect behavioral strategy and information storage in an olfactory fear conditioning (OFC) task. Male Wistar rats were submitted to the OFC with different training intensities. We observed that following high intensity OFC acquisition, a set of defensive coping strategies, which includes avoidance and risk assessment behaviors, was elicited when subjects were exposed to the conditioned stimulus (CS) 48 h later. In addition, following either OFC acquisition or retrieval (CS-I test) a profound corticosterone secretion was also detected. Systemic administration of the MR antagonist spironolactone altered the behavioral coping style irrespective the antagonist was administered 60 min prior to the acquisition or before the retrieval session. Surprisingly, the MR agonist fludrocortisone given 60 min prior to acquisition or retrieval of OFC had similar effects as the antagonist. In addition, post-training administration of fludrocortisone, following a weak training procedure, facilitated the consolidation of OFC. Fludrocortisone rather than spironolactone reduced serum corticosterone levels, suggesting that, at least in part, the effects of the MR agonist may derive from additional GR-mediated HPA-axis suppression. In conclusion, the present study suggests the involvement of the MR in the fine-tuning of behavioral adaptation necessary for optimal information storage and expression, as revealed by the marked alterations in the risk assessment behavior.

  13. Roles of hippocampal GABA(A) and muscarinic receptors in consolidation of context memory and context-shock association in contextual fear conditioning: a double dissociation study.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shih-Dar; Liang, K C

    2012-07-01

    Contextual fear conditioning involves forming a context representation and associating it to a shock, both of which involved the dorsal hippocampus (DH) according to our recent findings. This study tested further whether the two processes may rely on different neurotransmitter systems in the DH. Male Wistar rats with cannula implanted into the DH were subjected to a two-phase training paradigm of contextual fear conditioning to separate context learning from context-shock association in two consecutive days. Immediately after each training phase, different groups of rats received bilateral intra-DH infusion of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol, 5HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT, NMDA antagonist APV or muscarinic antagonist scopolamine at various doses. On the third day, freezing behavior was tested in the conditioning context. Results showed that intra-DH infusion of muscimol impaired conditioned freezing only if it was given after context learning. In contrast, scopolamine impaired conditioned freezing only if it was given after context-shock training. Posttraining infusion of 8-OH-DPAT or APV had no effect on conditioned freezing when the drug was given at either phase. These results showed double dissociation for the hippocampal GABAergic and cholinergic systems in memory consolidation of contextual fear conditioning: forming context memory required deactivation of the GABA(A) receptors, while forming context-shock memory involved activation of the muscarinic receptors.

  14. Durable fear memories require PSD-95

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  15. Durable fear memories require PSD-95.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, P J; Pinard, C R; Camp, M C; Feyder, M; Sah, A; Bergstrom, H C; Graybeal, C; Liu, Y; Schlüter, O M; Grant, S G; Singewald, N; Xu, W; Holmes, A

    2015-07-01

    Traumatic fear memories are highly durable but also dynamic, undergoing repeated reactivation and rehearsal over time. Although overly persistent fear memories underlie anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, the key neural and molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory durability remain unclear. Postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95) is a synaptic protein regulating glutamate receptor anchoring, synaptic stability and certain types of memory. Using a loss-of-function mutant mouse lacking the guanylate kinase domain of PSD-95 (PSD-95(GK)), 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 (KD) 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-95(GK) mice to retrieve remote cued fear memory was associated with hypoactivation of the infralimbic (IL) cortex (but not the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) or prelimbic cortex), reduced IL single-unit firing and bursting, and attenuated IL gamma and theta oscillations. Adeno-associated virus-mediated PSD-95 KD in the IL, but not the 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.

  16. Postreactivation glucocorticoids impair recall of established fear memory.

    PubMed

    Cai, Wen-Hui; Blundell, Jacqueline; Han, Jie; Greene, Robert W; Powell, Craig M

    2006-09-13

    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.

  17. Role of NPY Y1 receptor on acquisition, consolidation and extinction on contextual fear conditioning: dissociation between anxiety, locomotion and non-emotional memory behavior.

    PubMed

    Lach, Gilliard; de Lima, Thereza Christina Monteiro

    2013-07-01

    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.

  18. Prelimbic cortical BDNF is required for memory of learned fear but not extinction or innate fear

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Dennis C.; Maguschak, Kimberly A.; Ye, Keqiang; Jang, Sung-Wuk; Myers, Karyn M.; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2010-01-01

    In the medial prefrontal cortex, the prelimbic area is emerging as a major modulator of fear behavior, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Using a selective neocortical knockout mouse, virally mediated prelimbic cortical-specific gene deletion, and pharmacological rescue with a TrkB agonist, we examined the role of a primary candidate mechanism, BDNF, in conditioned fear. We found consistently robust deficits in consolidation of cued fear but no effects on acquisition, expression of unlearned fear, sensorimotor function, and spatial learning. This deficit in learned fear in the BDNF knockout mice was rescued with systemic administration of a TrkB receptor agonist, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone. These data indicate that prelimbic BDNF is critical for consolidation of learned fear memories, but it is not required for innate fear or extinction of fear. Moreover, use of site-specific, inducible BDNF deletions shows a powerful mechanism that may further our understanding of the pathophysiology of fear-related disorders. PMID:20133801

  19. Bidirectional Effects of Cannabidiol on Contextual Fear Memory Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Song, Chenchen; Stevenson, Carl W.; Guimaraes, Francisco S.; Lee, Jonathan L. C.

    2016-01-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) has been established to have both acute and long-lasting effects to reduce fear memory expression. The long-lasting impact might be mediated by an enhancement of memory extinction or an impairment of memory reconsolidation. Here, we directly compared the effects of i.p. injections of cannabidiol (10 mg/kg) with those of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) and partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS; 15 mg/kg) in order to determine the mnemonic basis of long-term fear reduction. We showed that under conditions of strong fear conditioning, CBD reduced contextual fear memory expression both acutely during the extinction session as well as later at a fear retention test. The latter test reduction was replicated by DCS, but MK-801 instead elevated test freezing. In contrast, when initial conditioning was weaker, CBD and MK-801 had similar effects to increase freezing at the fear retention test relative to vehicle controls, whereas DCS had no observable impact. This pattern of results is consistent with CBD enhancing contextual fear memory extinction when the initial conditioning is strong, but impairing extinction when conditioning is weak. This bidirectional effect of CBD may be related to stress levels induced by conditioning and evoked at retrieval during extinction, rather than the strength of the memory per se. PMID:28018227

  20. Repeated recall and PKMζ maintain fear memories in juvenile rats.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Chicora F; Kabitzke, Patricia; Serrano, Peter; Egan, Laura J; Barr, Gordon A; Shair, Harry N; Wiedenmayer, Christoph

    2016-12-01

    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 juveniles 7 d after initial training. In juveniles that received reconsolidation sessions, protein kinase M zeta (PKMζ) increased in the amygdala, but not in the hippocampus. These data suggest that repeated reminders and increased PKMζ maintain fear responses in juvenile animals that otherwise would not exhibit this behavior.

  1. Young and old Pavlovian fear memories can be modified with extinction training during reconsolidation in humans

    PubMed Central

    Steinfurth, Elisa C.K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    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. Participants who underwent extinction during reconsolidation showed no evidence of fear recovery, whereas fear responses returned in participants who underwent standard extinction. We observed this effect in young and old fear memories. Extending the beneficial use of reconsolidation to older fear memories in humans is promising for therapeutic applications. PMID:24934333

  2. Extinction during reconsolidation eliminates recovery of fear conditioned to fear-irrelevant and fear-relevant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Alina; Lipp, Ottmar V

    2017-05-01

    Extant literature suggests that extinction training delivered during the memory reconsolidation period is superior to traditional extinction training in the reduction of fear recovery, as it targets the original fear memory trace. At present it is debated whether different types of fear memories are differentially sensitive to behavioral manipulations of reconsolidation. Here, we examined post-reconsolidation recovery of fear as a function of conditioned stimulus (CS) fear-relevance, using the unconditioned stimulus (US) to reactivate and destabilize conditioned fear memories. Participants (N = 56; 25 male; M = 24.39 years, SD = 7.71) in the US-reactivation and control group underwent differential fear conditioning to fear-relevant (spiders/snakes) and fear-irrelevant (geometric shapes) CSs on Day 1. On Day 2, participants received either reminded (US-reactivation) or non-reminded extinction training. Tests of fear recovery, conducted 24 h later, revealed recovery of differential electrodermal responding to both classes of CSs in the control group, but not in the US-reactivation group. These findings indicate that the US reactivation-extinction procedure eliminated recovery of extinguished responding not only to fear-irrelevant, but also to fear-relevant CSs. Contrasting previous reports, our findings show that post-reconsolidation recovery of conditioned responding is not a function of CS fear-relevance and that persistent reduction of fear, conditioned to fear-relevant CSs, can be achieved through behavioral manipulations of reconsolidation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Hippocampal Processing of Ambiguity Enhances Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    Amadi, Ugwechi; Lim, Seh Hong; Liu, Elizabeth; Baratta, Michael V; Goosens, Ki A

    2017-02-01

    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.

  4. Intact neurogenesis is required for benefits of exercise on spatial memory but not motor performance or contextual fear conditioning in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Clark, P J; Brzezinska, W J; Thomas, M W; Ryzhenko, N A; Toshkov, S A; Rhodes, J S

    2008-09-09

    The mammalian hippocampus continues to generate new neurons throughout life. Experiences such as exercise, anti-depressants, and stress regulate levels of neurogenesis. Exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis and enhances behavioral performance on rotarod, contextual fear and water maze in rodents. To directly test whether intact neurogenesis is required for gains in behavioral performance from exercise in C57BL/6J mice, neurogenesis was reduced using focal gamma irradiation (3 sessions of 5 Gy). Two months after treatment, mice (total n=42 males and 42 females) (Irradiated or Sham), were placed with or without running wheels (Runner or Sedentary) for 54 days. The first 10 days mice received daily injections of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label dividing cells. The last 14 days mice were tested on water maze (two trials per day for 5 days, then 1 h later probe test), rotarod (four trials per day for 3 days), and contextual fear conditioning (2 days), then measured for neurogenesis using immunohistochemical detection of BrdU and neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN) mature neuronal marker. Consistent with previous studies, in Sham animals, running increased neurogenesis fourfold and gains in performance were observed for the water maze (spatial learning and memory), rotarod (motor performance), and contextual fear (conditioning). These positive results provided the reference to determine whether gains in performance were blocked by irradiation. Irradiation reduced neurogenesis by 50% in both groups, Runner and Sedentary. Irradiation did not affect running or baseline performance on any task. Minimal changes in microglia associated with inflammation (using immunohistochemical detection of cd68) were detected at the time of behavioral testing. Irradiation did not reduce gains in performance on rotarod or contextual fear, however it eliminated gain in performance on the water maze. Results support the hypothesis that intact exercise-induced hippocampal neurogenesis

  5. Vicarious extinction learning during reconsolidation neutralizes fear memory.

    PubMed

    Golkar, Armita; Tjaden, Cathelijn; Kindt, Merel

    2017-05-01

    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.

  6. Surface expression of hippocampal NMDA GluN2B receptors regulated by fear conditioning determines its contribution to memory consolidation in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; Yu, Jie; Liu, Shu-Su; Zhuo, Min; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2016-08-04

    The number and subtype composition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) at synapses determines their functional properties and role in learning and memory. Genetically increased or decreased amount of GluN2B affects hippocampus-dependent memory in the adult brain. But in some experimental conditions (e.g., memory elicited by a single conditioning trial (1 CS-US)), GluN2B is not a necessary factor, which indicates that the precise role of GluN2B in memory formation requires further exploration. Here, we examined the role of GluN2B in the consolidation of fear memory using two training paradigms. We found that GluN2B was only required for the consolidation of memory elicited by five conditioning trials (5 CS-US), not by 1 CS-US. Strikingly, the expression of membrane GluN2B in CA1was training-strength-dependently increased after conditioning, and that the amount of membrane GluN2B determined its involvement in memory consolidation. Additionally, we demonstrated the increases in the activities of cAMP, ERK, and CREB in the CA1 after conditioning, as well as the enhanced intrinsic excitability and synaptic efficacy in CA1 neurons. Up-regulation of membrane GluN2B contributed to these enhancements. These studies uncover a novel mechanism for the involvement of GluN2B in memory consolidation by its accumulation at the cell surface in response to behavioral training.

  7. Surface expression of hippocampal NMDA GluN2B receptors regulated by fear conditioning determines its contribution to memory consolidation in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; Yu, Jie; Liu, Shu-Su; Zhuo, Min; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2016-01-01

    The number and subtype composition of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) at synapses determines their functional properties and role in learning and memory. Genetically increased or decreased amount of GluN2B affects hippocampus-dependent memory in the adult brain. But in some experimental conditions (e.g., memory elicited by a single conditioning trial (1 CS-US)), GluN2B is not a necessary factor, which indicates that the precise role of GluN2B in memory formation requires further exploration. Here, we examined the role of GluN2B in the consolidation of fear memory using two training paradigms. We found that GluN2B was only required for the consolidation of memory elicited by five conditioning trials (5 CS-US), not by 1 CS-US. Strikingly, the expression of membrane GluN2B in CA1was training-strength-dependently increased after conditioning, and that the amount of membrane GluN2B determined its involvement in memory consolidation. Additionally, we demonstrated the increases in the activities of cAMP, ERK, and CREB in the CA1 after conditioning, as well as the enhanced intrinsic excitability and synaptic efficacy in CA1 neurons. Up-regulation of membrane GluN2B contributed to these enhancements. These studies uncover a novel mechanism for the involvement of GluN2B in memory consolidation by its accumulation at the cell surface in response to behavioral training. PMID:27487820

  8. Young and Old Pavlovian Fear Memories Can Be Modified with Extinction Training during Reconsolidation in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    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.…

  9. Young and Old Pavlovian Fear Memories Can Be Modified with Extinction Training during Reconsolidation in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinfurth, Elisa C. K.; Kanen, Jonathan W.; Raio, Candace M.; Clem, Roger L.; Huganir, Richard L.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    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.…

  10. Understanding posttraumatic stress disorder through fear conditioning, extinction and reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Careaga, Mariella Bodemeier Loayza; Girardi, Carlos Eduardo Neves; Suchecki, Deborah

    2016-12-01

    Careaga MBL, Girardi CEN, Suchecki D. Understanding posttraumatic stress disorder through fear conditioning, extinction and reconsolidation. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV -Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychopathology characterized by exacerbation of fear response. A dysregulated fear response may be explained by dysfunctional learning and memory, a hypothesis that was proposed decades ago. A key component of PTSD is fear conditioning and the study of this phenomenon in laboratory has expanded the understanding of the underlying neurobiological changes in PTSD. Furthermore, traumatic memories are strongly present even years after the trauma and maintenance of this memory is usually related to behavioral and physiological maladaptive responses. Persistence of traumatic memory may be explained by a dysregulation of two memory processes: extinction and reconsolidation. The former may explain the over-expression of fear responses as an imbalance between traumatic and extinction memory. The latter, in turn, explains the maintenance of fear responses as a result of enhancing trauma-related memories. Thus, this review will discuss the importance of fear conditioning for the establishment of PTSD and how failure in extinction or abnormal reconsolidation may contribute to the maintenance of fear response overtime. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The influence of stress on fear memory processes.

    PubMed

    Martijena, I D; Molina, V A

    2012-04-01

    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.

  12. Inhibition and enhancement of contextual fear memory destabilization

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jonathan L. C.; Flavell, Charlotte R.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24808841

  13. Contextual fear conditioning induces differential alternative splicing.

    PubMed

    Poplawski, Shane G; Peixoto, Lucia; Porcari, Giulia S; Wimmer, Mathieu E; McNally, Anna G; Mizuno, Keiko; Giese, K Peter; Chatterjee, Snehajyoti; Koberstein, John N; Risso, Davide; Speed, Terence P; Abel, Ted

    2016-10-01

    The process of memory consolidation requires transcription and translation to form long-term memories. Significant effort has been dedicated to understanding changes in hippocampal gene expression after contextual fear conditioning. However, alternative splicing by differential transcript regulation during this time period has received less attention. Here, we use RNA-seq to determine exon-level changes in expression after contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Our work reveals that a short variant of Homer1, Ania-3, is regulated by contextual fear conditioning. The ribosome biogenesis regulator Las1l, small nucleolar RNA Snord14e, and the RNA-binding protein Rbm3 also change specific transcript usage after fear conditioning. The changes in Ania-3 and Las1l are specific to either the new context or the context-shock association, while the changes in Rbm3 occur after context or shock only. Our analysis revealed novel transcript regulation of previously undetected changes after learning, revealing the importance of high throughput sequencing approaches in the study of gene expression changes after learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Kainic acid lesions disrupt fear-mediated memory processing.

    PubMed

    Yin, Henry; Bardgett, Mark E; Csernansky, John G

    2002-05-01

    Previous research has shown that hippocampal lesions impair the expression of fear conditioning. This fear conditioning deficit may be due to memory impairment or a reduction in fear in lesioned animals. To address these possibilities, the authors examined unconditioned and conditioned fear in male Sprague-Dawley rats that had received intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusions of kainic acid (KA) 30 days prior to testing. Animals that had received bilateral ICV infusions of KA (1.0 microl of 0.8 mg/ml solution per side) exhibited cell loss that was primarily confined to the CA3 region of the dorsal hippocampus. Kainic acid lesions impaired contextual and cued fear conditioning but did not affect unconditioned fear in a light:dark test of anxiety. Moreover, animals with KA lesions did not habituate to the light:dark apparatus when tested over a 3-day period. These data suggest that decreases in fear conditioning produced by hippocampal lesions reflect a memory deficit and not a lack of fear. Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science (USA).

  15. The formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Shujiang; Wang, Cong; Guo, Chengbing; Huang, Xu; Wang, Liecheng; Zhang, Chen

    2015-01-01

    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 min 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. PMID:26283941

  16. The formation and extinction of fear memory in tree shrews.

    PubMed

    Shang, Shujiang; Wang, Cong; Guo, Chengbing; Huang, Xu; Wang, Liecheng; Zhang, Chen

    2015-01-01

    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 min 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.

  17. Effects of Cortisol on Reconsolidation of Reactivated Fear Memories.

    PubMed

    Drexler, Shira Meir; Merz, Christian J; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Tegenthoff, Martin; Wolf, Oliver T

    2015-12-01

    The return of conditioned fear after successful extinction (eg, following exposure therapy) is a significant problem in the treatment of anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Targeting the reconsolidation of fear memories may allow a more lasting effect as it intervenes with the original memory trace. Indeed, several pharmacological agents and behavioral interventions have been shown to alter (enhance, impair, or otherwise update) the reconsolidation of reactivated memories of different types. Cortisol is a stress hormone and a potent modulator of learning and memory, yet its effects on fear memory reconsolidation are unclear. To investigate whether cortisol intervenes with the reconsolidation of fear memories in healthy males and how specific this effect might be, we built a 3-day reconsolidation design with skin conductance response (SCR) as a measure of conditioned fear: Fear acquisition on day 1; reactivation/no-reactivation of one conditioned stimulus and pharmacological intervention on day 2; extinction learning followed by reinstatement and reinstatement test on day 3. The groups differed only in the experimental manipulation on day 2: Reactivation+Cortisol Group, Reactivation+Placebo Group, or No-reactivation+Cortisol Group. Our results revealed an enhancing effect of cortisol on reconsolidation of the reactivated memory. The effect was highly specific, strengthening only the memory of the reactivated conditioned stimulus and not the non-reactivated one. Our findings are in line with previous findings showing an enhancing effect of behavioral stress on the reconsolidation of other types of memories. These results have implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders and PTSD.

  18. Predicting aversive events and terminating fear in the mouse anterior cingulate cortex during trace fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Steenland, Hendrik W; Li, Xiang-Yao; Zhuo, Min

    2012-01-18

    A variety of studies have implicated the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in fear, including permanent storage of fear memory. Recent pharmacological and genetic studies indicate that early synaptic plasticity in the ACC may also contribute to certain forms of fear memory at early time points. However, no study has directly examined the possible changes in neuronal activity of ACC neurons in freely behaving mice during early learning. In the present study, we examined the neural responses of the ACC during trace fear conditioning. We found that ACC putative pyramidal and nonpyramidal neurons were involved in the termination of fear behavior ("un-freezing"), and the spike activity of these neurons was reduced during freezing. Some of the neurons were also found to acquire un-freezing locked activity and change their tuning. The results implicate the ACC neurons in fear learning and controlling the abolition of fear behavior. We also show that the ACC is important for making cue-related fear memory associations in the trace fear paradigm as measured with tone-evoked potentials and single-unit activity. Collectively, our findings indicate that the ACC is involved in predicting future aversive events and terminating fear during trace fear.

  19. Long-term memory of visually cued fear conditioning: roles of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene and cyclic AMP response element-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Kelley, J B; Anderson, K L; Altmann, S L; Itzhak, Y

    2011-02-03

    Nitric oxide (NO) produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has a role in late-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term memory (LTM) formation. Our recent studies implicated NO signaling in contextual and auditory cued fear conditioning. The present study investigated the role of NO signaling in visually cued fear conditioning. First, visually cued fear conditioning was investigated in wild-type (WT) and nNOS knockout (KO) mice. Second, the effects of pharmacological modulators of NO signaling on the acquisition of visually cued fear conditioning were investigated. Third, plasma levels of corticosterone were measured to determine a relationship between physiological and behavioral responses to fear conditioning. Fourth, levels of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK1/2) and cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation, downstream of NO signaling, were determined in the amygdala as potential correlates of fear learning. Mice underwent single or multiple (4) spaced trainings that consisted of a visual cue (blinking light) paired with footshock. WT mice acquired cued and contextual LTM following single and multiple trainings. nNOS KO mice acquired neither cued nor contextual LTM following a single training; however, multiple trainings improved contextual but not cued LTM. The selective nNOS inhibitor S-methyl-thiocitrulline (SMTC) impaired cued and contextual LTM in WT mice. The NO donor molsidomine recovered contextual LTM but had no effect on cued LTM in nNOS KO mice. Re-exposure to the visual cue 24 h posttraining elicited freezing response and a marked increase in plasma corticosterone levels in WT but not nNOS KO mice. The expression of CREB phosphorylation (Ser-133) was significantly higher in naive nNOS KO mice than in WT counterparts, and pharmacological modulators of NO had significant effects on levels of CREB phosphorylation and expression. These findings suggest that visual cue-dependent LTM is impaired in nNOS KO

  20. Nicotine enhances contextual fear memory reconsolidation in rats.

    PubMed

    Tian, Shaowen; Huang, Fulian; Li, Peng; Li, Zhenbang; Zhou, Shouhong; Deng, Haifeng; Yang, Yufeng

    2011-01-10

    There is increasing evidence that nicotine is involved in learning and memory. However, there remains no study that has explored the relationship between nicotine and memory reconsolidation. At present study, we tested the effects of nicotine on the reconsolidation of contextual fear memory in rats. Behavior procedure involved four training phases: habituation (Day 0), fear conditioning (Day 1), reactivation (Day 2) and test (Day 3). Rats were injected saline or nicotine (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0mg/kg) immediately after reactivation. Percent of time spent freezing was used to measure conditioned fear response. Results showed that compared with saline rats, rats with nicotine at 1.0mg/kg presented a significant increase of freezing response on Day 3. Nicotine at 1.0mg/kg was ineffective when injected 6h after reactivation. Further results showed that the enhancement of freezing response induced by nicotine at 1.0mg/kg was dependent on fear memory reconsolidation, and was not attributed to an enhancement of the nonspecific freezing response 24h after nicotine administration. The results suggest that nicotine administration immediately after reactivation enhances contextual fear memory reconsolidation. Our present finding extends previous research on the nicotinic effects on learning and memory.

  1. Mice Lacking Ras-GRF1 Show Contextual Fear Conditioning but not Spatial Memory Impairments: Convergent Evidence from Two Independently Generated Mouse Mutant Lines

    PubMed Central

    d’Isa, Raffaele; Clapcote, Steven J.; Voikar, Vootele; Wolfer, David P.; Giese, Karl Peter; Brambilla, Riccardo; Fasano, Stefania

    2011-01-01

    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 Brambilla’s mice with a third mouse line (GENA53) in which a non-sense 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 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 amygdala functions but possibly to some distinct hippocampal connections specific to contextual learning. PMID

  2. False context fear memory in rats

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Sarah E.; Holmes, Nathan M.

    2015-01-01

    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 rats in A. In Experiment 2, rats were pre-exposed to A or C, subjected to an immediate shock in B and tested in B or A. Rats pre-exposed to A froze when tested in A but did not freeze when tested in B and control rats did not freeze in either A or B. The false fear memory to the pre-exposed A was contingent on its similarity with the shocked B. In Experiment 3, rats pre-exposed to A and subjected to immediate shock in B froze when tested in A but did not freeze when tested in C and rats pre-exposed to C did not freeze when tested either in A or C. In Experiment 4, rats pre-exposed to A and subjected to immediate shock in B froze more when tested in A than rats whose pre-exposure to A began with an immediate shock. The results were discussed in terms of a dual systems explanation of context fear conditioning: a hippocampal-dependent process that forms a unitary representation of context and an amygdala-based process which associates this representation with shock. PMID:26373831

  3. Fear Conditioning is Disrupted by Damage to the Postsubiculum

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Siobhan; Bucci, David J.

    2011-01-01

    The hippocampus plays a central role in spatial and contextual learning and memory, however relatively little is known about the specific contributions of parahippocampal structures that interface with the hippocampus. The postsubiculum (PoSub) is reciprocally connected with a number of hippocampal, parahippocampal and subcortical structures that are involved in spatial learning and memory. In addition, behavioral data suggest that PoSub is needed for optimal performance during tests of spatial memory. Together, these data suggest that PoSub plays a prominent role in spatial navigation. Currently it is unknown whether the PoSub is needed for other forms of learning and memory that also require the formation of associations among multiple environmental stimuli. To address this gap in the literature we investigated the role of PoSub in Pavlovian fear conditioning. In Experiment 1 male rats received either lesions of PoSub or Sham surgery prior to training in a classical fear conditioning procedure. On the training day a tone was paired with foot shock three times. Conditioned fear to the training context was evaluated 24 hr later by placing rats back into the conditioning chamber without presenting any tones or shocks. Auditory fear was assessed on the third day by presenting the auditory stimulus in a novel environment (no shock). PoSub-lesioned rats exhibited impaired acquisition of the conditioned fear response as well as impaired expression of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. In Experiment 2, PoSub lesions were made 1 day after training to specifically assess the role of PoSub in fear memory. No deficits in the expression of contextual fear were observed, but freezing to the tone was significantly reduced in PoSub-lesioned rats compared to shams. Together, these results indicate that PoSub is necessary for normal acquisition of conditioned fear, and that PoSub contributes to the expression of auditory but not contextual fear memory. PMID:22076971

  4. The activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) is required for memory consolidation of pavlovian fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Ploski, Jonathan E; Pierre, Vicki J; Smucny, Jason; Park, Kevin; Monsey, Melissa S; Overeem, Kathie A; Schafe, Glenn E

    2008-11-19

    The activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) is an immediate early gene that has been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory and is believed to play an integral role in synapse-specific plasticity. Here, we examined the role of Arc/Arg3.1 in amygdala-dependent Pavlovian fear conditioning. We first examined the regulation of Arc/Arg3.1 mRNA and protein after fear conditioning and LTP-inducing stimulation of thalamic inputs to the lateral amygdala (LA). Quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry revealed a significant upregulation of Arc/Arg3.1 mRNA and protein in the LA relative to controls. In behavioral experiments, intra-LA infusion of an Arc/Arg3.1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) was observed to be anatomically restricted to the LA, taken up by LA cells, and to promote significant knockdown of Arc/Arg3.1 protein. Rats given intra-LA infusions of multiple doses of the Arc/Arg3.1 ODN showed an impairment of LTM (tested approximately 24 later), but no deficit in STM (tested 3 h later) relative to controls infused with scrambled ODN. Finally, to determine whether upregulation of Arc/Arg3.1 occurs downstream of ERK/MAPK activation, we examined Arc/Arg3.1 expression in rats given intra-LA infusion of the MEK inhibitor U0126. Relative to vehicle controls, infusion of U0126 impaired training-induced increases in Arc/Arg3.1 expression. These findings suggest that Arc/Arg3.1 expression in the amygdala is required for fear memory consolidation, and further suggest that Arc/Arg3.1 regulation in the LA is downstream of the ERK/MAPK signaling pathway.

  5. Where There is Smoke There is Fear-Impaired Contextual Inhibition of Conditioned Fear in Smokers.

    PubMed

    Haaker, Jan; Lonsdorf, Tina B; Schümann, Dirk; Bunzeck, Nico; Peters, Jan; Sommer, Tobias; Kalisch, Raffael

    2017-02-15

    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.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 15 February 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.17.

  6. Fear conditioning is disrupted by damage to the postsubiculum.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Siobhan; Bucci, David J

    2012-06-01

    The hippocampus plays a central role in spatial and contextual learning and memory, however relatively little is known about the specific contributions of parahippocampal structures that interface with the hippocampus. The postsubiculum (PoSub) is reciprocally connected with a number of hippocampal, parahippocampal and subcortical structures that are involved in spatial learning and memory. In addition, behavioral data suggest that PoSub is needed for optimal performance during tests of spatial memory. Together, these data suggest that PoSub plays a prominent role in spatial navigation. Currently it is unknown whether the PoSub is needed for other forms of learning and memory that also require the formation of associations among multiple environmental stimuli. To address this gap in the literature we investigated the role of PoSub in Pavlovian fear conditioning. In Experiment 1 male rats received either lesions of PoSub or Sham surgery prior to training in a classical fear conditioning procedure. On the training day a tone was paired with foot shock three times. Conditioned fear to the training context was evaluated 24 hr later by placing rats back into theconditioning chamber without presenting any tones or shocks. Auditory fear was assessed on the third day by presenting the auditory stimulus in a novel environment (no shock). PoSub-lesioned rats exhibited impaired acquisition of the conditioned fear response as well as impaired expression of contextual and auditory fear conditioning. In Experiment 2, PoSub lesions were made 1 day after training to specifically assess the role of PoSub in fear memory. No deficits in the expression of contextual fear were observed, but freezing to the tone was significantly reduced in PoSub-lesioned rats compared to shams. Together, these results indicate that PoSub is necessary for normal acquisition of conditioned fear, and that PoSub contributes to the expression of auditory but not contextual fear memory. Copyright © 2011

  7. Sensitive periods in fear learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    King, Elizabeth C.; Pattwell, Siobhan S.; Glatt, Charles E.; Lee, Francis S.

    2015-01-01

    Adolescence represents a uniquely sensitive developmental stage in the transition from childhood to adulthood. During this transition, neuronal circuits are particularly susceptible to modification by experience. In addition, adolescence is a stage in which the incidence of anxiety disorders peaks in humans and over 75% of adults with fear-related disorders met diagnostic criteria as children and adolescents. While postnatal critical periods of plasticity for primary sensory processes, such as in the visual system are well established, less is known about potential critical or sensitive periods for fear learning and memory. Here, we review the nonlinear developmental aspects of fear learning and memory during a transition period into and out of adolescence. We also review the literature on the non-linear development of GABAergic neurotransmission, a key regulator of critical period plasticity. We provide a model that may inform improved treatment strategies for children and adolescents with fear-related disorders. PMID:23611461

  8. Lack of neurotensin type 1 receptor facilitates contextual fear memory depending on the memory strength.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Daisuke; Wada, Etsuko; Amano, Taiju; Wada, Keiji; Sekiguchi, Masayuki

    2010-09-01

    Neurotensin is known to have antipsychotic-like behavioral and neurochemical effects, but its participation in fear memory has not been fully elucidated. Here, we report that a lack of type 1 neurotensin receptor (Ntsr1) increases the behavioral fear response elicited by weak fear memory. Adult Ntsr1-knockout (KO) mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates were compared in contextual fear conditioning. The mice were exposed twice for 3min to the context 24 and 48h after conditioning (first and second exposure, respectively), and freezing response of mice at the exposure was measured to evaluate fear memory. Ntsr1-KO mice showed a higher freezing rate than WT mice at both first and second exposures under the condition where a relatively weak unconditioned stimulus (footshock) was applied and thus elicited a relatively lower freezing rate. The difference in the first exposure between Ntsr1-KO and WT mice disappeared under the condition where a more intense unconditioned stimulus was used. The enhancement of freezing response in Ntsr1-KO mice at second exposure was abolished by propranolol, a beta-adrenergic blocker that suppresses fear memory reconsolidation, and suppressed by MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist. These results suggest that Ntsr1 plays inhibitory roles in weak fear memory. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Retrieval induces reconsolidation of fear extinction memory

    PubMed Central

    Rossato, Janine I.; Bevilaqua, Lia R.; Izquierdo, Iván; Medina, Jorge H.; Cammarota, Martín

    2010-01-01

    The nonreinforced expression of long-tem memory may lead to two opposite protein synthesis-dependent processes: extinction and reconsolidation. Extinction weakens consolidated memories, whereas reconsolidation allows incorporation of additional information into them. Knowledge about these two processes has accumulated in recent years, but their possible interaction has not been evaluated yet. Here, we report that inhibition of protein synthesis in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus after retrieval of fear extinction impedes subsequent reactivation of the extinction memory trace without affecting its storage or that of the initial fear memory. Our results suggest that extinction memory is susceptible to a retrieval-induced process similar to reconsolidation in the hippocampus. PMID:21118982

  10. Retrieval induces reconsolidation of fear extinction memory.

    PubMed

    Rossato, Janine I; Bevilaqua, Lia R; Izquierdo, Iván; Medina, Jorge H; Cammarota, Martín

    2010-12-14

    The nonreinforced expression of long-tem memory may lead to two opposite protein synthesis-dependent processes: extinction and reconsolidation. Extinction weakens consolidated memories, whereas reconsolidation allows incorporation of additional information into them. Knowledge about these two processes has accumulated in recent years, but their possible interaction has not been evaluated yet. Here, we report that inhibition of protein synthesis in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus after retrieval of fear extinction impedes subsequent reactivation of the extinction memory trace without affecting its storage or that of the initial fear memory. Our results suggest that extinction memory is susceptible to a retrieval-induced process similar to reconsolidation in the hippocampus.

  11. Hippocampal awake replay in fear memory retrieval

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chun-Ting; Haggerty, Daniel; Kemere, Caleb; Ji, Daoyun

    2017-01-01

    Hippocampal place cells are key to episodic memories. How these cells participate in memory retrieval remains unclear. Here, after rats acquired a fear memory by receiving mild foot-shocks at a shock zone of a track, we analyzed place cells when the animals were placed back to the track and displayed an apparent memory retrieval behavior: avoidance of the shock zone. We found that place cells representing the shock zone were reactivated, despite the fact that the animals did not enter the shock zone. This reactivation occurred in ripple-associated awake replay of place cell sequences encoding the paths from the animal’s current positions to the shock zone, but not in place cell sequences within individual cycles of theta oscillation. The result reveals a specific place cell pattern underlying the inhibitory avoidance behavior and provides strong evidence for the involvement of awake replay in fear memory retrieval. PMID:28218916

  12. Hippocampal awake replay in fear memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chun-Ting; Haggerty, Daniel; Kemere, Caleb; Ji, Daoyun

    2017-04-01

    Hippocampal place cells are key to episodic memories. How these cells participate in memory retrieval remains unclear. After rats acquired a fear memory by receiving mild footshocks in a shock zone on a track, we analyzed place cells when the animals were placed on the track again and displayed an apparent memory retrieval behavior: avoidance of the shock zone. We found that place cells representing the shock zone were reactivated, despite the fact that the animals did not enter the shock zone. This reactivation occurred in ripple-associated awake replay of place cell sequences encoding the paths from the animal's current positions to the shock zone but not in place cell sequences within individual cycles of theta oscillation. The result reveals a specific place-cell pattern underlying inhibitory avoidance behavior and provides strong evidence for the involvement of awake replay in fear memory retrieval.

  13. Enhanced contextual fear memory in central serotonin-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Dai, Jin-Xia; Han, Hui-Li; Tian, Meng; Cao, Jun; Xiu, Jian-Bo; Song, Ning-Ning; Huang, Ying; Xu, Tian-Le; Ding, Yu-Qiang; Xu, Lin

    2008-08-19

    Central serotonin (5-HT) dysregulation contributes to the susceptibility for mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder, and learning and memory deficits. We report that the formation of hippocampus-dependent spatial memory is compromised, but the acquisition and retrieval of contextual fear memory are enhanced, in central 5-HT-deficient mice. Genetic deletion of serotonin in the brain was achieved by inactivating Lmx1b selectively in the raphe nuclei of the brainstem, resulting in a near-complete loss of 5-HT throughout the brain. These 5-HT-deficient mice exhibited no gross abnormality in brain structures and had normal locomotor activity. Spatial learning in the Morris water maze was unaffected, but the retrieval of spatial memory was impaired. In contrast, contextual fear learning and memory induced by foot-shock conditioning was markedly enhanced, but this enhancement could be prevented by intracerebroventricular administration of 5-HT. Foot shock impaired long-term potentiation and facilitated long-term depression in hippocampal slices in WT mice but had no effect in 5-HT-deficient mice. Furthermore, bath application of 5-HT in 5-HT-deficient mice restored foot shock-induced alterations of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Thus, central 5-HT regulates hippocampus-dependent contextual fear memory, and 5-HT modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity may be the underlying mechanism. The enhanced fear memory in 5-HT-deficient mice supports the notion that 5-HT deficiency confers susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder in humans.

  14. Identification and Characterization of the V(D)J Recombination Activating Gene 1 in Long-Term Memory of Context Fear Conditioning.

    PubMed

    Castro-Pérez, Edgardo; Soto-Soto, Emilio; Pérez-Carambot, Marizabeth; Dionisio-Santos, Dawling; Saied-Santiago, Kristian; Ortiz-Zuazaga, Humberto G; Peña de Ortiz, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    An increasing body of evidence suggests that mechanisms related to the introduction and repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) may be associated with long-term memory (LTM) processes. Previous studies from our group suggested that factors known to function in DNA recombination/repair machineries, such as DNA ligases, polymerases, and DNA endonucleases, play a role in LTM. Here we report data using C57BL/6 mice showing that the V(D)J recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG1), which encodes a factor that introduces DSBs in immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes, is induced in the amygdala, but not in the hippocampus, after context fear conditioning. Amygdalar induction of RAG1 mRNA, measured by real-time PCR, was not observed in context-only or shock-only controls, suggesting that the context fear conditioning response is related to associative learning processes. Furthermore, double immunofluorescence studies demonstrated the neuronal localization of RAG1 protein in amygdalar sections prepared after perfusion and fixation. In functional studies, intra-amygdalar injections of RAG1 gapmer antisense oligonucleotides, given 1 h prior to conditioning, resulted in amygdalar knockdown of RAG1 mRNA and a significant impairment in LTM, tested 24 h after training. Overall, these findings suggest that the V(D)J recombination-activating gene 1, RAG1, may play a role in LTM consolidation.

  15. [GABA-Receptors in Modulation of Fear Memory Extinction].

    PubMed

    Dubrovina, N I

    2016-01-01

    GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system determining the efficacy of neuronal interaction. GABA-receptors play a key role in different aspects of fear memory--acquisition and consolidation, retention, reconsolidation and extinction. Extinction is an important behavioural phenomenon which allows organism to adapt its behavior to a changing environment. Extinction of fear memory is a form of new inhibitory learning which interferes with expression of the initial acquired fear conditioning. Resistance to extinction is symptom of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. The aim of the present review was to summarize own and literary data about GABAergic modulation of fear extinction and pharmacological correction of extinction impairment at influences on GABA(A)- and GABA(B)- receptors.

  16. Tracking the Fear Memory Engram: Discrete Populations of Neurons within Amygdala, Hypothalamus, and Lateral Septum Are Specifically Activated by Auditory Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher W.; Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    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…

  17. Tracking the Fear Memory Engram: Discrete Populations of Neurons within Amygdala, Hypothalamus, and Lateral Septum Are Specifically Activated by Auditory Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher W.; Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    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…

  18. Effects of acute and subchronic treatments with fluoxetine and desipramine on the memory of fear in moderate and high-intensity contextual conditioning.

    PubMed

    Santos, Julia M; Martinez, Raquel C R; Brandão, Marcus L

    2006-08-07

    Selective serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine and desipramine, respectively, are efficacious in the treatment of depression and chronic stress. Although they inhibit the reuptake of the biogenic monoamines soon after administration, therapeutic improvements occur only after 2 or 3 weeks. Freezing response and potentiated startle are common responses to moderate fear contextual conditioning. However, freezing but not startle is increased in rats that undergo intense fear conditioning. In this study, we evaluated the effects of acute and subchronic administration of fluoxetine and desipramine on these responses in testing sessions, as indices of fear in moderate and high fear conditioning. Fluoxetine did not show any significant effect on the moderate fear conditioning but reduced freezing and restored the startle response in rats under intense fear conditioning. In comparison, desipramine had no effect on the startle response when administered acutely or subchronically while freezing of the intense fear conditioning was reduced. Our findings indicate that intense contextual fear conditioning is sensitive to subchronic treatment with fluoxetine and resistant to desipramine. Fluoxetine appears to restore the serotoninergic function in brain areas recruited by intense contextual fear conditioning. These effects of fluoxetine may underlie its reported efficacy in the pharmacotherapy of panic disorders.

  19. Disruption of Memory Reconsolidation Erases a Fear Memory Trace in the Human Amygdala: An 18-Month Follow-Up.

    PubMed

    Björkstrand, Johannes; Agren, Thomas; Frick, Andreas; Engman, Jonas; Larsson, Elna-Marie; Furmark, Tomas; Fredrikson, Mats

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Neural and Cellular Mechanisms of Fear and Extinction Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    Orsini, Caitlin A.; Maren, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    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

  1. Effect of context exposure after fear learning on memory generalization in mice.

    PubMed

    Fujinaka, Ayano; Li, Ruoshi; Hayashi, Masanobu; Kumar, Deependra; Changarathil, Gopakumar; Naito, Keisuke; Miki, Kousuke; Nishiyama, Taihei; Lazarus, Michael; Sakurai, Takeshi; Kee, Nohjin; Nakajima, Satomi; Wang, Szu-Han; Sakaguchi, Masanori

    2016-01-08

    The conditions under which memory generalization occurs are not well understood. Although it is believed that fear memory generalization is gradually established after learning, it is not clear whether experiences soon after learning affect generalization. Using a contextual fear conditioning paradigm in mice, we found that fear memory generalization occurred when mice were exposed to a familiar, unconditioned context soon after fear learning. Our results suggest that the familiarity of contexts and the timing of their exposure influences memory generalization, which increases our understanding of the mechanisms of generalization.

  2. Microglial production of TNF-alpha is a key element of sustained fear memory.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhiqian; Fukushima, Hotaka; Ono, Chiaki; Sakai, Mai; Kasahara, Yoshiyuki; Kikuchi, Yoshie; Gunawansa, Nicole; Takahashi, Yuta; Matsuoka, Hiroo; Kida, Satoshi; Tomita, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    The proinflammatory cytokine productions in the brain are altered in a process of fear memory formation, indicating a possibility that altered microglial function may contribute to fear memory formation. We aimed to investigate whether and how microglial function contributes to fear memory formation. Expression levels of M1- and M2-type microglial marker molecules in microglia isolated from each conditioned mice group were assessed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, but not of other proinflammatory cytokines produced by M1-type microglia, increased in microglia from mice representing retention of fear memory, and returned to basal levels in microglia from mice representing extinction of fear memory. Administration of inhibitors of TNF-α production facilitated extinction of fear memory. On the other hand, expression levels of M2-type microglia-specific cell adhesion molecules, CD206 and CD209, were decreased in microglia from mice representing retention of fear memory, and returned to basal levels in microglia from mice representing extinction of fear memory. Our findings indicate that microglial TNF-α is a key element of sustained fear memory and suggest that TNF-α inhibitors can be candidate molecules for mitigating posttraumatic reactions caused by persistent fear memory.

  3. A Comparison of Behavioral and Pharmacological Interventions to Attenuate Reactivated Fear Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monti, Roque I. Ferrer; Alfei, Joaquin M.; Mugnaini, Matias; Bueno, Adrian M.; Beckers, Tom; Urcelay, Gonzalo P.; Molina, Victor A.

    2017-01-01

    Two experiments using rats in a contextual fear memory preparation compared two approaches to reduce conditioned fear: (1) pharmacological reconsolidation blockade and (2) reactivation-plus-extinction training. In Experiment 1, we explored different combinations of reactivation-plus-extinction parameters to reduce conditioned fear and attenuate…

  4. Systemic or intra-prelimbic cortex infusion of prazosin impairs fear memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Do Monte, Fabricio H; Souza, Rimenez R; Wong, Ting T; Carobrez, Antonio de Padua

    2013-05-01

    The alpha-1 adrenergic antagonist prazosin has been used to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, but the mechanism remains unclear. One possibility is that prazosin may disrupt fear memory reconsolidation, leading to attenuation of fear responses. To test this hypothesis, we administered a single systemic injection of prazosin during the reconsolidation of olfactory fear conditioning in rats. We found that a post-retrieval injection of prazosin disrupted subsequent retrieval of fear. Similarly, intra-prelimbic cortex infusion of prazosin during the reconsolidation period also disrupted subsequent retrieval of fear. These findings suggest that fear memory undergoes reconsolidation through activation of alpha-1 adrenergic receptors in the prelimbic cortex.

  5. Hippocampal Administration of Levothyroxine Impairs Contextual Fear Memory Consolidation in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Dafu; Zhou, Heng; Zou, Lin; Jiang, Yong; Wu, Xiaoqun; Jiang, Lizhu; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Xu, Lin; Mao, Rongrong

    2017-01-01

    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 (LT4) administration increased the level of free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free tetraiodothyroxine (FT4) not only in serum but also in hippocampus. In addition, a single systemic LT4 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, LT4 (0.4 μg/μl, 1 μl/side) was injected bilaterally into hippocampus. Rats given LT4 into hippocampus before training or tests had no effect on the acquisition or retrieval of fear memory, however rats given LT4 into hippocampus either immediately or 2 h after training showed being significantly impaired fear memory, which demonstrated LT4 administration into hippocampus impairs the consolidation but has no effect on the acquisition and retrieval of fear memory. Furthermore, hippocampal injection of LT4 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. PMID:28824379

  6. Natural Amyloid-Beta Oligomers Acutely Impair the Formation of a Contextual Fear Memory in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kittelberger, Kara A.; Piazza, Fabrizio; Tesco, Giuseppina; Reijmers, Leon G.

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. Electrolytic Lesions of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Do Not Interfere with Long-Term Memory of Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Rene; Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    Lesion studies indicate that rats without the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have difficulty recalling fear extinction acquired the previous day. Several electrophysiological studies have also supported this observation by demonstrating that extinction-related increases in neuronal activity in the mPFC participate in expression of fear…

  8. Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism Enhances Fear Memory and Upregulates Mineralocorticoid and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana; Fernández-Lamo, Iván; Alieva, María; Pereda-Pérez, Inmaculada; Venero, César; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana

    2011-01-01

    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

  9. The amygdala is critical for trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Kochli, Daniel E.; Thompson, Elaine C.; Fricke, Elizabeth A.; Postle, Abagail F.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei within the amygdala. The present experiments further examine the contributions of amygdalar subnuclei to trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning. Rats were trained using a 10-trial trace, delay, or unpaired fear conditioning procedure. Pretraining lesions targeting the entire basolateral amygdala (BLA) resulted in a deficit in trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning. Immediate post-training infusions of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, targeting the basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA) attenuated trace and contextual fear memory expression, but had no effect on delay fear conditioning. However, infusions targeting the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) immediately following conditioning attenuated contextual fear memory expression, but had no effect on delay or trace fear conditioning. In follow-up experiments, rats were trained using a three-trial delay conditioning procedure. Immediate post-training infusions targeting the LA produced deficits in both delay tone and context fear, while infusions targeting the BA produced deficits in context but not delay tone fear. These data fully support a role for the BLA in trace, delay, and contextual fear memories. Specifically, these data suggest that the BA may be more critical for trace fear conditioning, whereas the LA may be more critical for delay fear memories. PMID:25593295

  10. The amygdala is critical for trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Kochli, Daniel E; Thompson, Elaine C; Fricke, Elizabeth A; Postle, Abagail F; Quinn, Jennifer J

    2015-02-01

    Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei within the amygdala. The present experiments further examine the contributions of amygdalar subnuclei to trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning. Rats were trained using a 10-trial trace, delay, or unpaired fear conditioning procedure. Pretraining lesions targeting the entire basolateral amygdala (BLA) resulted in a deficit in trace, delay, and contextual fear conditioning. Immediate post-training infusions of the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, targeting the basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA) attenuated trace and contextual fear memory expression, but had no effect on delay fear conditioning. However, infusions targeting the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) immediately following conditioning attenuated contextual fear memory expression, but had no effect on delay or trace fear conditioning. In follow-up experiments, rats were trained using a three-trial delay conditioning procedure. Immediate post-training infusions targeting the LA produced deficits in both delay tone and context fear, while infusions targeting the BA produced deficits in context but not delay tone fear. These data fully support a role for the BLA in trace, delay, and contextual fear memories. Specifically, these data suggest that the BA may be more critical for trace fear conditioning, whereas the LA may be more critical for delay fear memories.

  11. Cannabinoid facilitation of fear extinction memory recall in humans

    PubMed Central

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Angstadt, Mike; Sripada, Chandra S.; Abelson, James L.; Liberzon, Israel; Milad, Mohammed R.; Phan, K. Luan

    2012-01-01

    A first-line approach to treat anxiety disorders is exposure-based therapy, which relies on extinction processes such as repeatedly exposing the patient to stimuli (conditioned stimuli; CS) associated with the traumatic, fear-related memory. However, a significant number of patients fail to maintain their gains, partly attributed to the fact that this inhibitory learning and its maintenance is temporary and conditioned fear responses can return. Animal studies have shown that activation of the cannabinoid system during extinction learning enhances fear extinction and its retention. Specifically, CB1 receptor agonists, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), can facilitate extinction recall by preventing recovery of extinguished fear in rats. However, this phenomenon has not been investigated in humans. We conducted a study using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design, coupling a standard Pavlovian fear extinction paradigm and simultaneous skin conductance response (SCR) recording with an acute pharmacological challenge with oral dronabinol (synthetic THC) or placebo (PBO) 2 hours prior to extinction learning in 29 healthy adult volunteers (THC = 14; PBO = 15) and tested extinction retention 24 hours after extinction learning. Compared to subjects that received PBO, subjects that received THC showed low SCR to a previously extinguished CS when extinction memory recall was tested 24 hours after extinction learning, suggesting that THC prevented the recovery of fear. These results provide the first evidence that pharmacological enhancement of extinction learning is feasible in humans using cannabinoid system modulators, which may thus warrant further development and clinical testing. PMID:22796109

  12. Limited efficacy of propranolol on the reconsolidation of fear memories

    PubMed Central

    Muravieva, Elizaveta V.; Alberini, Cristina M.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol might be a novel, potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This hypothesis stemmed mainly from rodent studies showing that propranolol interferes with the reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning (FC). However, subsequent investigations in humans have produced controversial evidence about the effect of propranolol on fear memories and an effect on PTSD symptomatology has yet to be reported. Thus, it remains to be established whether propranolol interferes with the reconsolidation of fear memories at large. To address this question, we tested the effect of systemic injections of propranolol administered before or after the retrieval of an inhibitory avoidance (IA) memory elicited with different footshock intensities. In parallel, the same treatment was tested on the reconsolidation of Pavlovian FC. Propranolol showed no effect on the reconsolidation of IA, although the pre-retrieval administration resulted in a significant retrieval impairment. This impairment was transient, and memory returned to control levels at later times. In agreement with previous studies, we found that systemic administration of propranolol disrupts the reconsolidation of Pavlovian FC and that its injection following a retrieval elicited by cue exposure also interferes with the reconsolidation of contextual FC. Hence, propranolol disrupts the reconsolidation of Pavlovian FC, but has no effect on the reconsolidation of IA. The results indicate that the efficacy of systemic administration of propranol in disrupting the reconsolidation of fear memories is limited. PMID:20516209

  13. Novelty-Induced Arousal Enhances Memory for Cued Classical Fear Conditioning: Interactions between Peripheral Adrenergic and Brainstem Glutamatergic Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Stanley O., II; Williams, Cedric L.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  14. Novelty-Induced Arousal Enhances Memory for Cued Classical Fear Conditioning: Interactions between Peripheral Adrenergic and Brainstem Glutamatergic Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Stanley O., II; Williams, Cedric L.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  15. Encoding of Fear Memory in High and Low Fear Mice

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-18

    1:602‐9  8.  Bailey CH, Bartsch D,  Kandel  ER. 1996. Toward a molecular definition of long‐term  memory storage. Proceedings of the National Academy of...genetics of fear inhibition may  inform our understanding of PTSD. The American journal of psychiatry 167:648‐62  61.  Kandel  ER. 2000. Principles of Neural...Science. McGraw‐Hill Companies, Inc.  62.  Kandel  ER. 2001. The molecular biology of memory storage: a dialogue between genes  and synapses. Science

  16. Dissociation between complete hippocampal context memory formation and context fear acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Leake, Jessica; Zinn, Raphael; Corbit, Laura; Vissel, Bryce

    2017-01-01

    Rodents require a minimal time period to explore a context prior to footshock to display plateau-level context fear at test. To investigate whether this rapid fear plateau reflects complete memory formation within that short time-frame, we used the immediate-early gene product Arc as an indicator of hippocampal context memory formation-related activity. We found that hippocampal Arc expression continued to increase well past the minimal time required for plateau-level fear. This raises the possibility that context fear conditioning occurs more rapidly than complete memory formation. Thus, animals may be able to condition robustly to both complete and incomplete contextual representations. PMID:28298553

  17. Magnesium deficiency impairs fear conditioning in mice.

    PubMed

    Bardgett, Mark E; Schultheis, Patrick J; McGill, Diana L; Richmond, Raymond E; Wagge, Jordan R

    2005-03-15

    Magnesium (Mg2+) is one of the most abundant cations found in the body. In the central nervous system, Mg2+ plays an important role in the function of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors, which are centrally involved in memory processing. Despite the relatively large concentration of Mg2+ in the CNS, little is known about the behavioral consequences of Mg2+ deficiency. The purpose of this study was to address this issue by assessing fear conditioning and related behaviors in mice maintained on normal or Mg(2+)-deficient diets. Young adult male C57Bl/6J mice were placed on a control or Mg(2+)-deficient diet, and testing was conducted between 10 and 21 days later. Magnesium-deficient mice exhibited impairments in contextual and cued fear conditioning. These impairments could not be attributed to changes in locomotor activity, exploration, or pain sensitivity. Furthermore, Mg(2+)-deficient mice were more sensitive to the convulsant effects of a peripheral injection of NMDA (100 mg/kg, IP). The results suggest that magnesium deficiency can lead to specific impairments in emotional memory. Such impairments may be related to hypersensitivity of NMDA-type glutamate receptors in Mg(2+)-deficient mice.

  18. The Role Of Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons In Fear and Extinction Memory

    PubMed Central

    Knox, Dayan

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic input to the neocortex, dorsal hippocampus (dHipp), and basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical for neural function and synaptic plasticity in these brain regions. Synaptic plasticity in the neocortex, dHipp, ventral Hipp (vHipp), and BLA has also been implicated in fear and extinction memory. This finding raises the possibility that basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic neurons, the predominant source of acetylcholine in these brain regions, have an important role in mediating fear and extinction memory. While empirical studies support this hypothesis, there are interesting inconsistencies among these studies that raise questions about how best to define the role of BF cholinergic neurons in fear and extinction memory. Nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) cholinergic neurons that project to the BLA are critical for fear memory and contextual fear extinction memory. NBM cholinergic neurons that project to the neocortex are critical for cued and contextual fear conditioned suppression, but are not critical for fear memory in other behavioral paradigms and in the inhibitory avoidance paradigm may even inhibit contextual fear memory formation. Medial septum and diagonal band of Broca cholinergic neurons are critical for contextual fear memory and acquisition of cued fear extinction. Thus, even though the results of previous studies suggest BF cholinergic neurons modulate fear and extinction memory, inconsistent findings among these studies necessitates more research to better define the neural circuits and molecular processes through which BF cholinergic neurons modulate fear and extinction memory. Furthermore, studies determining if BF cholinergic neurons can be manipulated in such a manner so as to treat excessive fear in anxiety disorders are needed. PMID:27264248

  19. False Context Fear Memory in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bae, Sarah; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2015-01-01

    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…

  20. False Context Fear Memory in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bae, Sarah; Holmes, Nathan M.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2015-01-01

    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…

  1. BDNFval66met affects neural activation pattern during fear conditioning and 24 h delayed fear recall

    PubMed Central

    Golkar, Armita; Lindström, Kara M.; Haaker, Jan; Öhman, Arne; Schalling, Martin; Ingvar, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the most abundant neutrophin in the mammalian central nervous system, is critically involved in synaptic plasticity. In both rodents and humans, BDNF has been implicated in hippocampus- and amygdala-dependent learning and memory and has more recently been linked to fear extinction processes. Fifty-nine healthy participants, genotyped for the functional BDNFval66met polymorphism, underwent a fear conditioning and 24h-delayed extinction protocol while skin conductance and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses (functional magnetic resonance imaging) were acquired. We present the first report of neural activation pattern during fear acquisition ‘and’ extinction for the BDNFval66met polymorphism using a differential conditioned stimulus (CS)+ > CS− comparison. During conditioning, we observed heightened allele dose-dependent responses in the amygdala and reduced responses in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in BDNFval66met met-carriers. During early extinction, 24h later, we again observed heightened responses in several regions ascribed to the fear network in met-carriers as opposed to val-carriers (insula, amygdala, hippocampus), which likely reflects fear memory recall. No differences were observed during late extinction, which likely reflects learned extinction. Our data thus support previous associations of the BDNFval66met polymorphism with neural activation in the fear and extinction network, but speak against a specific association with fear extinction processes. PMID:25103087

  2. Retrieval per se is not sufficient to trigger reconsolidation of human fear memory.

    PubMed

    Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel

    2012-03-01

    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

  3. Sound tuning of amygdala plasticity in auditory fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sungmo; Lee, Junuk; Park, Kyungjoon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Song, Beomjong; Hong, Ingie; Kim, Jieun; Lee, Sukwon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2016-01-01

    Various auditory tones have been used as conditioned stimuli (CS) for fear conditioning, but researchers have largely neglected the effect that different types of auditory tones may have on fear memory processing. Here, we report that at lateral amygdala (LA) synapses (a storage site for fear memory), conditioning with different types of auditory CSs (2.8 kHz tone, white noise, FM tone) recruits distinct forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and inserts calcium permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) for variable periods. White noise or FM tone conditioning produced brief insertion (<6 hr after conditioning) of CP-AMPARs, whereas 2.8 kHz tone conditioning induced more persistent insertion (≥6 hr). Consistently, conditioned fear to 2.8 kHz tone but not to white noise or FM tones was erased by reconsolidation-update (which depends on the insertion of CP-AMPARs at LA synapses) when it was performed 6 hr after conditioning. Our data suggest that conditioning with different auditory CSs recruits distinct forms of LA synaptic plasticity, resulting in more malleable fear memory to some tones than to others. PMID:27488731

  4. Sound tuning of amygdala plasticity in auditory fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Park, Sungmo; Lee, Junuk; Park, Kyungjoon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Song, Beomjong; Hong, Ingie; Kim, Jieun; Lee, Sukwon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2016-08-04

    Various auditory tones have been used as conditioned stimuli (CS) for fear conditioning, but researchers have largely neglected the effect that different types of auditory tones may have on fear memory processing. Here, we report that at lateral amygdala (LA) synapses (a storage site for fear memory), conditioning with different types of auditory CSs (2.8 kHz tone, white noise, FM tone) recruits distinct forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and inserts calcium permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) for variable periods. White noise or FM tone conditioning produced brief insertion (<6 hr after conditioning) of CP-AMPARs, whereas 2.8 kHz tone conditioning induced more persistent insertion (≥6 hr). Consistently, conditioned fear to 2.8 kHz tone but not to white noise or FM tones was erased by reconsolidation-update (which depends on the insertion of CP-AMPARs at LA synapses) when it was performed 6 hr after conditioning. Our data suggest that conditioning with different auditory CSs recruits distinct forms of LA synaptic plasticity, resulting in more malleable fear memory to some tones than to others.

  5. Auditory-evoked spike firing in the lateral amygdala and Pavlovian fear conditioning: mnemonic code or fear bias?

    PubMed

    Goosens, Ki A; Hobin, Jennifer A; Maren, Stephen

    2003-12-04

    Amygdala neuroplasticity has emerged as a candidate substrate for Pavlovian fear memory. By this view, conditional stimulus (CS)-evoked activity represents a mnemonic code that initiates the expression of fear behaviors. However, a fear state may nonassociatively enhance sensory processing, biasing CS-evoked activity in amygdala neurons. Here we describe experiments that dissociate auditory CS-evoked spike firing in the lateral amygdala (LA) and both conditional fear behavior and LA excitability in rats. We found that the expression of conditional freezing and increased LA excitability was neither necessary nor sufficient for the expression of conditional increases in CS-evoked spike firing. Rather, conditioning-related changes in CS-evoked spike firing were solely determined by the associative history of the CS. Thus, our data support a model in which associative activity in the LA encodes fear memory and contributes to the expression of learned fear behaviors.

  6. Memory-emotional interactions as revealed by fear generalization in animal-fearful individuals.

    PubMed

    Kopp, Bruno; Schlimm, Mike; Hermann, Christiane

    2005-06-01

    Discriminative fear learning and fear generalization were examined in animal-fearful individuals and in control participants. Electrical shocks were administered contingent upon discriminative pictures of spiders or snakes, respectively, in a generalization-after-discrimination paradigm. Neither discriminative fear learning nor extinction was affected by the individual fear status of the animal categories. Novel feared stimuli, which resembled discriminative stimuli, were treated as more shock predictive than novel non-feared stimuli during generalization testing. Neither preparedness theory nor selective sensitization theory was capable to account for these observations. The findings are commensurable with the hypothesis that phobic fear interferes with the retrieval of memory traces.

  7. The structure of Pavlovian fear conditioning in the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; McDonald, Craig G; Dey, Smita; Tang, Haying; Selwyn, Reed G; Johnson, Luke R

    2013-11-01

    Do different brains forming a specific memory allocate the same groups of neurons to encode it? One way to test this question is to map neurons encoding the same memory and quantitatively compare their locations across individual brains. In a previous study, we used this strategy to uncover a common topography of neurons in the dorsolateral amygdala (LAd) that expressed a learning-induced and plasticity-related kinase (p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase; pMAPK), following auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. In this series of experiments, we extend our initial findings to ask to what extent this functional topography depends upon intrinsic neuronal structure. We first showed that the majority (87 %) of pMAPK expression in the lateral amygdala was restricted to principal-type neurons. Next, we verified a neuroanatomical reference point for amygdala alignment using in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and in vitro morphometrics. We then determined that the topography of neurons encoding auditory fear conditioning was not exclusively governed by principal neuron cytoarchitecture. These data suggest that functional patterning of neurons undergoing plasticity in the amygdala following Pavlovian fear conditioning is specific to memory formation itself. Further, the spatial allocation of activated neurons in the LAd was specific to cued (auditory), but not contextual, fear conditioning. Spatial analyses conducted at another coronal plane revealed another spatial map unique to fear conditioning, providing additional evidence that the functional topography of fear memory storing cells in the LAd is non-random and stable. Overall, these data provide evidence for a spatial organizing principle governing the functional allocation of fear memory in the amygdala.

  8. Forming competing fear learning and extinction memories in adolescence makes fear difficult to inhibit.

    PubMed

    Baker, Kathryn D; Richardson, Rick

    2015-11-01

    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 (pMAPK-IR) in several brain regions. Unexpectedly, adolescent rats exhibited good extinction retention if fear was acquired before adolescence. Further, fear acquired in adolescence could be successfully extinguished in adulthood but not within adolescence. Adolescent rats did not show extinction-induced increases in pMAPK-IR in the medial prefrontal cortex or the basolateral amygdala, or a pattern of reduced caudal central amygdala pMAPK-IR, as was observed in juveniles. This dampened prefrontal and basolateral amygdala MAPK activation following extinction in adolescence occurred even when there was no impairment in extinction retention. In contrast, only adolescent animals that exhibited impaired extinction retention showed elevated pMAPK-IR in the posterior paraventricular thalamus. These data suggest that neither the animal's age at the time of fear acquisition or extinction determines whether impaired extinction retention is exhibited. Rather, it appears that forming competing fear conditioning and extinction memories in adolescence renders this a vulnerable developmental period in which fear is difficult to inhibit. Furthermore, even under conditions that promote good extinction, the neural correlates of extinction in adolescence are different than those recruited in animals of other ages. © 2015 Baker and Richardson; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  9. Forming competing fear learning and extinction memories in adolescence makes fear difficult to inhibit

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    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 (pMAPK-IR) in several brain regions. Unexpectedly, adolescent rats exhibited good extinction retention if fear was acquired before adolescence. Further, fear acquired in adolescence could be successfully extinguished in adulthood but not within adolescence. Adolescent rats did not show extinction-induced increases in pMAPK-IR in the medial prefrontal cortex or the basolateral amygdala, or a pattern of reduced caudal central amygdala pMAPK-IR, as was observed in juveniles. This dampened prefrontal and basolateral amygdala MAPK activation following extinction in adolescence occurred even when there was no impairment in extinction retention. In contrast, only adolescent animals that exhibited impaired extinction retention showed elevated pMAPK-IR in the posterior paraventricular thalamus. These data suggest that neither the animal's age at the time of fear acquisition or extinction determines whether impaired extinction retention is exhibited. Rather, it appears that forming competing fear conditioning and extinction memories in adolescence renders this a vulnerable developmental period in which fear is difficult to inhibit. Furthermore, even under conditions that promote good extinction, the neural correlates of extinction in adolescence are different than those recruited in animals of other ages. PMID:26472643

  10. Updating versus Exposure to Prevent Consolidation of Conditioned Fear

    PubMed Central

    Pile, Victoria; Barnhofer, Thorsten; Wild, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Targeting the consolidation of fear memories following trauma may offer a promising method for preventing the development of flashbacks and other unwanted re-experiencing symptoms that characterise Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research has demonstrated that performing visuo-spatial tasks after analogue trauma can block the consolidation of fear memory and reduce the frequency of flashbacks. However, no research has yet used verbal techniques to alter memories during the consolidation window. This is surprising given that the most effective treatments for PTSD are verbally-based with exposure therapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy gaining the most evidence of efficacy. Psychological therapies aim to reduce the conditioned fear response, which is in keeping with the preliminary finding that an increased propensity for fear conditioning may be a vulnerability factor for PTSD. Our research had two aims. We investigated the degree to which individual differences in fear conditioning predict the development of PTSD symptoms. We also compared the preventative effects of two clinically informed psychological techniques administered during the consolidation window: exposure to the trauma memory and updating the meaning of the trauma. 115 healthy participants underwent a fear conditioning paradigm in which traumatic film stimuli (unconditioned stimuli) were paired with neutral stimuli (conditioned stimuli). Participants were randomly allocated to an updating, exposure or control group to compare the effects on the conditioned fear response and on PTSD symptomatology. The results showed that stronger conditioned responses at acquisition significantly predicted the development of PTSD symptoms. The updating group, who verbally devalued the unconditioned stimulus within the consolidation window, experienced significantly lower levels of PTSD symptoms during follow-up than the exposure and control groups. These findings are consistent with clinical

  11. Adrenergic Transmission Facilitates Extinction of Conditional Fear in Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barad, Mark; Cain, Christopher K.; Blouin, Ashley M.

    2004-01-01

    Extinction of classically conditioned fear, like its acquisition, is active learning, but little is known about its molecular mechanisms. We recently reported that temporal massing of conditional stimulus (CS) presentations improves extinction memory acquisition, and suggested that temporal spacing was less effective because individual CS…

  12. Adrenergic Transmission Facilitates Extinction of Conditional Fear in Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barad, Mark; Cain, Christopher K.; Blouin, Ashley M.

    2004-01-01

    Extinction of classically conditioned fear, like its acquisition, is active learning, but little is known about its molecular mechanisms. We recently reported that temporal massing of conditional stimulus (CS) presentations improves extinction memory acquisition, and suggested that temporal spacing was less effective because individual CS…

  13. Fear extinction memory consolidation requires potentiation of pontine-wave activity during REM sleep.

    PubMed

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W

    2013-03-06

    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.

  14. Fear Extinction Memory Consolidation Requires Potentiation of Pontine-Wave Activity during REM Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Datta, Subimal; O'Malley, Matthew W .

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Stability of Recent and Remote Contextual Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankland, Paul W.; Ding, Hoi-Ki; Takahashi, Eiki; Suzuki, Akinobu; Kida, Satoshi; Silva, Alcino J.

    2006-01-01

    Following initial encoding, memories undergo a prolonged period of reorganization. While such reorganization may occur in many different memory systems, its purpose is not clear. Previously, we have shown that recall of recent contextual fear memories engages the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC). In contrast, recall of remote contextual fear memories…

  16. Stability of Recent and Remote Contextual Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankland, Paul W.; Ding, Hoi-Ki; Takahashi, Eiki; Suzuki, Akinobu; Kida, Satoshi; Silva, Alcino J.

    2006-01-01

    Following initial encoding, memories undergo a prolonged period of reorganization. While such reorganization may occur in many different memory systems, its purpose is not clear. Previously, we have shown that recall of recent contextual fear memories engages the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC). In contrast, recall of remote contextual fear memories…

  17. Conditioning- and time-dependent increases in context fear and generalization.

    PubMed

    Poulos, Andrew M; Mehta, Nehali; Lu, Bryan; Amir, Dorsa; Livingston, Briana; Santarelli, Anthony; Zhuravka, Irina; Fanselow, Michael S

    2016-07-01

    A prominent feature of fear memories and anxiety disorders is that they endure across extended periods of time. Here, we examine how the severity of the initial fear experience influences incubation, generalization, and sensitization of contextual fear memories across time. Adult rats were presented with either five, two, one, or zero shocks (1.2 mA, 2 sec) during contextual fear conditioning. Following a recent (1 d) or remote (28 d) retention interval all subjects were returned to the original training context to measure fear memory and/or to a novel context to measure the specificity of fear conditioning. Our results indicate rats that received two or five shocks show an "incubation"-like enhancement of fear between recent and remote retention intervals, while single-shocked animals show stable levels of context fear memory. Moreover, when fear was tested in a novel context, 1 and 2 shocked groups failed to freeze, whereas five shocked rats showed a time-dependent generalization of context memory. Stress enhancement of fear learning to a second round of conditioning was evident in all previously shocked animals. Based on these results, we conclude that the severity or number of foot shocks determines not only the level of fear memory, but also the time-dependent incubation of fear and its generalization across distinct contexts. © 2016 Poulos et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  18. Inhibition of Rac1 Activity in the Hippocampus Impairs the Forgetting of Contextual Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lizhu; Mao, Rongrong; Zhou, Qixin; Yang, Yuexiong; Cao, Jun; Ding, Yuqiang; Yang, Yuan; Zhang, Xia; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Lin

    2016-03-01

    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.

  19. An "egr-1" ("zif268") Antisense Oligodeoxynucleotide Infused into the Amygdala Disrupts Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donley, Melanie P.; Rosen, Jeffrey B.; Malkani, Seema; Wallace, Karin J.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of gene expression following fear conditioning have demonstrated that the inducible transcription factor, "egr-1," is increased in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala shortly following fear conditioning. These studies suggest that "egr-1" and its protein product Egr-1 in the amygdala are important for learning and memory of fear. To…

  20. Hippocampal neurogenesis enhancers promote forgetting of remote fear memory after hippocampal reactivation by retrieval.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Rie; Fukushima, Hotaka; Frankland, Paul W; Kida, Satoshi

    2016-09-26

    Forgetting of recent fear memory is promoted by treatment with memantine (MEM), which increases hippocampal neurogenesis. The approaches for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using rodent models have focused on the extinction and reconsolidation of recent, but not remote, memories. Here we show that, following prolonged re-exposure to the conditioning context, enhancers of hippocampal neurogenesis, including MEM, promote forgetting of remote contextual fear memory. However, these interventions are ineffective following shorter re-exposures. Importantly, we find that long, but not short re-exposures activate gene expression in the hippocampus and induce hippocampus-dependent reconsolidation of remote contextual fear memory. Furthermore, remote memory retrieval becomes hippocampus-dependent after the long-time recall, suggesting that remote fear memory returns to a hippocampus dependent state after the long-time recall, thereby allowing enhanced forgetting by increased hippocampal neurogenesis. Forgetting of traumatic memory may contribute to the development of PTSD treatment.

  1. Generalisation of conditioned fear and its behavioural expression in mice.

    PubMed

    Laxmi, T Rao; Stork, Oliver; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2003-10-17

    Mice are favourite subjects in molecular and genetic memory research and frequently studied with classical fear conditioning paradigms that use an auditory cue (conditioned stimulus, CS(+)) to predict an aversive, unconditioned stimulus (US). Yet the conditions that control fear memory specificity and generalisation and their behavioural expression in such conditioned mice have not been analysed systematically. In the current study we addressed these issues in the most widely used mouse strain of behavioural genetics, C57Bl/6. In keeping with findings in other species we demonstrate the dependence of fear memory generalisation on training intensity (i.e. both US intensity and the number of CS(+) and US applied) after both excitatory (explicitly paired presentation of CS(+) and US) and inhibitory training (explicitly unpaired presentation of CS(+) and US). Furthermore, inhibitory overtraining was associated with changes of uncued anxiety-like behaviour in a light/dark exploration test, indicative of an emotional sensitisation reaction as consequence of a lack of US predictability. Together our results describe the qualitatively and quantitatively different increases of defensive behaviour in response to conditioned stimuli of different salience and identify training conditions that lead to fear memory generalisation and emotional sensitisation in C57Bl/6 inbred mice.

  2. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M.; Lee, Christopher C.H.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Eskandar, Emad N.; Whalen, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in “context A”. Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory. PMID:25721797

  3. Controlled cortical impact before or after fear conditioning does not affect fear extinction in mice.

    PubMed

    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; McAllister, Lauren M; Lee, Christopher C H; Milad, Mohammed R; Eskandar, Emad N; Whalen, Michael J

    2015-05-05

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by impaired extinction of conditioned fear. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is thought to be a risk factor for development of PTSD. We tested the hypothesis that controlled cortical impact (CCI) would impair extinction of fear learned by Pavlovian conditioning, in mice. To mimic the scenarios in which TBI occurs prior to or after exposure to an aversive event, severe CCI was delivered to the left parietal cortex at one of two time points: (1) Prior to fear conditioning, or (2) after conditioning. Delay auditory conditioning was achieved by pairing a tone with a foot shock in "context A". Extinction training involved the presentation of tones in a different context (context B) in the absence of foot shock. Test for extinction memory was achieved by presentation of additional tones alone in context B over the following two days. In pre- or post-injury paradigms, CCI did not influence fear learning and extinction. Furthermore, CCI did not affect locomotor activity or elevated plus maze testing. Our results demonstrate that, within the time frame studied, CCI does not impair the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear or extinction memory.

  4. Measuring Pavlovian fear with conditioned freezing and conditioned suppression reveals different roles for the basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    McDannald, Michael A; Galarce, Ezequiel M

    2011-02-16

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, pairing a neutral cue with aversive foot shock endows a cue with fear-eliciting properties. Studies of Pavlovian fear conditioning measuring freezing have demonstrated the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to be critical to both fear learning and memory. The nucleus accumbens core (NAc), while not important to freezing, is important to the enhancement of instrumental responding by cues paired with food reward. In the present study we investigated the role of the BLA and the NAc in another property of fear cues, the ability to suppress instrumental responding for food rewards (conditioned suppression). Sham, BLA and NAc-lesioned rats received a fear discrimination procedure in which one visual cue (CS+) predicted foot shock while a second cue (CS-) did not. Conditioning took place over a baseline of instrumental responding, allowing for concurrent measure of freezing and instrumental suppression. NAc lesions left fear conditioning fully intact. BLA lesions impaired acquisition and discrimination of fear when assessed with conditioned freezing. However, BLA lesions only altered fear acquisition and left discrimination completely intact when assessed with conditioned suppression. These findings suggest a critical role for the BLA in fear when assessed with conditioned freezing but a diminished role when assessed with conditioned suppression.

  5. Adrenal-dependent diurnal modulation of conditioned fear extinction learning

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, Elizabeth R.; Greenwood, Benjamin N.; Chun, Lauren E.; Fardi, Sara; Hinds, Laura R.; Spencer, Robert L.

    2015-01-01

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with altered conditioned fear extinction expression and impaired circadian function including dysregulation of glucocorticoid hormone secretion. We examined in adult male rats the relationship between conditioned fear extinction learning, circadian phase, and endogenous glucocorticoids (CORT). Rats maintained on a 12 hr light:dark cycle were trained and tested across 3 separate daily sessions (conditioned fear acquisition and 2 extinction sessions) that were administered during either the rats’ active or inactive circadian phase. In an initial experiment we found that rats at both circadian phases acquired and extinguished auditory cue conditioned fear to a similar degree in the first extinction session. However, rats trained and tested at zeitgeber time-16 (ZT16) (active phase) showed enhanced extinction memory expression during the second extinction session compared to rats trained and tested at ZT4 (inactive phase). In a follow-up experiment, adrenalectomized (ADX) or sham surgery rats were similarly trained and tested across 3 separate daily sessions at either ZT4 or ZT16. ADX had no effect on conditioned fear acquisition or conditioned fear memory. Sham ADX rats trained and tested at ZT16 exhibited better extinction learning across the two extinction sessions compared to all other groups of rats. These results indicate that conditioned fear extinction learning is modulated by time of day, and this diurnal modulation requires the presence of adrenal hormones. These results support an important role of CORT-dependent circadian processes in regulating conditioned fear extinction learning, which may be capitalized upon to optimize effective treatment of PTSD. PMID:25746455

  6. Adrenal-dependent diurnal modulation of conditioned fear extinction learning.

    PubMed

    Woodruff, Elizabeth R; Greenwood, Benjamin N; Chun, Lauren E; Fardi, Sara; Hinds, Laura R; Spencer, Robert L

    2015-06-01

    Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with altered conditioned fear extinction expression and impaired circadian function including dysregulation of glucocorticoid hormone secretion. We examined in adult male rats the relationship between conditioned fear extinction learning, circadian phase, and endogenous glucocorticoids (CORT). Rats maintained on a 12h light:dark cycle were trained and tested across 3 separate daily sessions (conditioned fear acquisition and 2 extinction sessions) that were administered during either the rats' active or inactive circadian phase. In an initial experiment we found that rats at both circadian phases acquired and extinguished auditory cue conditioned fear to a similar degree in the first extinction session. However, rats trained and tested at zeitgeber time-16 (ZT16) (active phase) showed enhanced extinction memory expression during the second extinction session compared to rats trained and tested at ZT4 (inactive phase). In a follow-up experiment, adrenalectomized (ADX) or sham surgery rats were similarly trained and tested across 3 separate daily sessions at either ZT4 or ZT16. ADX had no effect on conditioned fear acquisition or conditioned fear memory. Sham ADX rats trained and tested at ZT16 exhibited better extinction learning across the two extinction sessions compared to all other groups of rats. These results indicate that conditioned fear extinction learning is modulated by time of day, and this diurnal modulation requires the presence of adrenal hormones. These results support an important role of CORT-dependent circadian processes in regulating conditioned fear extinction learning, which may be capitalized upon to optimize effective treatment of PTSD.

  7. Reconsolidation in a human fear conditioning study: a test of extinction as updating mechanism.

    PubMed

    Kindt, Merel; Soeter, Marieke

    2013-01-01

    Disrupting reconsolidation seems to be a promising approach to dampen the expression of fear memory. Recently, we demonstrated that disrupting reconsolidation by a pharmacological manipulation specifically targeted the emotional expression of memory (i.e., startle response). Here we test in a human differential fear-conditioning paradigm with fear-relevant stimuli whether the spacing of a single unreinforced retrieval trial relative to extinction learning allows for "rewriting" the original fear association, thereby preventing the return of fear. In contrast to previous findings reported by Schiller et al. (2010), who used a single-method for indexing fear (skin conductance response) and fear-irrelevant stimuli, we found that extinction learning within the reconsolidation window did not prevent the recovery of fear on multiple indices of conditioned responding (startle response, skin conductance response and US-expectancy). These conflicting results ask for further critical testing given the potential impact on the field of emotional memory and its application to clinical practice.

  8. Are fear memories erasable?–reconsolidation of learned fear with fear-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Golkar, Armita; Bellander, Martin; Olsson, Andreas; Öhman, Arne

    2012-01-01

    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 putative effects of disrupting reconsolidation. In two experiments, we assessed whether extinction training initiated within the reconsolidation time window could abolish the return of fear using fear-relevant (Experiment 1) or fear-irrelevant (Experiment 2) conditioned stimuli (CS). In both experiments, participants went through conditioning, extinction, and reinstatement testing on three consecutive days, with one of two reinforced CS being reactivated 10 min prior to extinction. We found that a single reminder exposure prior to extinction training did not prevent the return of extinguished fear responding using either fear-relevant or fear-irrelevant CSs. Our findings point to the need to further study the specific parameters that enable disruption of reconsolidation. PMID:23181015

  9. Cannabinoid facilitation of fear extinction memory recall in humans.

    PubMed

    Rabinak, Christine A; Angstadt, Mike; Sripada, Chandra S; Abelson, James L; Liberzon, Israel; Milad, Mohammed R; Phan, K Luan

    2013-01-01

    A first-line approach to treat anxiety disorders is exposure-based therapy, which relies on extinction processes such as repeatedly exposing the patient to stimuli (conditioned stimuli; CS) associated with the traumatic, fear-related memory. However, a significant number of patients fail to maintain their gains, partly attributed to the fact that this inhibitory learning and its maintenance is temporary and conditioned fear responses can return. Animal studies have shown that activation of the cannabinoid system during extinction learning enhances fear extinction and its retention. Specifically, CB1 receptor agonists, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), can facilitate extinction recall by preventing recovery of extinguished fear in rats. However, this phenomenon has not been investigated in humans. We conducted a study using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design, coupling a standard Pavlovian fear extinction paradigm and simultaneous skin conductance response (SCR) recording with an acute pharmacological challenge with oral dronabinol (synthetic THC) or placebo (PBO) 2 h prior to extinction learning in 29 healthy adult volunteers (THC = 14; PBO = 15) and tested extinction retention 24 h after extinction learning. Compared to subjects that received PBO, subjects that received THC showed low SCR to a previously extinguished CS when extinction memory recall was tested 24 h after extinction learning, suggesting that THC prevented the recovery of fear. These results provide the first evidence that pharmacological enhancement of extinction learning is feasible in humans using cannabinoid system modulators, which may thus warrant further development and clinical testing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.

  10. Impact of Life History on Fear Memory and Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Remmes, Jasmin; Bodden, Carina; Richter, S. Helene; Lesting, Jörg; Sachser, Norbert; Pape, Hans-Christian; Seidenbecher, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral profiles are strongly shaped by an individual's whole life experience. The accumulation of negative experiences over lifetime is thought to promote anxiety-like behavior in adulthood (“allostatic load hypothesis”). In contrast, the “mismatch hypothesis” of psychiatric disease suggests that high levels of anxiety-like behavior are the result of a discrepancy between early and late environment. The aim of the present study was to investigate how different life histories shape the expression of anxiety-like behavior and modulate fear memory. In addition, we aimed to clarify which of the two hypotheses can better explain the modulation of anxiety and fear. For this purpose, male mice grew up under either adverse or beneficial conditions during early phase of life. In adulthood they were further subdivided in groups that either matched or mismatched the condition experienced before, resulting in four different life histories. The main results were: (i) Early life benefit followed by late life adversity caused decreased levels of anxiety-like behavior. (ii) Accumulation of adversity throughout life history led to impaired fear extinction learning. Late life adversity as compared to late life benefit mainly affected extinction training, while early life adversity as compared to early life benefit interfered with extinction recall. Concerning anxiety-like behavior, the results do neither support the allostatic load nor the mismatch hypothesis, but rather indicate an anxiolytic effect of a mismatched early beneficial and later adverse life history. In contrast, fear memory was strongly affected by the accumulation of adverse experiences over the lifetime, therefore supporting allostatic load hypothesis. In summary, this study highlights that anxiety-like behavior and fear memory are differently affected by specific combinations of adverse or beneficial events experienced throughout life. PMID:27757077

  11. Taurine effects on emotional learning and memory in aged mice: neurochemical alterations and differentiation in auditory cued fear and context conditioning.

    PubMed

    Neuwirth, Lorenz S; Volpe, Nicholas P; El Idrissi, Abdeslem

    2013-01-01

    Previously we have shown FVB/NJ mice given taurine acutely (i.e. 43 mg/kg/s.c. [aTau]) is anxiolytic, whereas chronically (0.05% w/v for >4 weeks [cTau]) produces anxiogenic phenotypes under select aversive behavioral experiments, but negated emotional contributions to acquisition learning and retention. Hyperexcitability induced in c-Tau mice is further exacerbated under stressful conditions compromising discrimination between cognitive vs. emotional learning. In the present study, we investigated differences between a-Tau and c-Tau mice using the auditory cued tone (ACTC) and context conditioning (CC) tests. Consistent with previous results, a-Tau mice exhibit less fear and increased inhibition, whereas c-Tau mice exhibit increased fear and decreased inhibition to ACTC and CC. Once fear conditioned, taurine mice become hypersensitive to novel environments and ACTC. Taurine brain levels are noted to increase in response to stressors as a neuroprotective mechanism against hyperexcitability. We suggest that c-Tau mice have increased accumulation of cysteamine (Cyst) and depleted somatostatin (SS) expression resulting in fear disregulation through GABAergic projection neurons in the limbic system, which are not seen in a-Tau mice. Our findings suggest that taurine causes not only varied phenotypic profiles of emotional fear learning, but are further complicated by the inability to associate cues with aversive stimuli due to potential auditory sensory overloading.

  12. Enhanced theta synchronization correlates with the successful retrieval of trace fear memory.

    PubMed

    Han, Yujin; An, Bobae; Choi, Sukwoo

    2016-11-25

    Mechanisms underlying delay fear conditioning in which conditioned stimuli (CS) are paired and co-terminated with unconditioned stimuli (US), have been extensively characterized, thus expanding knowledge concerning learning and memory. However, trace fear conditioning in which CS and US are separated by trace interval periods, has received much less attention though it involves cognitive processes including timing and working memories. Various brain regions including the hippocampus are known to play an important role in memory acquisition and/or retrieval of trace fear conditioning. However, neural correlates, which are specific for the discrete steps in trace fear conditioning, have not been characterized thoroughly. Here, we investigated the network activities between the dorsal and ventral hippocampi at different stages of memory processing after trace fear conditioning. When fear memory was retrieved successfully, theta synchronization between the two regions was enhanced relative to preconditioning levels. The enhancement in theta synchronization was observed only during the trace interval period but not during CS presentation or after the trace interval period. Thus, the enhanced theta synchronization between the dorsal and ventral hippocampi may underlie a cognitive process associated with the trace interval period when fear memory is retrieved successfully. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Role of amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuitry in regulating the expression of contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Carl W

    2011-09-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are inter-connected regions involved in fear memory expression. The reciprocal nature of projections between these areas differs along the rostrocaudal extent of BLA. This study investigated the role of functional interactions between BLA and the prelimbic (PL) subregion of mPFC in mediating contextual fear memory. Freezing served as the measure of conditioned fear. Experiments 1-3 examined the effects of left, right or bilateral infusion of bupivacaine into anterior BLA (aBLA), posterior BLA (pBLA) or PL on fear memory expression. Reversible inactivation of left, right or bilateral aBLA impaired fear memory expression. Bilateral inactivation of pBLA or PL also disrupted the expression of fear memory, although left or right inactivation alone had no significant effects in either region. Experiment 4 examined the effects of functionally disconnecting pBLA and PL on contextual fear memory by infusing bupivacaine unilaterally into pBLA and PL in the ipsilateral or contralateral hemisphere. Fear memory expression was impaired by asymmetric inactivation of pBLA and PL; however, a similar effect was also observed with symmetric inactivation of these regions. Bupivacaine infusion did not affect behavior in the open field, likely ruling out non-specific effects of inactivation on innate fear and locomotor activity. These results demonstrate different roles for rostral and caudal BLA in mediating the expression of contextual fear memory. They also raise the possibility that pBLA-PL circuitry is involved in subserving fear memory expression via complex processing mechanisms, although further research is needed to confirm this preliminary finding.

  14. From Contextual Fear to a Dynamic View of Memory Systems

    PubMed Central

    Fanselow, Michael S

    2009-01-01

    The brain does not learn and remember in a unitary fashion. Rather, different circuits specialize in certain classes of problems and encode different types of information. Damage to one of these systems typically results in amnesia only for the form of memory that is the affected region's specialty. How does the brain allocate a specific category of memory to a particular circuit? This question has received little attention. The currently dominant view, Multiple Memory Systems Theory, assumes that such abilities are hard-wired. Using fear conditioning as a paradigmatic case, I propose an alternative model in which mnemonic processing is allocated to specific circuits through a dynamic process. Potential circuits compete to form memories with the most efficient circuits emerging as winners. However, alternate circuits compensate when these “primary” circuits are compromised. PMID:19939724

  15. Disrupting Reconsolidation of Fear Memory in Humans by a Noradrenergic β-Blocker

    PubMed Central

    Kindt, Merel; Soeter, Marieke; Sevenster, Dieuwke

    2014-01-01

    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+) is repeatedly paired with an aversive electric stimulus (US), resulting in the acquisition of a fear association, whereas another picture stimulus (CS2-) is never followed by an US. On day 2 - the memory reactivation phase, the participants are re-exposed to the conditioned stimulus without the US (CS1-), which typically triggers a conditioned fear response. After the memory reactivation we administer an oral dose of 40 mg of propranolol HCl, a β-adrenergic receptor antagonist that indirectly targets the protein synthesis required for reconsolidation by inhibiting the noradrenaline-stimulated CREB phosphorylation. On day 3 - the test phase, the participants are again exposed to the unreinforced conditioned stimuli (CS1- and CS2-) in order to measure the fear-reducing effect of the manipulation. This retention test is followed by an extinction procedure and the presentation of situational triggers to test for the return of fear. Potentiation of the eye blink startle reflex is measured as an index for conditioned fear responding. Declarative knowledge of the fear association is measured through online US expectancy ratings during each CS presentation. In contrast to extinction learning, disrupting reconsolidation targets the original fear memory thereby preventing the return of fear. Although the clinical applications are still in their infancy, disrupting reconsolidation of fear memory seems to be a promising new technique with the prospect to persistently dampen the expression of fear memory in patients suffering from anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders. PMID:25549103

  16. Effects of oxytocin on the fear memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yu; Zhao, Liyan; Zhang, Genai; Ding, Lixiang

    2015-05-06

    Oxytoxin (OT) promotes social behavior and reduces anxiety. A great number of studies suggest that OT plays a role in learning and memory processes in animals and humans. Fear memories are rendered labile and prone to modification after reactivation and a restabilization and reconsolidation process is necessary for future memory conservation. This process is crucial for modulation of an existing memory and forms a promising therapeutic target for pathological memory disorders. In this study, we investigated whether a single systemic injection of OT has effects on reconsolidation of fear memories. We found post-reactivation administration of OT impairs reconsolidation of these memories and the impairment effect is reactivation-dependent. Postreactivation short-term fear memories and the learning of new fear memory were unaffected by OT. The study demonstrates the effectiveness of OT in persistently impairing fear memory retention by blocking reconsolidation in rats. OT administration after retrieval of fear memories may open a new avenue to treat pathological memory-related disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Trib3 is developmentally and nutritionally regulated in the brain but is dispensable for spatial memory, fear conditioning and sensing of amino acid-imbalanced diet.

    PubMed

    Örd, Tiit; Innos, Jürgen; Lilleväli, Kersti; Tekko, Triin; Sütt, Silva; Örd, Daima; Kõks, Sulev; Vasar, Eero; Örd, Tõnis

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of the rapamycin signaling pathway in long-term potentiation and trace fear conditioning memory in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sui, Li; Wang, Jing; Li, Bao-Ming

    2008-10-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream targets, including Akt (also known as protein kinase B, PKB), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), the 70-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6k), and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), may play important roles in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory in many brain regions, such as the hippocampus and the amygdala. The present study investigated the role of the PI3K/Akt-mTOR signaling pathway in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), also a crucial neural locus for the control of cognition and emotion. Western blot analysis of mPFC tissues showed an activation of phosphorylation of Akt at the Ser473 residues, mTOR, p70S6k, and 4E-BP1 in response to long-term potentiation (LTP)-inducing high-frequency stimulation (HFS). Infusion of PI3K inhibitors (wortmannin and LY294002) and an mTOR inhibitor (rapamycin) into the mPFC in vivo suppressed HFS-induced LTP as well as the phosphorylation of PI3K/Akt-mTOR signaling pathway. In parallel, these inhibitors interfered with the long-term retention of trace fear memory examined 3 d and 6 d after the trace fear conditioning training, whereas short-term trace fear memory and object recognition memory were kept intact. These results provide evidence of involvement of activation of the PI3K/Akt-mTOR signaling pathway in the mPFC for LTP and long-term retention of trace fear memory.

  19. Pharmacogenetic reactivation of the original engram evokes an extinguished fear memory.

    PubMed

    Yoshii, Takahiro; Hosokawa, Hiroshi; Matsuo, Naoki

    2017-02-01

    Fear memory extinction has several characteristic behavioral features, such as spontaneous recovery, renewal, and reinstatement, suggesting that extinction training does not erase the original association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). However, it is unclear whether reactivation of the original physical record of memory (i.e., memory trace) is sufficient to produce conditioned fear response after extinction. Here, we performed pharmacogenetic neuronal activation using transgenic mice expressing hM3Dq DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) under the control of the activity-dependent c-fos gene promoter. Neuronal ensembles activated during fear-conditioned learning were tagged with hM3Dq and subsequently reactivated after extinction training. The mice exhibited significant freezing, even when the fear memory was no longer triggered by external CS, indicating that the artificial reactivation of a specific neuronal ensemble was sufficient to evoke the extinguished fear response. This freezing was not observed in non-fear-conditioned mice expressing hM3dq in the same brain areas. These results directly demonstrated that at least part of the original fear memory trace remains after extinction, and such residual plasticity might reflect the persistent memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Chronic Cannabinoid Administration in Vivo Compromises Extinction of Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Hui-Ching; Mao, Sheng-Chun; Chen, Po-See; Gean, Po-Wu

    2008-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are critically involved in the extinction of fear memory. Here we examined the effects of repeated cannabinoid administration on the extinction of fear memory in rats and on inhibitory synaptic transmission in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) slices. Rats were treated with the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN 10 mg/kg, i.p.)…

  1. Chronic Cannabinoid Administration in Vivo Compromises Extinction of Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Hui-Ching; Mao, Sheng-Chun; Chen, Po-See; Gean, Po-Wu

    2008-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are critically involved in the extinction of fear memory. Here we examined the effects of repeated cannabinoid administration on the extinction of fear memory in rats and on inhibitory synaptic transmission in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) slices. Rats were treated with the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN 10 mg/kg, i.p.)…

  2. Blocking human fear memory with the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor doxycycline.

    PubMed

    Bach, D R; Tzovara, A; Vunder, J

    2017-04-04

    Learning to predict threat is a fundamental ability of many biological organisms, and a laboratory model for anxiety disorders. Interfering with such memories in humans would be of high clinical relevance. On the basis of studies in cell cultures and slice preparations, it is hypothesised that synaptic remodelling required for threat learning involves the extracellular enzyme matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9. However, in vivo evidence for this proposal is lacking. Here we investigate human Pavlovian fear conditioning under the blood-brain barrier crossing MMP inhibitor doxycyline in a pre-registered, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. We find that recall of threat memory, measured with fear-potentiated startle 7 days after acquisition, is attenuated by ~60% in individuals who were under doxycycline during acquisition. This threat memory impairment is also reflected in increased behavioural surprise signals to the conditioned stimulus during subsequent re-learning, and already late during initial acquisition. Our findings support an emerging view that extracellular signalling pathways are crucially required for threat memory formation. Furthermore, they suggest novel pharmacological methods for primary prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 4 April 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.65.

  3. Factors Regulating the Effects of Hippocampal Inactivation on Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corcoran, Kevin A.; Maren, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    After extinction of fear to a Pavlovian conditional stimulus (CS), contextual stimuli come to regulate the expression of fear to that CS. There is growing evidence that the context dependence of memory retrieval after extinction involves the hippocampus. In the present experiment, we examine whether hippocampal involvement in memory retrieval…

  4. Electrolytic Lesions of the Dorsal Hippocampus Disrupt Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of…

  5. Electrolytic Lesions of the Dorsal Hippocampus Disrupt Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of…

  6. Factors Regulating the Effects of Hippocampal Inactivation on Renewal of Conditional Fear after Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corcoran, Kevin A.; Maren, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    After extinction of fear to a Pavlovian conditional stimulus (CS), contextual stimuli come to regulate the expression of fear to that CS. There is growing evidence that the context dependence of memory retrieval after extinction involves the hippocampus. In the present experiment, we examine whether hippocampal involvement in memory retrieval…

  7. Fear memory in a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia based on the postnatal blockade of NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Latusz, Joachim; Radaszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Bator, Ewelina; Wędzony, Krzysztof; Maćkowiak, Marzena

    2017-02-01

    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.

  8. Overexpression of Protein Kinase Mζ in the Prelimbic Cortex Enhances the Formation of Long-Term Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    Xue, Yan-Xue; Zhu, Zhen-Zhen; Han, Hai-Bin; Liu, Jian-Feng; Meng, Shi-Qiu; Chen, Chen; Yang, Jian-Li; Wu, Ping; Lu, Lin

    2015-08-01

    Neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) after fear conditioning has been suggested to regulate the formation and expression of fear memory. Protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), an isoform of protein kinase C with persistent activity, is involved in the formation and maintenance of memory. However, less is known about the role of PKMζ in the PFC in the formation of fear memory. We investigated whether the overexpression of PKMζ enhances the formation of auditory fear memory in rats. We found that microinfusion of lentiviral vector-expressing PKMζ into the prelimbic cortex (PrL) selectively enhanced the expression of PKMζ without influencing the expression of other isoforms of PKC. The overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL enhanced the formation of long-term fear memory without affecting short-term fear memory, whereas the overexpression of PKMζ in the infralimbic cortex had no effect on either short-term or long-term fear memory. The overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL had no effect on anxiety-like behavior or locomotor activity. We also found that PKMζ overexpression potentiated the fear conditioning-induced increase in the membrane levels of glutamate subunit 2 of AMPA receptors in the PrL. These results demonstrate that the overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL but not infralimbic cortex selectively enhanced the formation of long-term fear memory, and PKMζ in the PrL may be involved in the formation of fear memory.

  9. Overexpression of Protein Kinase Mζ in the Prelimbic Cortex Enhances the Formation of Long-Term Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Yan-Xue; Zhu, Zhen-Zhen; Han, Hai-Bin; Liu, Jian-Feng; Meng, Shi-Qiu; Chen, Chen; Yang, Jian-Li; Wu, Ping; Lu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) after fear conditioning has been suggested to regulate the formation and expression of fear memory. Protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ), an isoform of protein kinase C with persistent activity, is involved in the formation and maintenance of memory. However, less is known about the role of PKMζ in the PFC in the formation of fear memory. We investigated whether the overexpression of PKMζ enhances the formation of auditory fear memory in rats. We found that microinfusion of lentiviral vector-expressing PKMζ into the prelimbic cortex (PrL) selectively enhanced the expression of PKMζ without influencing the expression of other isoforms of PKC. The overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL enhanced the formation of long-term fear memory without affecting short-term fear memory, whereas the overexpression of PKMζ in the infralimbic cortex had no effect on either short-term or long-term fear memory. The overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL had no effect on anxiety-like behavior or locomotor activity. We also found that PKMζ overexpression potentiated the fear conditioning-induced increase in the membrane levels of glutamate subunit 2 of AMPA receptors in the PrL. These results demonstrate that the overexpression of PKMζ in the PrL but not infralimbic cortex selectively enhanced the formation of long-term fear memory, and PKMζ in the PrL may be involved in the formation of fear memory. PMID:25722116

  10. Modulation of cannabinoid signaling by hippocampal 5-HT4 serotonergic system in fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Farrahizadeh, Maryam; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral studies have suggested a key role for the cannabinoid system in the modulation of conditioned fear memory. Likewise, much of the literature has revealed that the serotonergic system affects Pavlovian fear conditioning and extinction. A high level of functional overlap between the serotonin and cannabinoid systems has also been reported. To clarify the interaction between the hippocampal serotonin (5-HT4) receptor and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the acquisition of fear memory, the effects of 5-HT4 agents, arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; CB1 receptor agonist), and the combined use of these drugs on fear learning were studied in a fear conditioning task in adult male NMRI mice. Pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.1 mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in both context- and tone-dependent fear conditions, suggesting impairment of the acquisition of fear memory. Pre-training, intra-hippocampal (CA1) microinjection of RS67333, a 5-HT4 receptor agonist, at doses of 0.1 and 0.2 or 0.2 µg/mouse impaired contextual and tone fear memory, respectively. A subthreshold dose of RS67333 (0.005 µg/mouse) did not alter the ACPA response in either condition. Moreover, intra-CA1 microinjection of RS23597 as a 5-HT4 receptor antagonist did not alter context-dependent fear memory acquisition, but it did impair tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. However, a subthreshold dose of the RS23597 (0.01 µg/mouse) potentiated ACPA-induced fear memory impairment in both conditions. Therefore, we suggest that the blockade of hippocampal 5-HT4 serotonergic system modulates cannabinoid signaling induced by the activation of CB1 receptors in conditioned fear. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. Optogenetic Activation of Presynaptic Inputs in Lateral Amygdala Forms Associative Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    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…

  12. Optogenetic Activation of Presynaptic Inputs in Lateral Amygdala Forms Associative Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    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…

  13. Mapping and Deciphering Neural Codes of NMDA Receptor-Dependent Fear Memory Engrams in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Tsien, Joe Z.

    2013-01-01

    Mapping and decoding brain activity patterns underlying learning and memory represents both great interest and immense challenge. At present, very little is known regarding many of the very basic questions regarding the neural codes of memory: are fear memories retrieved during the freezing state or non-freezing state of the animals? How do individual memory traces give arise to a holistic, real-time associative memory engram? How are memory codes regulated by synaptic plasticity? Here, by applying high-density electrode arrays and dimensionality-reduction decoding algorithms, we investigate hippocampal CA1 activity patterns of trace fear conditioning memory code in inducible NMDA receptor knockout mice and their control littermates. Our analyses showed that the conditioned tone (CS) and unconditioned foot-shock (US) can evoke hippocampal ensemble responses in control and mutant mice. Yet, temporal formats and contents of CA1 fear memory engrams differ significantly between the genotypes. The mutant mice with disabled NMDA receptor plasticity failed to generate CS-to-US or US-to-CS associative memory traces. Moreover, the mutant CA1 region lacked memory traces for “what at when” information that predicts the timing relationship between the conditioned tone and the foot shock. The degraded associative fear memory engram is further manifested in its lack of intertwined and alternating temporal association between CS and US memory traces that are characteristic to the holistic memory recall in the wild-type animals. Therefore, our study has decoded real-time memory contents, timing relationship between CS and US, and temporal organizing patterns of fear memory engrams and demonstrated how hippocampal memory codes are regulated by NMDA receptor synaptic plasticity. PMID:24302990

  14. Mapping and deciphering neural codes of NMDA receptor-dependent fear memory engrams in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmiao; Chen, Guifen; Kuang, Hui; Tsien, Joe Z

    2013-01-01

    Mapping and decoding brain activity patterns underlying learning and memory represents both great interest and immense challenge. At present, very little is known regarding many of the very basic questions regarding the neural codes of memory: are fear memories retrieved during the freezing state or non-freezing state of the animals? How do individual memory traces give arise to a holistic, real-time associative memory engram? How are memory codes regulated by synaptic plasticity? Here, by applying high-density electrode arrays and dimensionality-reduction decoding algorithms, we investigate hippocampal CA1 activity patterns of trace fear conditioning memory code in inducible NMDA receptor knockout mice and their control littermates. Our analyses showed that the conditioned tone (CS) and unconditioned foot-shock (US) can evoke hippocampal ensemble responses in control and mutant mice. Yet, temporal formats and contents of CA1 fear memory engrams differ significantly between the genotypes. The mutant mice with disabled NMDA receptor plasticity failed to generate CS-to-US or US-to-CS associative memory traces. Moreover, the mutant CA1 region lacked memory traces for "what at when" information that predicts the timing relationship between the conditioned tone and the foot shock. The degraded associative fear memory engram is further manifested in its lack of intertwined and alternating temporal association between CS and US memory traces that are characteristic to the holistic memory recall in the wild-type animals. Therefore, our study has decoded real-time memory contents, timing relationship between CS and US, and temporal organizing patterns of fear memory engrams and demonstrated how hippocampal memory codes are regulated by NMDA receptor synaptic plasticity.

  15. Angiotensin-(1-7)/Mas axis modulates fear memory and extinction in mice.

    PubMed

    Lazaroni, Thiago Luiz do Nascimento; Bastos, Cristiane Perácio; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra; Santos, Robson Souza; Pereira, Grace Schenatto

    2016-01-01

    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).

  16. Extinction after fear memory reactivation fails to eliminate renewal in rats.

    PubMed

    Goode, Travis D; Holloway-Erickson, Crystal M; Maren, Stephen

    2017-03-05

    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, 1 h 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.

  17. NMDA Receptor-Dependent LTD Is Required for Consolidation But Not Acquisition of Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xing; Gu, Qin-Hua; Duan, Kaizheng

    2014-01-01

    NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (NMDAR-LTD) is a form of synaptic plasticity leading to long-lasting decreases in synaptic strength. NMDAR-LTD is essential for spatial and working memory, but its role in hippocampus-dependent fear memory has yet to be determined. Induction of NMDAR-LTD requires the activation of caspase-3 by cytochrome c. Cytochrome c normally resides in mitochondria and during NMDAR-LTD is released from mitochondria, a process promoted by Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein). Bax induces cell death in apoptosis, but it plays a nonapoptotic role in NMDAR-LTD. Here, we investigated the role of NMDAR-LTD in fear memory in CA1-specific Bax knock-out mice. In hippocampal slices from these knock-out mice, while long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission, basal synaptic transmission, and paired-pulse ratio are intact, LTD in both young and fear-conditioned adult mice is obliterated. Interestingly, in CA1-specific Bax knock-out mice, long-term contextual fear memory is impaired, but the acquisition of fear memory and innate fear are normal. Moreover, these conditional Bax knock-out mice exhibit less behavioral despair. These findings indicate that NMDAR-LTD is required for consolidation, but not the acquisition of fear memory. Our study also shows that Bax plays an important role in depressive behavior. PMID:24966374

  18. NMDA receptor-dependent LTD is required for consolidation but not acquisition of fear memory.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xing; Gu, Qin-Hua; Duan, Kaizheng; Li, Zheng

    2014-06-25

    NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (NMDAR-LTD) is a form of synaptic plasticity leading to long-lasting decreases in synaptic strength. NMDAR-LTD is essential for spatial and working memory, but its role in hippocampus-dependent fear memory has yet to be determined. Induction of NMDAR-LTD requires the activation of caspase-3 by cytochrome c. Cytochrome c normally resides in mitochondria and during NMDAR-LTD is released from mitochondria, a process promoted by Bax (Bcl-2-associated X protein). Bax induces cell death in apoptosis, but it plays a nonapoptotic role in NMDAR-LTD. Here, we investigated the role of NMDAR-LTD in fear memory in CA1-specific Bax knock-out mice. In hippocampal slices from these knock-out mice, while long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission, basal synaptic transmission, and paired-pulse ratio are intact, LTD in both young and fear-conditioned adult mice is obliterated. Interestingly, in CA1-specific Bax knock-out mice, long-term contextual fear memory is impaired, but the acquisition of fear memory and innate fear are normal. Moreover, these conditional Bax knock-out mice exhibit less behavioral despair. These findings indicate that NMDAR-LTD is required for consolidation, but not the acquisition of fear memory. Our study also shows that Bax plays an important role in depressive behavior. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/348741-08$15.00/0.

  19. The NMDA Agonist D-Cycloserine Facilitates Fear Memory Consolidation in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Beatrice; Petrovic, Predrag; De Martino, Benedetto; Klöppel, Stefan; Büchel, Christian; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2009-01-01

    Animal research suggests that the consolidation of fear and extinction memories depends on N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors. Using a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm in healthy normal volunteers, we show that postlearning administration of the NMDA partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) facilitates fear memory consolidation, evidenced behaviorally by enhanced skin conductance responses, relative to placebo, for presentations of a conditioned stimulus (CS) at a memory test performed 72 h later. DCS also enhanced CS-evoked neural responses in a posterior hippocampus/collateral sulcus region and in the medial prefrontal cortex at test. Our data suggest a role for NMDA receptors in regulating fear memory consolidation in humans. PMID:18477687

  20. Muscarinic receptors in amygdala control trace fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Baysinger, Amber N; Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H

    2012-01-01

    Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine) or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.

  1. Muscarinic Receptors in Amygdala Control Trace Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Baysinger, Amber N.; Kent, Brianne A.; Brown, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine) or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning. PMID:23029199

  2. Central amygdala activity during fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Duvarci, Sevil; Popa, Daniela; Paré, Denis

    2011-01-05

    The central amygdala (Ce), particularly its medial sector (CeM), is the main output station of the amygdala for conditioned fear responses. However, there is uncertainty regarding the nature of CeM control over conditioned fear. The present study aimed to clarify this question using unit recordings in rats. Fear conditioning caused most CeM neurons to increase their conditioned stimulus (CS) responsiveness. The next day, CeM cells responded similarly during the recall test, but these responses disappeared as extinction of conditioned fear progressed. In contrast, the CS elicited no significant average change in central lateral (CeL) firing rates during fear conditioning and a small but significant reduction during the recall test. Yet, cell-by-cell analyses disclosed large but heterogeneous CS-evoked responses in CeL. By the end of fear conditioning, roughly equal proportions of CeL cells exhibited excitatory (CeL(+)) or inhibitory (CeL(-)) CS-evoked responses (∼10%). The next day, the proportion of CeL(-) cells tripled with no change in the incidence of CeL(+) cells, suggesting that conditioning leads to overnight synaptic plasticity in an inhibitory input to CeL(-) cells. As in CeM, extinction training caused the disappearance of CS-evoked activity in CeL. Overall, these findings suggest that conditioned freezing depends on increased CeM responses to the CS. The large increase in the incidence of CeL(-) but not CeL(+) cells from conditioning to recall leads us to propose a model of fear conditioning involving the potentiation of an extrinsic inhibitory input (from the amygdala or elsewhere) to CeL, ultimately leading to disinhibition of CeM neurons.

  3. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  4. Olfactory Fear Conditioning Induces Field Potential Potentiation in Rat Olfactory Cortex and Amygdala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messaoudi, Belkacem; Granjon, Lionel; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sevelinges, Yannick; Gervais, Remi

    2004-01-01

    The widely used Pavlovian fear-conditioning paradigms used for studying the neurobiology of learning and memory have mainly used auditory cues as conditioned stimuli (CS). The present work assessed the neural network involved in olfactory fear conditioning, using olfactory bulb stimulation-induced field potential signal (EFP) as a marker of…

  5. Expression of conditional fear with and without awareness.

    PubMed

    Knight, David C; Nguyen, Hanh T; Bandettini, Peter A

    2003-12-09

    Conditional responding during simple Pavlovian conditioning is often characterized as a form of implicit memory. The extent to which this type of associative learning is independent of awareness is an issue of continuing debate. Previous studies have demonstrated conditioning in the absence of awareness. However, their results have been questioned based on methodological concerns with postexperimental questionnaires. In the present study, skin conductance response (SCR) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) expectancy were measured concurrently as participants were exposed to a differential delay fear conditioning procedure in which one tone (CS+) predicted a loud white noise, whereas a second tone (CS-) was presented alone. UCS predictability was varied on a trial-by-trial basis by presenting conditioned stimuli (CSs) at volumes just above or below the perceptual threshold. Differential UCS expectancy (awareness) was observed only on perceived trials, whereas differential SCR developed on both perceived and unperceived trials. Although perceived stimuli elicited larger SCRs, the magnitude of conditioning, indexed by differential conditioned response expression (conditioned SCR to CS+ minus the SCR to CS-), was not influenced by stimulus perception. These data indicate that conditional fear can be expressed when individuals are unaware of fear-eliciting stimuli and suggest that the degree of conditioning is independent of awareness during differential Pavlovian fear conditioning.

  6. BDNF-dependent consolidation of fear memories in the perirhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schulz-Klaus, Brigitte; Lessmann, Volkmar; Endres, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    In the recent years the perirhinal cortex (PRh) has been identified as a crucial brain area in fear learning. Since the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important mediator of synaptic plasticity and also crucially involved in memory consolidation of several learning paradigms, we analyzed now whether fear conditioning influences the expression of BDNF protein in the PRh. Here we observed a specific increase of BDNF protein 120 min after fear conditioning training. In order to test whether this increase of BDNF protein level is also required for the consolidation of the fear memory, we locally applied the Trk receptor inhibitor k252a into the PRh during this time window in a second series of experiments. By interfering with Trk-signaling during this critical time window, the formation of a long-term fear memory was completely blocked, indicated by a complete lack of fear potentiated startle 1 day later. In conclusion the present study further emphasizes the important role of the PRh in cued fear learning and identified BDNF as an important mediator for fear memory consolidation in the PRh. PMID:24381548

  7. Modification of Fear Memory by Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions during Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Roles of testosterone and amygdaloid LTP induction in determining sex differences in fear memory magnitude.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-Shen; Tzeng, Wen-Yu; Chuang, Jia-Ying; Cherng, Chianfang G; Gean, Po-Wu; Yu, Lung

    2014-08-01

    Women are thought to form fear memory more robust than men do and testosterone is suspected to play a role in determining such a sex difference. Mouse cued fear freezing was used to study the sex-related susceptibility and the role of testosterone in fear memory in humans. A 75-dB tone was found to provoke weak freezing, while 0.15-mA and 0.20-mA footshock caused strong freezing responses. No sex differences were noticed in the tone- or footshock-induced (naïve fear) freezing. Following the conditionings, female mice exhibited greater tone (cued fear)-induced freezing than did male mice. Nonetheless, female mice demonstrated indistinctive cued fear freezing across the estrous phases and ovariectomy did not affect such freezing in female mice. Orchidectomy enhanced the cued fear freezing in male mice. Systemic testosterone administrations and an intra-lateral nucleus of amygdala (LA) testosterone infusion diminished the cued fear freezing in orchidectomized male mice, while pretreatment with flutamide (Flu) eradicated these effects. Long-term potentiation (LTP) magnitude in LA has been known to correlate with the strength of the cued fear conditioning. We found that LA LTP magnitude was indeed greater in female than male mice. Orchidectomy enhanced LTP magnitude in males' LA, while ovariectomy decreased LTP magnitude in females' LA. Testosterone decreased LTP magnitude in orchidectomized males' LA and estradiol enhanced LTP magnitude in ovariectomized females' LA. Finally, male mice had lower LA GluR1 expression than female mice and orchidectomy enhanced the GluR1 expression in male mice. These findings, taken together, suggest that testosterone plays a critical role in rendering the sex differences in the cued fear freezing and LA LTP. Testosterone is negatively associated with LA LTP and the cued fear memory in male mice. However, ovarian hormones and LA LTP are loosely associated with the cued fear memory in female mice.

  9. Contextual fear conditioning depresses infralimbic excitability.

    PubMed

    Soler-Cedeño, Omar; Cruz, Emmanuel; Criado-Marrero, Marangelie; Porter, James T

    2016-04-01

    Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show hypo-active ventromedial prefrontal cortices (vmPFC) that correlate with their impaired ability to discriminate between safe and dangerous contexts and cues. Previously, we found that auditory fear conditioning depresses the excitability of neurons populating the homologous structure in rodents, the infralimbic cortex (IL). However, it is undetermined if IL depression was mediated by the cued or contextual information. The objective of this study was to examine whether contextual information was sufficient to depress IL neuronal excitability. After exposing rats to context-alone, pseudoconditioning, or contextual fear conditioning, we used whole-cell current-clamp recordings to examine the excitability of IL neurons in prefrontal brain slices. We found that contextual fear conditioning reduced IL neuronal firing in response to depolarizing current steps. In addition, neurons from contextual fear conditioned animals showed increased slow afterhyperpolarization potentials (sAHPs). Moreover, the observed changes in IL excitability correlated with contextual fear expression, suggesting that IL depression may contribute to the encoding of contextual fear.

  10. Effects of the swimming exercise on the consolidation and persistence of auditory and contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-15

    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

  11. Prediction of individual differences in fear response by novelty seeking, and disruption of contextual fear memory reconsolidation by ketamine.

    PubMed

    Duclot, Florian; Perez-Taboada, Iara; Wright, Katherine N; Kabbaj, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Only a portion of the population exposed to trauma will develop persistent emotional alterations characteristic of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which illustrates the necessity for identifying vulnerability factors and novel pharmacotherapeutic alternatives. Interestingly, clinical evidence suggests that novelty seeking is a good predictor for vulnerability to the development of excessive and persistent fear. Here, we first tested this hypothesis by analyzing contextual and cued fear responses of rats selected for their high (high responders, HR) or low (low responders, LR) exploration of a novel environment, indicator of novelty seeking. While HR and LR rats exhibited similar sensitivity to the shock and cued fear memory retention, fewer extinction sessions were required in HR than LR animals to reach extinction, indicating faster contextual and cued memory extinction. In a second part, we found an effective disruption of contextual fear reconsolidation by the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist ketamine, associated with a down-regulation of early growth response 1 (Egr1) in the hippocampal CA1 area, and up-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) mRNA levels in the prelimbic and infralimbic cortices. Altogether, these data demonstrate a link between novelty seeking and conditioned fear extinction, and highlight a promising novel role of ketamine in affecting established fear memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Rapid Remission of Conditioned Fear Expression with Extinction Training Paired with Vagus Nerve Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Peña, David F.; Engineer, Navzer D.; McIntyre, Christa K.

    2012-01-01

    Background Fearful experiences can produce long-lasting and debilitating memories. Extinction of conditioned fear requires consolidation of new memories that compete with fearful associations. In human subjects, as well as rats, posttraining stimulation of the vagus nerve enhances memory consolidation. Subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show impaired extinction of conditioned fear. The objective of this study was to determine whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can enhance the consolidation of extinction of conditioned fear. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on an auditory fear conditioning task followed by 1–10 days of extinction training. Treatment with vagus nerve or sham stimulation was administered concurrently with exposure to the fear conditioned stimulus. Another group was given VNS and extinction training but the VNS was not paired with exposure to conditioned cues. Retention of fear conditioning was tested 24 hours after each treatment. Results VNS paired with exposure to conditioned cues enhanced the extinction of conditioned fear. After a single extinction trial, rats given VNS stimulation demonstrated a significantly lower level of freezing, compared to that of sham controls. When extinction trials were extended to 10 days, paired VNS accelerated extinction of the conditioned response. Conclusions Extinction paired with VNS is more rapid than extinction paired with sham stimulation. As it is currently approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for depression and seizure prevention, VNS is a readily-available and promising adjunct to exposure therapy for the treatment of severe anxiety disorders. PMID:23245749

  13. Stimulation of serotonin 2A receptors facilitates consolidation and extinction of fear memory in C57BL/6J mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Gongliang; Asgeirsdottir, Herborg N.; Cohen, Sarah J.; Munchow, Alcira H.; Barrera, Mercy P.; Stackman, Robert W.

    2012-01-01

    Excessive fear is a hallmark of several emotional and mental disorders such as phobias and panic disorders. Considerable attention is focused on defining the neurobiological mechanisms of the extinction of conditioned fear memory in an effort to identify mechanisms that may hold clinical significance for remediating aberrant fear memory. Serotonin modulates the acquisition and retention of conditioned emotional memory, and the serotonin 2A receptor (5HT2AR) may be one of the postsynaptic targets mediating such effects. Here we tested the hypothesis that the 5HT2AR regulates the consolidation and extinction of fear memory in male C57BL/6J mice. The influence of 5HT2ARs on memory consolidation was further confirmed with a novel object recognition task. With a trace fear conditioning paradigm, administration of the 5HT2AR agonist TCB-2 (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) before the extinction test facilitated the acquisition of extinction of fear memory as compared to vehicle treatment. In contrast, administration of the 5HT2AR antagonist MDL 11,939 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) delayed the acquisition of extinction of fear memory. Further, the post-conditioning administration of TCB-2 enhanced contextual and cued fear memory, possibly by facilitating the consolidation of fear memory. Administration of TCB-2 also facilitated the acquisition of extinction of fear memory in delay fear conditioned mice. Stimulation or blockade of 5HT2ARs did not affect the encoding or retrieval of conditioned fear memory. Finally, administration of TCB-2 right after training in an object recognition task enhanced the consolidation of object memory. These results suggest that stimulation of 5HT2ARs facilitates the consolidation and extinction of trace and delay cued fear memory and the consolidation of object memory. Blocking the 5HT2AR impairs the acquisition of fear memory extinction. The results support the view that serotonergic activation of the 5HT2AR provides an important modulatory influence on circuits

  14. Stimulation of serotonin 2A receptors facilitates consolidation and extinction of fear memory in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Gongliang; Ásgeirsdóttir, Herborg N; Cohen, Sarah J; Munchow, Alcira H; Barrera, Mercy P; Stackman, Robert W

    2013-01-01

    Excessive fear is a hallmark of several emotional and mental disorders such as phobias and panic disorders. Considerable attention is focused on defining the neurobiological mechanisms of the extinction of conditioned fear memory in an effort to identify mechanisms that may hold clinical significance for remediating aberrant fear memory. Serotonin modulates the acquisition and retention of conditioned emotional memory, and the serotonin 2A receptor (5HT2AR) may be one of the postsynaptic targets mediating such effects. Here we tested the hypothesis that the 5HT2AR regulates the consolidation and extinction of fear memory in male C57BL/6J mice. The influence of 5HT2ARs on memory consolidation was further confirmed with a novel object recognition task. With a trace fear conditioning paradigm, administration of the 5HT2AR agonist TCB-2 (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) before the extinction test facilitated the acquisition of extinction of fear memory as compared to vehicle treatment. In contrast, administration of the 5HT2AR antagonist MDL 11,939 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) delayed the acquisition of extinction of fear memory. Further, the post-conditioning administration of TCB-2 enhanced contextual and cued fear memory, possibly by facilitating the consolidation of fear memory. Administration of TCB-2 also facilitated the acquisition of extinction of fear memory in delay fear conditioned mice. Stimulation or blockade of 5HT2ARs did not affect the encoding or retrieval of conditioned fear memory. Finally, administration of TCB-2 right after training in an object recognition task enhanced the consolidation of object memory. These results suggest that stimulation of 5HT2ARs facilitates the consolidation and extinction of trace and delay cued fear memory and the consolidation of object memory. Blocking the 5HT2AR impairs the acquisition of fear memory extinction. The results support the view that serotonergic activation of the 5HT2AR provides an important modulatory influence on circuits

  15. Post-training unilateral amygdala lesions selectively impair contextual fear memories.

    PubMed

    Flavell, Charlotte R; Lee, Jonathan L C

    2012-05-21

    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 extent a functional connection between these two structures is required. This study investigated the effect on contextual and cued fear conditioning of disconnecting the BLA and dHPC, using asymmetrically placed, excitotoxic unilateral lesions. Post-training lesions selectively impaired contextual, but not cued, fear, while pretraining lesions resulted in a similar but nonsignificant pattern of results. This effect was unexpectedly observed in both the contralateral disconnection group and the anticipated ipsilateral control, which prompted further examination of individual unilateral lesions of BLA and dHPC. Post-training unilateral dHPC lesions had no effect on contextual fear memories while bilateral dHPC lesions and unilateral BLA lesions resulted in a near total abolition of contextual fear but not cued conditioned fear. Again, pretraining unilateral BLA lesions resulted in a strong but nonsignificant trend to the impairment of contextual fear. Furthermore, an analysis of context test-induced Fos protein expression in the BLA contralateral to the lesion site revealed no differences between post-training SHAM and unilateral BLA lesioned animals. Therefore, post-training unilateral lesions of the BLA are sufficient to severely impair contextual, but not cued, fear memories.

  16. Arp2/3 and VASP Are Essential for Fear Memory Formation in Lateral Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Kustanovich, Irina

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The actin cytoskeleton is involved in key neuronal functions such as synaptic transmission and morphogenesis. However, the roles and regulation of actin cytoskeleton in memory formation remain to be clarified. In this study, we unveil the mechanism whereby actin cytoskeleton is regulated to form memory by exploring the roles of the major actin-regulatory proteins Arp2/3, VASP, and formins in long-term memory formation. Inhibition of Arp2/3, involved in actin filament branching and neuronal morphogenesis, in lateral amygdala (LA) with the specific inhibitor CK-666 during fear conditioning impaired long-term, but not short-term, fear memory. The inactive isomer CK-689 had no effect on memory formation. We observed that Arp2/3 is colocalized with the actin-regulatory protein profilin in LA neurons of fear-conditioned rats. VASP binding to profilin is needed for profilin-mediated stabilization of actin cytoskeleton and dendritic spine morphology. Microinjection of poly-proline peptide [G(GP5)3] into LA, to interfere with VASP binding to profilin, impaired long-term but not short-term fear memory formation. Control peptide [G(GA5)3] had no effect. Inhibiting formins, which regulate linear actin elongation, in LA during fear conditioning by microinjecting the formin-specific inhibitor SMIFH2 into LA had no effect on long-term fear memory formation. We conclude that Arp2/3 and VASP, through the profilin binding site, are essential for the formation of long-term fear memory in LA and propose a model whereby these proteins subserve cellular events, leading to memory consolidation. PMID:27957528

  17. Histone acetylation rescues contextual fear conditioning in nNOS KO mice and accelerates extinction of cued fear conditioning in wild type mice.

    PubMed

    Itzhak, Yossef; Anderson, Karen L; Kelley, Jonathan B; Petkov, Martin

    2012-05-01

    Epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure is an essential molecular mechanism that contributes to the formation of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory (LTM). An important regulatory process of chromatin structure is acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins. Inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) increases acetylation of histone proteins and facilitate learning and memory. Nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway has a role in synaptic plasticity, LTM and regulation of histone acetylation. We have previously shown that NO signaling pathway is required for contextual fear conditioning. The present study investigated the effects of systemic administration of the HDAC inhibitor sodium butyrate (NaB) on fear conditioning in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. The effect of single administration of NaB on total H3 and H4 histone acetylation in hippocampus and amygdala was also investigated. A single administration of NaB prior to fear conditioning (a) rescued contextual fear conditioning of nNOS KO mice and (b) had long-term (weeks) facilitatory effect on the extinction of cued fear memory of WT mice. The facilitatory effect of NaB on extinction of cued fear memory of WT mice was confirmed in a study whereupon NaB was administered during extinction. Results suggest that (a) the rescue of contextual fear conditioning in nNOS KO mice is associated with NaB-induced increase in H3 histone acetylation and (b) the accelerated extinction of cued fear memory in WT mice is associated with NaB-induced increase in H4 histone acetylation. Hence, a single administration of HDAC inhibitor may rescue NO-dependent cognitive deficits and afford a long-term accelerating effect on extinction of fear memory of WT mice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Generalization of conditioned fear along a dimension of increasing fear intensity.

    PubMed

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E; Mitroff, Stephen R; LaBar, Kevin S

    2009-07-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two experimental groups underwent discriminative fear conditioning between a face stimulus of 55% fear intensity (conditioned stimulus, CS+), reinforced with an electric shock, and a second stimulus that was unreinforced (CS-). In Experiment 1 the CS- was a relatively neutral face stimulus, while in Experiment 2 the CS- was the most fear-intense stimulus. Before and following fear conditioning, skin conductance responses (SCR) were recorded to different morph values along the neutral-to-fear dimension. Both experimental groups showed gradients of generalization following fear conditioning that increased with the fear intensity of the stimulus. In Experiment 1 a peak shift in SCRs extended to the most fear-intense stimulus. In contrast, generalization to the most fear-intense stimulus was reduced in Experiment 2, suggesting that discriminative fear learning procedures can attenuate fear generalization. Together, the findings indicate that fear generalization is broadly tuned and sensitive to the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli, but that fear generalization can come under stimulus control. These results reveal a novel form of fear generalization in humans that is not merely based on physical similarity to a conditioned exemplar, and may have implications for understanding generalization processes in anxiety disorders characterized by heightened sensitivity to nonthreatening stimuli.

  19. Influence of cued-fear conditioning and its impairment on NREM sleep.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Tankesh; Jha, Sushil K

    2017-10-01

    Many studies suggest that fear conditioning influences sleep. It is, however, not known if the changes in sleep architecture after fear conditioning are essentially associated with the consolidation of fearful memory or with fear itself. Here, we have observed that within sleep, NREM sleep consistently remained augmented after the consolidation of cued fear-conditioned memory. But a similar change did not occur after impairing memory consolidation by blocking new protein synthesis and glutamate transmission between glial-neuronal loop in the lateral amygdala (LA). Anisomycin (a protein synthesis inhibitor) and DL-α-amino-adipic acid (DL- α -AA) (a glial glutamine synthetase enzyme inhibitor) were microinjected into the LA soon after cued fear-conditioning to induce memory impairment. On the post-conditioning day, animals in both the groups exhibited significantly less freezing. In memory-consolidated groups (vehicle groups), NREM sleep significantly increased during 2nd to 5th hours after training compared to their baseline days. However, in memory impaired groups (anisomycin and DL- α -AA microinjected groups), similar changes were not observed. Our results thus suggest that changes in sleep architecture after cued fear-conditioning are indeed a consolidation dependent event. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Activity in Prelimbic Cortex Subserves Fear Memory Reconsolidation over Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Cristina A. J.; Gazarini, Lucas; Vanvossen, Ana C.; Hames, Mayara S.; Bertoglio, Leandro J.

    2014-01-01

    The prelimbic cortex has been implicated in the consolidation of previously learned fear. Herein, we report that temporarily inactivating this medial prefrontal cortex subregion with the GABA [subscript A] agonist muscimol (4.0 nmol in 0.2 µL per hemisphere) was able to equally disrupt 1-, 7-, and 21-d-old contextual fear memories after their…

  1. Activity in Prelimbic Cortex Subserves Fear Memory Reconsolidation over Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Cristina A. J.; Gazarini, Lucas; Vanvossen, Ana C.; Hames, Mayara S.; Bertoglio, Leandro J.

    2014-01-01

    The prelimbic cortex has been implicated in the consolidation of previously learned fear. Herein, we report that temporarily inactivating this medial prefrontal cortex subregion with the GABA [subscript A] agonist muscimol (4.0 nmol in 0.2 µL per hemisphere) was able to equally disrupt 1-, 7-, and 21-d-old contextual fear memories after their…

  2. Effects of exercise on Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Baruch, David E; Swain, Rodney A; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2004-10-01

    Exercise promotes multiple changes in hippocampal morphology and should, as a result, alter behavioral function. The present experiment investigated the effect of exercise on learning using contextual and auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats remained inactive or voluntarily exercised (VX) for 30 days, after which they received auditory-cued fear conditioning. Twenty-four hours later, rats were tested for learning of the contextual and auditory conditional responses. No differences in freezing behavior to the discrete auditory cue were observed during the training or testing sessions. However, VX rats did freeze significantly more compared to controls when tested in the training context 24 hr after exposure to shock. The enhancement of contextual fear conditioning provides further evidence that exercise alters hippocampal function and learning.

  3. Antagonism of Lateral Amygdala Alpha1-Adrenergic Receptors Facilitates Fear Conditioning and Long-Term Potentiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazzaro, Stephanie C.; Hou, Mian; Cunha, Catarina; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Cain, Christopher K.

    2010-01-01

    Norepinephrine receptors have been studied in emotion, memory, and attention. However, the role of alpha1-adrenergic receptors in fear conditioning, a major model of emotional learning, is poorly understood. We examined the effect of terazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, on cued fear conditioning. Systemic or intra-lateral amygdala…

  4. Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    Annual 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for...the mechanism underlying the most successful treatment for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure. In animal models, sleep deprivation has been shown to impair...acquisition, consolidation, and generalization of extinction memory in humans. 15. SUBJECT TERMS PTSD, sleep deprivation , fear conditioning

  5. Antagonism of Lateral Amygdala Alpha1-Adrenergic Receptors Facilitates Fear Conditioning and Long-Term Potentiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazzaro, Stephanie C.; Hou, Mian; Cunha, Catarina; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Cain, Christopher K.

    2010-01-01

    Norepinephrine receptors have been studied in emotion, memory, and attention. However, the role of alpha1-adrenergic receptors in fear conditioning, a major model of emotional learning, is poorly understood. We examined the effect of terazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, on cued fear conditioning. Systemic or intra-lateral amygdala…

  6. Post-Retrieval Late Process Contributes to Persistence of Reactivated Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakayama, Daisuke; Yamasaki, Yoshiko; Matsuki, Norio; Nomura, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    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…

  7. Post-Retrieval Late Process Contributes to Persistence of Reactivated Fear Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakayama, Daisuke; Yamasaki, Yoshiko; Matsuki, Norio; Nomura, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    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…

  8. Inhibition of Adult Neurogenesis by Inducible and Targeted Deletion of ERK5 MAP Kinase Specifically in Adult Neurogenic Regions Impairs Contextual Fear Memory Extinction and Remote Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Yung-Wei; Chan, Guy C.K.; Kuo, Chay T.; Storm, Daniel R.; Xia, Zhengui

    2012-01-01

    Although there is evidence suggesting that adult neurogenesis may contribute to hippocampus-dependent memory, signaling mechanisms responsible for adult hippocampal neurogenesis are not well characterized. Here we report that ERK5 MAP kinase is specifically expressed in the neurogenic regions of the adult mouse brain. The inducible and conditional knockout (icKO) of erk5 specifically in neural progenitors of the adult mouse brain attenuated adult hippocampal neurogenesis. It also caused deficits in several forms of hippocampus-dependent memory including contextual fear conditioning generated by a weak foot shock. The ERK5 icKO mice were also deficient in extinction of contextual fear memory and reversal of Morris water maze spatial learning and memory, suggesting that adult neurogenesis is important for learning that requires active forgetting of a prior memory. Furthermore, our data suggest a critical role for ERK5-mediated adult neurogenesis in pattern separation, a form of dentate gyrus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Moreover, ERK5 icKO mice have no memory 21 days post-training in the passive avoidance test, suggesting a pivotal role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the expression of remote memory. Together, our results implicate ERK5 as a novel signaling molecule regulating adult neurogenesis and provide strong evidence that adult neurogenesis is critical for several forms of hippocampus-dependent memory formation including memory extinction, and for the expression of remote memory. PMID:22573667

  9. Attenuating fearful memories: effect of cued extinction on intrusions.

    PubMed

    Marks, Elizabeth H; Zoellner, Lori A

    2014-12-01

    Exposure-based therapies for posttraumatic stress disorder are thought to reduce intrusive memories through extinction processes. Methods that enhance extinction may translate to improved treatment. Rat research suggests retrieving a memory via a conditioned stimulus (CS) cue, and then modifying the retrieved memory within a specific reconsolidation window may enhance extinction. In humans, studies (e.g., Kindt & Soeter, 2013; Schiller et al., 2010) using basic learning paradigms show discrepant findings. Using a distressing film paradigm, participants (N = 148) completed fear acquisition and extinction. At extinction, they were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: CS cue within reconsolidation window, CS cue outside window, or non-CS cue within window. Intrusions were assessed 24 hr after extinction. Participants receiving the CS cue and completing extinction within the reconsolidation window had more intrusions (M = 2.40, SD = 2.54) than those cued outside (M = 1.65, SD = 1.70) or those receiving a non-CS cue (M = 1.24, SD = 1.26), F(2, 145) = 4.52, p = .01, d = 0.55. Consistent with the reconsolidation hypothesis, presenting a CS cue does appear to activate a specific period of time during which a memory can be updated. However, the CS cue caused increased, rather than decreased, frequency of intrusions. Understanding parameters of preextinction cueing may help us better understand reconsolidation as a potential memory updating mechanism.

  10. Associative structure of fear memory after basolateral amygdala lesions in rats.

    PubMed

    Rabinak, Christine A; Maren, Stephen

    2008-12-01

    The authors have recently demonstrated that rats with basolateral amygdala (BLA) lesions acquire Pavlovian fear conditioning after overtraining. However, it is not known whether the associative basis of Pavlovian fear memory acquired by rats with BLA lesions is similar to that of intact rats. Associations are typically formed between the conditional (CS) and unconditional (US) stimuli (stimulus-stimulus; S-S), although it is possible for stimuli to enter into association with the responses they produce (stimulus-response; S-R). Indeed, the central nucleus of the amygdala, which is essential for fear conditioning in rats with BLA lesions, may mediate S-R associations in some Pavlovian tasks. The authors therefore used a postconditioning US inflation procedure (i.e., exposure to intense footshock USs) to assess the contribution of S-S associations to fear conditioning after overtraining in rats with BLA lesions. In Experiment 1, intact rats that were overtrained and later inflated displayed elevated freezing levels when tested, indicating that S-S associations contribute to overtrained fear memories. Interestingly, neither neurotoxic BLA lesions nor temporary inactivation of the BLA during overtraining prevented the inflation effect (Experiment 2 and 3, respectively). These results reveal that S-S associations support Pavlovian fear memories after overtraining in both intact rats and rats with BLA lesions, and imply that the central nucleus of the amygdala encodes CS-US associations during fear conditioning.

  11. p300/CBP-associated factor selectively regulates the extinction of conditioned fear

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Wei; Coelho, Carlos M.; Li, Xiang; Marek, Roger; Yan, Shanzhi; Anderson, Shawn; Meyers, David; Mukherjee, Chandrani; Sbardella, Gianluca; Castellano, Sabrina; Milite, Ciro; Rotili, Dante; Mai, Antonello; Cole, Philip A.; Sah, Pankaj; Kobor, Michael S.; Bredy, Timothy W.

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that the activity of chromatin-modifying enzymes is crucial for regulating gene expression associated with hippocampal-dependent memories. However, very little is known about how these epigenetic mechanisms influence the formation of cortically-dependent memory, particularly when there is competition between opposing memory traces such as that which occurs during the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear. Here we demonstrate, in C57/Bl6 mice, that the activity of p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF) within the infralimbic prefrontal cortex is required for long-term potentiation and is necessary for the formation of memory associated with fear extinction, but not for fear acquisition. Further, systemic administration of the PCAF activator SPV106 enhances memory for fear extinction and prevents fear renewal. The selective influence of PCAF on fear extinction is mediated, in part, by a transient recruitment of the repressive transcription factor ATF4 to the promoter of the immediate early gene zif268, which competitively inhibits its expression. Thus, within the context of fear extinction, PCAF functions as a transcriptional co-activator, which may facilitate the formation of memory for fear extinction by interfering with reconsolidation of the original memory trace. PMID:22933779

  12. Exposure to a theta-burst patterned magnetic field impairs memory acquisition and consolidation for contextual but not discrete conditioned fear in rats.

    PubMed

    McKay, B E; Persinger, M A; Koren, S A

    2000-10-06

    Preceding or immediately following fear-conditioning rats were exposed for 30 min to either a sham field, one of two symmetrical (sine-wave 7, 20 Hz) magnetic fields or to one of two complex magnetic fields whose waveforms were modeled after salient electrophysiological patterns within either the hippocampal formation (theta-burst) or the amygdaloid complex (burst-firing). The magnetic fields were presented in successive 2s intervals through each of the three spatial planes and then simultaneously within all three planes. Field strengths ranged between 0.5 and 1 microTesla. Only the group exposed after the conditioning to the theta-burst (hippocampal) magnetic fields displayed evidence of forgetting, as inferred by their marked attenuation of freezing behavior, during contextual extinction 24h later. This powerful treatment explained 75% of the variance in the extinction scores. Behavioral responses to the discrete conditioned stimulus were not affected. These findings are consistent with the involvement of the hippocampus in learned fear to contextual stimuli but not to discrete auditory stimuli and suggest that physiologically relevant stimuli may be delivered to the brain by weak, complex magnetic fields whose intensities are ubiquitous within modern environments.

  13. Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Consolidation of Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Asthana, Manish; Nueckel, Katharina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Neueder, Dorothea; Polak, Thomas; Domschke, Katharina; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J.

    2013-01-01

    It has been shown that applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences declarative memory processes. This study investigates the efficacy of tDCS on emotional memory consolidation, especially experimental fear conditioning. We applied an auditory fear-conditioning paradigm, in which two differently colored squares (blue and yellow) were presented as conditioned stimuli (CS) and an auditory stimulus as unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Sixty-nine participants were randomly assigned into three groups: anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation. The participants of the two active groups (i.e., anodal and cathodal) received tDCS over the left DLPFC for 12 min after fear conditioning. The effect of fear conditioning and consolidation (24 h later) was measured by assessing the skin conductance response (SCR) to the CS. The results provide evidence that cathodal stimulation of the left DLPFC leads to an inhibitory effect on fear memory consolidation compared to anodal and sham stimulation, as indicated by decreased SCRs to CS+ presentation during extinction training at day 2. In conclusion, current work suggests that cathodal stimulation interferes with processes of fear memory consolidation. PMID:24069003

  14. No Effect of Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Fear Memory in Healthy Human Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Mungee, Aditya; Burger, Max; Bajbouj, Malek

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27827903

  15. The hypocretin/orexin system mediates the extinction of fear memories.

    PubMed

    Flores, África; Valls-Comamala, Victòria; Costa, Giulia; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando

    2014-11-01

    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.

  16. Auditory trace fear conditioning requires perirhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kholodar-Smith, D.B.; Boguszewski, P.; Brown, T.H.

    2008-01-01

    The hippocampus is well-known to be critical for trace fear conditioning, but nothing is known about the importance of perirhinal cortex (PR), which has reciprocal connections with hippocampus. PR damage severely impairs delay fear conditioning to ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) and discontinuous tones (pips), but has no effect on delay conditioning to continuous tones (Kholodar-Smith, Allen, and Brown, in press). Here we demonstrate that trace auditory fear conditioning also critically depends on PR function. The trace interval between the CS offset and the US onset was 16 s. Pre-training neurotoxic lesions were produced through multiple injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate along the full length of PR, which was directly visualized during the injections. Control animals received injections with phosphate-buffered saline. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the lesion volumes demonstrated that the neurotoxic damage was well-localized to PR and included most of its anterior-posterior extent. Automated video analysis quantified freezing behavior, which served as the conditional response. PR-damaged rats were profoundly impaired in trace conditioning to either of three different CSs (a USV, tone pips, and a continuous tone) as well as conditioning to the training context. Within both the lesion and control groups, the type of cue had no effect on the mean CR. The overall PR lesion effect size was 2.7 for cue conditioning and 3.9 for context conditioning. We suggest that the role of PR in trace fear conditioning may be distinct from some of its more perceptual functions. The results further define the essential circuitry underlying trace fear conditioning to auditory cues. PMID:18678265

  17. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    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.…

  18. Forming Competing Fear Learning and Extinction Memories in Adolescence Makes Fear Difficult to Inhibit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Kathryn D.; Richardson, Rick

    2015-01-01

    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.…

  19. Fear but not fright: re-evaluating traumatic experience attenuates anxiety-like behaviors after fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cannas, Sara; D'Alessandro, Francesca; Florenzano, Fulvio; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    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. These results suggest that an effective strategy to treat pathological anxiety should address cognitive re-evaluation of the traumatic experience mediated

  20. Fear but not fright: re-evaluating traumatic experience attenuates anxiety-like behaviors after fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cannas, Sara; D’Alessandro, Francesca; Florenzano, Fulvio; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    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. These results suggest that an effective strategy to treat pathological anxiety should address cognitive re-evaluation of the traumatic experience mediated

  1. Contextual Information Drives the Reconsolidation-Dependent Updating of Retrieved Fear Memories

    PubMed Central

    Jarome, Timothy J; Ferrara, Nicole C; Kwapis, Janine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2015-01-01

    Stored memories enter a temporary state of vulnerability following retrieval known as ‘reconsolidation', a process that can allow memories to be modified to incorporate new information. Although reconsolidation has become an attractive target for treatment of memories related to traumatic past experiences, we still do not know what new information triggers the updating of retrieved memories. Here, we used biochemical markers of synaptic plasticity in combination with a novel behavioral procedure to determine what was learned during memory reconsolidation under normal retrieval conditions. We eliminated new information during retrieval by manipulating animals' training experience and measured changes in proteasome activity and GluR2 expression in the amygdala, two established markers of fear memory lability and reconsolidation. We found that eliminating new contextual information during the retrieval of memories for predictable and unpredictable fear associations prevented changes in proteasome activity and glutamate receptor expression in the amygdala, indicating that this new information drives the reconsolidation of both predictable and unpredictable fear associations on retrieval. Consistent with this, eliminating new contextual information prior to retrieval prevented the memory-impairing effects of protein synthesis inhibitors following retrieval. These results indicate that under normal conditions, reconsolidation updates memories by incorporating new contextual information into the memory trace. Collectively, these results suggest that controlling contextual information present during retrieval may be a useful strategy for improving reconsolidation-based treatments of traumatic memories associated with anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:26062788

  2. Adenosine A2A Receptors in the Amygdala Control Synaptic Plasticity and Contextual Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    Simões, Ana Patrícia; Machado, Nuno J; Gonçalves, Nélio; Kaster, Manuella P; Simões, Ana T; Nunes, Ana; Pereira de Almeida, Luís; Goosens, Ki Ann; Rial, Daniel; Cunha, Rodrigo A

    2016-11-01

    The consumption of caffeine modulates working and reference memory through the antagonism of adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) controlling synaptic plasticity processes in hippocampal excitatory synapses. Fear memory essentially involves plastic changes in amygdala circuits. However, it is unknown if A2ARs in the amygdala regulate synaptic plasticity and fear memory. We report that A2ARs in the amygdala are enriched in synapses and located to glutamatergic synapses, where they selectively control synaptic plasticity rather than synaptic transmission at a major afferent pathway to the amygdala. Notably, the downregulation of A2ARs selectively in the basolateral complex of the amygdala, using a lentivirus with a silencing shRNA (small hairpin RNA targeting A2AR (shA2AR)), impaired fear acquisition as well as Pavlovian fear retrieval. This is probably associated with the upregulation and gain of function of A2ARs in the amygdala after fear acquisition. The importance of A2ARs to control fear memory was further confirmed by the ability of SCH58261 (0.1 mg/kg; A2AR antagonist), caffeine (5 mg/kg), but not DPCPX (0.5 mg/kg; A1R antagonist), treatment for 7 days before fear conditioning onwards, to attenuate the retrieval of context fear after 24-48 h and after 7-8 days. These results demonstrate that amygdala A2ARs control fear memory and the underlying process of synaptic plasticity in this brain region. This provides a neurophysiological basis for the association between A2AR polymorphisms and phobia or panic attacks in humans and prompts a therapeutic interest in A2ARs to manage fear-related pathologies.

  3. Encoding of Discriminative Fear Memory by Input-Specific LTP in the Amygdala.

    PubMed

    Kim, Woong Bin; Cho, Jun-Hyeong

    2017-08-30

    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.

  4. Hippocampal encoding of interoceptive context during fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Yoo, S-W; Bae, M; Tovar-Y-Romo, L B; Haughey, N J

    2017-01-03

    Rodent models of auditory fear conditioning are often used to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating fear- and anxiety-related behaviors. Conditioning and extinction memories are influenced by contextual cues, and the reinstatement of conditioned fear occurs when the conditioning stimulus is presented in a context different from the extinction context. Although it has been proposed that internal state is a feature of context that could influence extinction, contributions of interoception to conditioning have not been experimentally addressed. Here we use ethanol (EtOH) to show that interoceptive cues are encoded through the hippocampus by mechanisms that involve increased phosphorylation of GluR1 on serine 845, and biophysical alterations in neuronal membranes that facilitate stabilization of surface-located calcium-permeable n-2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor (AMPAR) into membrane microdomains. Conflicting interoceptive cues during extinction and fear relapse testing resulted in a failure to consolidate extinction that was reversed by the administration of AMPAR antagonists immediately following the retrieval cue.

  5. Differential roles of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Wang, Melissa E; Fraize, Nicolas P; Yin, Linda; Yuan, Robin K; Petsagourakis, Despina; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2013-06-01

    The study of fear memory is important for understanding various anxiety disorders in which patients experience persistent recollections of traumatic events. These memories often involve associations of contextual cues with aversive events; consequently, Pavlovian classical conditioning is commonly used to study contextual fear learning. The use of predator odor as a fearful stimulus in contextual fear conditioning has become increasingly important as an animal model of anxiety disorders. Innate fear responses to predator odors are well characterized and reliable; however, attempts to use these odors as unconditioned stimuli in fear conditioning paradigms have proven inconsistent. Here we characterize a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using coyote urine as the unconditioned stimulus. We found that contextual conditioning induced by exposure to coyote urine produces long-term freezing, a stereotypic response to fear observed in mice. This paradigm is context-specific and parallels shock-induced contextual conditioning in that it is responsive to extinction training and manipulations of predator odor intensity. Region-specific lesions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus indicate that both areas are independently required for the long-term expression of learned fear. These results in conjunction with c-fos immunostaining data suggest that while both the dorsal and ventral hippocampus are required for forming a contextual representation, the ventral region also modulates defensive behaviors associated with predators. This study provides information about the individual contributions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus to ethologically relevant fear learning.

  6. Hippocampal damage causes retrograde but not anterograde memory loss for context fear discrimination in rats.

    PubMed

    Lee, Justin Q; Sutherland, Robert J; McDonald, Robert J

    2017-09-01

    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.

  7. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Novel learning accelerates systems consolidation of a contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Haubrich, Josue; Cassini, Lindsey Freitas; Diehl, Felipe; Santana, Fabiana; Fürstenau de Oliveira, Lucas; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto

    2016-07-01

    After initial encoding memories may undergo a time-dependent reorganization, becoming progressively independent from the hippocampus (HPC) and dependent on cortical regions such as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Although the mechanisms underlying systems consolidation are somewhat known, the factors determining its temporal dynamics are still poorly understood. Here, we studied the influence of novel learning occurring between training and test sessions on the time-course of HPC- and ACC-dependency of contextual fear conditioning (CFC) memory expression. We found that muscimol was disruptive when infused into the HPC up to 35 days after training, while the ACC is vulnerable only after 45 days. However, when animals were subjected to a series of additional, distinct tasks to be learned within the first 3 weeks, muscimol became effective sooner. Muscimol had no effect in the HPC at 20 days after training, exactly when the ACC becomes responsive to this treatment. Thus, our data indicates that the encoding of new information generates a tight interplay between distinct memories, accelerating the reorganization of previously stored long term memories between the hippocampal and cortical areas. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Plastic Synaptic Networks of the Amygdala for the Acquisition, Expression, and Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    PubMed Central

    Pape, Hans-Christian; Pare, Denis

    2009-01-01

    The last ten years have witnessed a surge of interest for the mechanisms underlying the acquisition and extinction of classically conditioned fear responses. In part, this results from the realization that abnormalities in fear learning mechanisms likely participate to the development and/or maintenance of human anxiety disorders. The simplicity and robustness of this learning paradigm, coupled to the fact that the underlying circuitry is evolutionarily well conserved makes it an ideal model to study the basic biology of memory and identify genetic factors and neuronal systems that regulate the normal and pathological expressions of learned fear. Critical advances have been made in determining how modified neuronal functions upon fear acquisition become stabilized during fear memory consolidation and how these processes are controlled in the course of fear memory extinction. With these advances, came the realization that activity in remote neuronal networks must be coordinated for these events to take place. In this paper, we review these mechanisms of coordinated network activity and the molecular cascades leading to enduring fear memory, and allowing for their extinction. We will focus on Pavlovian fear conditioning as a model and the amygdala as a key component for the acquisition and extinction of fear responses. PMID:20393190

  10. Foreground Contextual Fear Memory Consolidation Requires Two Independent Phases of Hippocampal ERK/CREB Activation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trifilieff, Pierre; Vanhoutte, Peter; Caboche, Jocelyne; Desmedt, Aline; Riedel, Gernot; Mons, Nicole; Micheau, Jacques; Herry, Cyril

    2006-01-01

    Fear conditioning is a popular model for investigating physiological and cellular mechanisms of memory formation. In this paradigm, a footshock is either systematically associated to a tone (paired conditioning) or is pseudorandomly distributed (unpaired conditioning). In the former procedure, the tone/shock association is acquired, whereas in the…

  11. Assessing fear learning via conditioned respiratory amplitude responses.

    PubMed

    Castegnetti, Giuseppe; Tzovara, Athina; Staib, Matthias; Gerster, Samuel; Bach, Dominik R

    2017-02-01

    Respiratory physiology is influenced by cognitive processes. It has been suggested that some cognitive states may be inferred from respiration amplitude responses (RAR) after external events. Here, we investigate whether RAR allow assessment of fear memory in cued fear conditioning, an experimental model of aversive learning. To this end, we built on a previously developed psychophysiological model (PsPM) of RAR, which regards interpolated RAR time series as the output of a linear time invariant system. We first establish that average RAR after CS+ and CS- are different. We then develop the response function of fear-conditioned RAR, to be used in our PsPM. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of cognitive input into the respiratory system. We analyze five validation experiments involving fear acquisition and retention, delay and trace conditioning, short and medium CS-US intervals, and data acquired with bellows and MRI-compatible pressure chest belts. In all experiments, CS+ and CS- are distinguished by their estimated cognitive inputs, and the sensitivity of this distinction is higher for model-based estimates than for peak scoring of RAR. Comparing these data with skin conductance responses (SCR) and heart period responses (HPR), we find that, on average, RAR performs similar to SCR in distinguishing CS+ and CS-, but is less sensitive than HPR. Overall, our work provides a novel and robust tool to investigate fear memory in humans that may allow wide and straightforward application to diverse experimental contexts. © 2016 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  12. The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in the Conditioning and Extinction of Fear

    PubMed Central

    Giustino, Thomas F.; Maren, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26617500

  13. Loss of Ensemble Segregation in Dentate Gyrus, but not in Somatosensory Cortex, during Contextual Fear Memory Generalization

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Marie; Matsuo, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    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 (SS), 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 SS 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 SS, 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. PMID:27872586

  14. Entorhinal cortex contribution to contextual fear conditioning extinction and reconsolidation in rats.

    PubMed

    Baldi, Elisabetta; Bucherelli, Corrado

    2014-04-01

    During contextual fear conditioning a rat learns a temporal contiguity association between the exposition to a previously neutral context (CS) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US) as a footshock. This condition determines in the rat the freezing reaction during the subsequent re-exposition to the context. Potentially the re-exposition without US presentation initiates two opposing and competing processes: reconsolidation and extinction. Reconsolidation process re-stabilizes and strengthens the original memory and it is initiated by a brief re-exposure to context. Instead the extinction process leads to the decrease of the expression of the original memory and it is triggered by prolonged re-exposure to the context. Here we analyzed the entorhinal cortex (ENT) participation in contextual fear conditioning reconsolidation and extinction. The rats were trained in contextual fear conditioning and 24h later they were subjected either to a brief (2 min) reactivation session or to a prolonged (120 min) re-exposition to context to induce extinction of the contextual fear memory. Immediately after the reactivation or the extinction session, the animals were submitted to bilateral ENT TTX inactivation. Memory retention was assessed as conditioned freezing duration measured 72 h after TTX administration. The results showed that ENT inactivation both after reactivation and extinction session was followed by contextual freezing retention impairment. Thus, the present findings point out that ENT is involved in contextual fear memory reconsolidation and extinction. This neural structure might be part of parallel circuits underlying two phases of contextual fear memory processing.

  15. A temporal shift in the circuits mediating retrieval of fear memory

    PubMed Central

    Do-Monte, Fabricio H.; Quinones-Laracuente, Kelvin; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2014-01-01

    Fear memories allow organisms to avoid danger, thereby increasing their chances of survival. Fear memories can be retrieved long after learning1,2, but little is known about how retrieval circuits change with time3,4. Here we show that the dorsal midline thalamus of rats is required for retrieval of auditory conditioned fear at late timepoints (24 h, 7 d, 28 d), but not early timepoints (0.5 h, 6 h) after learning. Consistent with this, the paraventricular subregion of the dorsal midline thalamus (PVT) showed increased cFos expression only at late timepoints, indicating that PVT is gradually recruited for fear retrieval. Accordingly, the conditioned tone responses of PVT neurons increased with time following training. The prelimbic (PL) prefrontal cortex, which is necessary for fear retrieval5–7, sends dense projections to PVT8. Retrieval at late timepoints activated PL neurons projecting to PVT, and optogenetic silencing of these projections impaired retrieval at late, but not early times. In contrast, silencing of PL inputs to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) impaired retrieval at early, but not late times, indicating a time-dependent shift in retrieval circuits. Retrieval at late timepoints also activated PVT neurons projecting to the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), and silencing these projections at late, but not early, times induced a persistent attenuation of fear. Thus, PVT may serve as a critical thalamic node recruited into cortico-amygalar networks for retrieval and maintenance of long-term fear memories. PMID:25600268

  16. Fluoxetine pretreatment promotes neuronal survival and maturation after auditory fear conditioning in the rat amygdala.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lizhu; Liu, Chen; Tong, Jianbin; Mao, Rongrong; Chen, Dan; Wang, Hui; Huang, Jufang; Li, Lingjiang

    2014-01-01

    The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX), is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory.

  17. Fluoxetine Pretreatment Promotes Neuronal Survival and Maturation after Auditory Fear Conditioning in the Rat Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lizhu; Liu, Chen; Tong, Jianbin; Mao, Rongrong; Chen, Dan; Wang, Hui; Huang, Jufang; Li, Lingjiang

    2014-01-01

    The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX), is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory. PMID:24551236

  18. Identification of Genes Expressed in the Amygdala During the Formation of Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Stork, Oliver; Stork, Simone; Pape, Hans-Christian; Obata, Kunihiko

    2001-01-01

    In this study we describe changes of gene expression that occur in the basolateral complex of the mouse amygdala (BLA) during the formation of fear memory. Through the combination of a behavioral training scheme with polymerase chain reaction-based expression analysis (subtractive hybridization and virtual Northern analysis) we were able to identify various gene products that are increased in expression after Pavlovian fear conditioning and are of potential significance for neural plasticity and information storage in the amygdala. In particular, a key enzyme of monoamine metabolism, aldehyde reductase, and the protein sorting and ubiquitination factor Praja1, showed pronounced and learning-specific induction six hours after fear conditioning training. Aldehyde reductase and Praja1, including a novel alternatively spliced isoform termed Praja1a, were induced in the BLA depending on the emotional stimulus presented and showed different expression levels in response to associative conditioning, training stress, and experience of conditioned fear. Stress and fear were further found to induce various signal transduction factors (transthyretin, phosphodiesterase1, protein kinase inhibitor-α) and structural reorganization factors (e.g., E2-ubiquitin conjugating enzyme, neuroligin1, actin, UDP-galactose transporter) during training. Our results show that the formation of Pavlovian fear memory is associated with changes of gene expression in the BLA, which may contribute to neural plasticity and the processing of information about both conditioned and unconditioned fear stimuli.[The Praja1a sequence has been deposited in GenBank data base under accession no. AF335250.] PMID:11533224

  19. Retrieval cues that trigger reconsolidation of associative fear memory are not necessarily an exact replica of the original learning experience.

    PubMed

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Retrieval cues that trigger reconsolidation of associative fear memory are not necessarily an exact replica of the original learning experience

    PubMed Central

    Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID

  1. Circadian waveform bifurcation, but not phase-shifting, leaves cued fear memory intact.

    PubMed

    Harrison, E M; Carmack, S A; Block, C L; Sun, J; Anagnostaras, S G; Gorman, M R

    2017-02-01

    In mammals, memory acquisition and retrieval can be affected by time of day, as well as by manipulations of the light/dark cycle. Under bifurcation, a manipulation of circadian waveform, two subjective days and nights are experimentally induced in rodents. We examined the effect of bifurcation on Pavlovian fear conditioning, a prominent model of learning and memory. Here we demonstrate that bifurcation of the circadian waveform produces a small deficit in acquisition, but not on retrieval of fear memory. In contrast, repeated phase-shifting in a simulated jet-lag protocol impairs retrieval of memory for cued fear. The results have implications for those attempting to adjust to shift-work or other challenging schedules. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Amygdala-dependent fear memory consolidation via miR-34a and Notch signaling.

    PubMed

    Dias, Brian George; Goodman, Jared Vega; Ahluwalia, Ranbir; Easton, Audrey Elizabeth; Andero, Raül; Ressler, Kerry James

    2014-08-20

    Using an array-based approach after auditory fear conditioning and microRNA (miRNA) sponge-mediated inhibition, we identified a role for miR-34a within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in fear memory consolidation. Luciferase assays and bioinformatics suggested the Notch pathway as a target of miR-34a. mRNA and protein levels of Notch receptors and ligands are downregulated in a time- and learning-specific manner after fear conditioning in the amygdala. Systemic and stereotaxic manipulations of the Notch pathway indicated that Notch signaling in the BLA suppresses fear memory consolidation. Impairment of fear memory consolidation after inhibition of miR-34a within the BLA is rescued by inhibiting Notch signaling. Together, these data suggest that within the BLA, a transient decrease in Notch signaling, via miR-34a regulation, is important for the consolidation of fear memory. This work expands the idea that developmental molecules have roles in adult behavior and that existing interventions targeting them hold promise for treating neuropsychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Amygdala-dependent fear memory consolidation via miR-34a and Notch signaling

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Brian George; Goodman, Jared Vega; Ahluwalia, Ranbir; Easton, Audrey Elizabeth; Andero, Raül; Ressler, Kerry James

    2014-01-01

    Summary Using an array-based approach after auditory fear-conditioning, and microRNA (miRNA) sponge-mediated inhibition, we identified a role for miR-34a within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in fear memory consolidation. Luciferase assays and bioinformatics suggested the Notch pathway as a target of miR-34a. mRNA and protein levels of Notch receptors and ligands are down-regulated in a time- and learning-specific manner after fear conditioning in the amygdala. Systemic and stereotaxic manipulations of the Notch pathway indicated that Notch signaling in the BLA suppresses fear memory consolidation. Impairment of fear memory consolidation after inhibition of miR-34a within the BLA is rescued by inhibiting Notch signaling. Together, these data suggest that within the BLA, a transient decrease in Notch signaling, via miR-34a regulation, is important for the consolidation of fear memory. This work expands the idea that developmental molecules have roles in adult behavior, and that existing interventions targeting them hold promise for treating neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:25123309

  4. Abnormal Fear Memory as a Model for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    PubMed

    Desmedt, Aline; Marighetto, Aline; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo

    2015-09-01

    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.

  5. Systems Reconsolidation Reveals a Selective Role for the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Generalized Contextual Fear Memory Expression

    PubMed Central

    Einarsson, Einar Ö; Pors, Jennifer; Nader, Karim

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25091528

  6. Interplay between serotonin and cannabinoid function in the amygdala in fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Davoudi, Kamelia; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-04-01

    The possible interactions between the cannabinoid and serotonin systems in the regions of the brain involved in emotional learning and memory formation have been studied by some researchers. In view of the key role of the amygdala in the acquisition and expression of fear memory, we investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) serotonin 5-HT4 receptors in arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist)-induced fear memory consolidation impairment. In our study, a context and tone fear conditioning apparatus was used for testing fear conditioning in adult male NMRI mice. The results showed that intraperitoneal administration of ACPA 0.5 or 0.05, 0.1 and 0.5mg/kg immediately after training decreased the percentage of freezing time in context or tone fear conditioning respectively, suggesting a context- or tone-dependent fear memory consolidation impairment. Post-training intra-BLA microinjections of RS67333, as 5-HT4 serotonin receptor agonist, at doses of 0.025 and 0.05 µg/mouse also impaired context or tone memory consolidation, while RS23597, as 5-HT4 serotonin receptor antagonist, did not produce a marked difference in both fear memories as compared with the control group. Moreover, a subthreshold dose of RS67333 did not alter ACPA response in both fear conditionings. Interestingly, a subthreshold dose of RS23597 potentiated or reversed ACPA response at the dose of 0.01 or 0.05 respectively. It is concluded that BLA serotonin 5-HT4 receptors are involved in tone-dependent fear memory consolidation impairment induced by CB1 activation using ACPA, suggesting a modulatory role for serotonin 5-HT4 receptor.

  7. Reconsolidation-Extinction Interactions in Fear Memory Attenuation: The Role of Inter-Trial Interval Variability

    PubMed Central

    Auchter, Allison; Cormack, Lawrence K.; Niv, Yael; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Monfils, Marie H.

    2017-01-01

    Fear extinction typically results in the formation of a new inhibitory memory that suppresses the original conditioned response. Evidence also suggests that extinction training during a retrieval-induced labile period results in integration of the extinction memory into the original fear memory, rendering the fear memory less susceptible to reinstatement. Here we investigated the parameters by which the retrieval-extinction paradigm was most effective in memory updating. Specifically, we manipulated the inter-trial intervals (ITIs) between conditional stimulus (CS) presentations during extinction, examining how having interval lengths with different degrees of variability affected the strength of memory updating. We showed that randomizing the ITI of CS presentations during extinction led to less return of fear via reinstatement than extinction with a fixed ITI. Subjects who received variable ITIs during extinction also showed higher freezing during the ITI, indicating that the randomization of CS presentations led to a higher general reactivity during extinction, which may be one potential mechanism for memory updating. PMID:28174526

  8. Pattern Analyses Reveal Separate Experience-Based Fear Memories in the Human Right Amygdala.

    PubMed

    Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Demanet, Jelle; Yuen, Kenneth S L; Kalisch, Raffael; Brass, Marcel

    2017-08-23

    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.

  9. A key role for nectin-1 in the ventral hippocampus in contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Fantin, Martina; van der Kooij, Michael A; Grosse, Jocelyn; Krummenacher, Claude; Sandi, Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Nectins are cell adhesion molecules that are widely expressed in the brain. Nectin expression shows a dynamic spatiotemporal regulation, playing a role in neural migratory processes during development. Nectin-1 and nectin-3 and their heterophilic trans-interactions are important for the proper formation of synapses. In the hippocampus, nectin-1 and nectin-3 localize at puncta adherentia junctions and may play a role in synaptic plasticity, a mechanism essential for memory and learning. We evaluated the potential involvement of nectin-1 and nectin-3 in memory consolidation using an emotional learning paradigm. Rats trained for contextual fear conditioning showed transient nectin-1-but not nectin-3-protein upregulation in synapse-enriched hippocampal fractions at about 2 h posttraining. The upregulation of nectin-1 was found exclusively in the ventral hippocampus and was apparent in the synaptoneurosomal fraction. This upregulation was induced by contextual fear conditioning but not by exposure to context or shock alone. When an antibody against nectin-1, R165, was infused in the ventral-hippocampus immediately after training, contextual fear memory was impaired. However, treatment with the antibody in the dorsal hippocampus had no effect in contextual fear memory formation. Similarly, treatment with the antibody in the ventral hippocampus did not interfere with acoustic memory formation. Further control experiments indicated that the effects of ventral hippocampal infusion of the nectin-1 antibody in contextual fear memory cannot be ascribed to memory non-specific effects such as changes in anxiety-like behavior or locomotor behavior. Therefore, we conclude that nectin-1 recruitment to the perisynaptic environment in the ventral hippocampus plays an important role in the formation of contextual fear memories. Our results suggest that these mechanisms could be involved in the connection of emotional and contextual information processed in the amygdala and dorsal

  10. A Key Role for Nectin-1 in the Ventral Hippocampus in Contextual Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Grosse, Jocelyn; Krummenacher, Claude; Sandi, Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Nectins are cell adhesion molecules that are widely expressed in the brain. Nectin expression shows a dynamic spatiotemporal regulation, playing a role in neural migratory processes during development. Nectin-1 and nectin-3 and their heterophilic trans-interactions are important for the proper formation of synapses. In the hippocampus, nectin-1 and nectin-3 localize at puncta adherentia junctions and may play a role in synaptic plasticity, a mechanism essential for memory and learning. We evaluated the potential involvement of nectin-1 and nectin-3 in memory consolidation using an emotional learning paradigm. Rats trained for contextual fear conditioning showed transient nectin-1—but not nectin-3—protein upregulation in synapse-enriched hippocampal fractions at about 2 h posttraining. The upregulation of nectin-1 was found exclusively in the ventral hippocampus and was apparent in the synaptoneurosomal fraction. This upregulation was induced by contextual fear conditioning but not by exposure to context or shock alone. When an antibody against nectin-1, R165, was infused in the ventral-hippocampus immediately after training, contextual fear memory was impaired. However, treatment with the antibody in the dorsal hippocampus had no effect in contextual fear memory formation. Similarly, treatment with the antibody in the ventral hippocampus did not interfere with acoustic memory formation. Further control experiments indicated that the effects of ventral hippocampal infusion of the nectin-1 antibody in contextual fear memory cannot be ascribed to memory non-specific effects such as changes in anxiety-like behavior or locomotor behavior. Therefore, we conclude that nectin-1 recruitment to the perisynaptic environment in the ventral hippocampus plays an important role in the formation of contextual fear memories. Our results suggest that these mechanisms could be involved in the connection of emotional and contextual information processed in the amygdala and dorsal

  11. Fear conditioning selectively disrupts noradrenergic facilitation of GABAergic inhibition in the basolateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Skelly, M J; Ariwodola, O J; Weiner, J L

    2017-02-01

    Inappropriate fear memory formation is symptomatic of many psychopathologies, and delineating the neurobiology of non-pathological fear learning may provide critical insight into treating these disorders. Fear memory formation is associated with decreased inhibitory signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and disrupted noradrenergic signaling may contribute to this decrease. BLA noradrenergic neurotransmission has been implicated in fear memory formation, and distinct adrenoreceptor (AR) subtypes modulate excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in this region. For example, α1-ARs promote GABA release from local inhibitory interneurons, while β3-ARs potentiate neurotransmission at lateral paracapsular (LPC) GABAergic synapses. Conversely, β1/2-ARs amplify excitatory signaling at glutamatergic synapses in the BLA. As increased BLA excitability promotes fear memory formation, we hypothesized that fear learning shifts the balanced regional effects of noradrenergic signaling toward excitation. To test this hypothesis, we used the fear-potentiated startle paradigm in combination with whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology to examine the effects of AR activation on BLA synaptic transmission following fear conditioning in male Long-Evans rats. We first demonstrated that inhibitory neurotransmission is decreased at both local and LPC synapses following fear conditioning. We next measured noradrenergic facilitation of BLA inhibitory signaling at local and LPC synapses using α1-and β3-AR agonists (1 μM A61603 and 10 μM BRL37344), and found that the ability of these agents to facilitate inhibitory neurotransmission is disrupted following fear conditioning. Conversely, we found that fear learning does not disrupt noradrenergic modulation of glutamatergic signaling via a β1/2-AR agonist (1 μM isoproterenol). Taken together, these studies suggest that fear learning increases BLA excitability by selectively disrupting the inhibitory effects of noradrenaline

  12. Dual Functions of Perirhinal Cortex in Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Brianne A.; Brown, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    The present review examines the role of perirhinal cortex (PRC) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The focus is on rats, partly because so much is known, behaviorally and neurobiologically, about fear conditioning in these animals. In addition, the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of rat PRC have been described in considerable detail at the cellular and systems levels. The evidence suggests that PRC can serve at least two types of mnemonic functions in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The first function, termed "stimulus unitization," refers to the ability to treat two or more separate items or stimulus elements as a single entity. Supporting evidence for this perceptual function comes from studies of context conditioning as well as delay conditioning to discontinuous auditory cues. In a delay paradigm, the conditional stimulus (CS) and unconditional stimulus (US) overlap temporally and co-terminate. The second PRC function entails a type of "transient memory." Supporting evidence comes from studies of trace cue conditioning, where there is a temporal gap or trace interval between the CS offset and the US onset. For learning to occur, there must be a transient CS representation during the trace interval. We advance a novel neurophysiological mechanism for this transient representation. These two hypothesized functions of PRC are consistent with inferences based on non-aversive forms of learning. PMID:22903623

  13. Dual functions of perirhinal cortex in fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H

    2012-10-01

    The present review examines the role of perirhinal cortex (PRC) in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The focus is on rats, partly because so much is known, behaviorally and neurobiologically, about fear conditioning in these animals. In addition, the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of rat PRC have been described in considerable detail at the cellular and systems levels. The evidence suggests that PRC can serve at least two types of mnemonic functions in Pavlovian fear conditioning. The first function, termed "stimulus unitization," refers to the ability to treat two or more separate items or stimulus elements as a single entity. Supporting evidence for this perceptual function comes from studies of context conditioning as well as delay conditioning to discontinuous auditory cues. In a delay paradigm, the conditional stimulus (CS) and unconditional stimulus (US) overlap temporally and co-terminate. The second PRC function entails a type of "transient memory." Supporting evidence comes from studies of trace cue conditioning, where there is a temporal gap or trace interval between the CS offset and the US onset. For learning to occur, there must be a transient CS representation during the trace interval. We advance a novel neurophysiological mechanism for this transient representation. These two hypothesized functions of PRC are consistent with inferences based on non-aversive forms of learning.

  14. Evidence for the differential salience of disgust and fear in episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Hanah A; Johannes, Kristen; Poppenk, Jordan L; Moscovitch, Morris; Anderson, Adam K

    2013-11-01

    Studies of emotional memory typically focus on the memory-enhancing effects of emotional dimensions such as arousal and valence. However, it is unclear to what extent different emotional categories could have distinct effects on memory over and above these dimensional influences. We tested this possibility by investigating the impact of two negative, highly arousing, and withdrawal-related emotions-disgust and fear--on attention and subsequent memory. To index differential attention during encoding, participants performed a speeded line discrimination task (LDT) while viewing disgusting and fearful photographs of similar valence and arousal, which were assessed for later memory. LDT performance was slower, and subsequent recall and recognition were greater, for disgusting compared to both fearful and neutral images. Disgust enhancement of memory remained significant even when controlling for attention at encoding and for arousal, visual salience, and conceptual distinctiveness. Receiver-operating curve analyses indicated that disgust enhancement of memory was due to increased sensitivity, rather than response bias. Thus, disgust appears to have a special salience in memory relative to certain other emotions, suggesting that a purely dimensional model of emotional influences on cognition is inadequate to account for their effects. We speculate that disgust enhancement of memory could arise from an origin in conditioned taste aversion, a highly enduring form of implicit memory.

  15. Nonlinear Developmental trajectory of fear learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    King, Elizabeth C.; Pattwell, Siobhan S.; Sun, Alice; Glatt, Charles E.; Lee, Francis S.

    2013-01-01

    The transition into and out of adolescence represents a unique developmental period during which neuronal circuits are particularly susceptible to modification by experience. Adolescence is associated with an increased incidence of anxiety disorders in humans,1–3 and an estimated 75% of adults with fear-related disorders met diagnostic criteria as children and adolescents.4,5 Conserved neural circuitry between rodents and humans has facilitated neurodevelopmental studies of behavioral and molecular processes associated with fear learning and memory, which lie at the heart of many anxiety disorders. Here, we review the non-linear developmental aspects of fear learning and memory during a transition period into and out of adolescence and provide a discussion of the molecular mechanisms that may underlie these alterations in behavior. We provide a model that may help to inform novel treatment strategies for children and adolescents with fear-related disorders. PMID:24176014

  16. An organization of visual and auditory fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; Johnson, Luke R

    2014-12-01

    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.

  17. Reciprocal Patterns of c-Fos Expression in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Amygdala after Extinction and Renewal of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapska, Ewelina; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    After extinction of conditioned fear, memory for the conditioning and extinction experiences becomes context dependent. Fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in other contexts. This study characterizes the neural circuitry underlying the context-dependent retrieval of extinguished fear memories using c-Fos immunohistochemistry.…

  18. Reciprocal Patterns of c-Fos Expression in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Amygdala after Extinction and Renewal of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapska, Ewelina; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    After extinction of conditioned fear, memory for the conditioning and extinction experiences becomes context dependent. Fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in other contexts. This study characterizes the neural circuitry underlying the context-dependent retrieval of extinguished fear memories using c-Fos immunohistochemistry.…

  19. COCAINE AND PAVLOVIAN FEAR CONDITIONING: DOSE-EFFECT ANALYSIS

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Suzanne C.; Fay, Jonathon; Sage, Jennifer R.; Anagnostaras, Stephan G.

    2007-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cocaine and other drugs of abuse can interfere with many aspects of cognitive functioning. The authors examined the effects of 0.1 – 15 mg/kg of cocaine on Pavlovian contextual and cued fear conditioning in mice. As expected, pre-training cocaine dose-dependently produced hyperactivity and disrupted freezing. Surprisingly, when the mice were tested off-drug later, the group pre-treated with a moderate dose of cocaine (15 mg/kg) displayed significantly less contextual and cued memory, compared to saline control animals. Conversely, mice pre-treated with a very low dose of cocaine (0.1 mg/kg) showed significantly enhanced fear memory for both context and tone, compared to controls. These results were not due to cocaine’s anesthetic effects, as shock reactivity was unaffected by cocaine. The data suggest that despite cocaine’s reputation as a performance-enhancing and anxiogenic drug, this effect is seen only at very low doses, whereas a moderate dose disrupts hippocampus and amygdala-dependent fear conditioning. PMID:17098299

  20. Electrolytic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus disrupt renewal of conditional fear after extinction.

    PubMed

    Ji, Jinzhao; Maren, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that the hippocampus is critical for context-dependent memory retrieval. In the present study, we used Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats to examine the role of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) in the context-specific expression of fear memory after extinction (i.e., renewal). Pre-training electrolytic lesions of the DH blunted the expression of conditional freezing to an auditory conditional stimulus (CS), but did not affect the acquisition of extinction to that CS. In contrast, DH lesions impaired the context-specific expression of extinction, eliminating the renewal of fear normally observed to a CS presented outside of the extinction context. Post-extinction DH lesions also eliminated the context dependence of fear extinction. These results are consistent with those using pharmacological inactivation of the DH and suggest that the DH is required for using contextual stimuli to regulate the expression of fear to a Pavlovian CS after extinction.

  1. The histone deacetylase inhibitor valproic acid enhances acquisition, extinction, and reconsolidation of conditioned fear.

    PubMed

    Bredy, Timothy W; Barad, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Histone modifications contribute to the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, a process now recognized to be important for the consolidation of long-term memory. Valproic acid (VPA), used for many years as an anticonvulsant and a mood stabilizer, has effects on learning and memory and enhances the extinction of conditioned fear through its function as a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDAC). Here we report that VPA enhances long-term memory for both acquisition and extinction of cued-fear. Interestingly, VPA enhances extinction, but also enhances renewal of the original conditioned fear when tested in a within-subjects design. This effect appears to be related to a reconsolidation-like process since a single CS reminder in the presence of VPA can enhance long-term memory for the original fear in the context in which fear conditioning takes place. We also show that by modifying the intertrial interval during extinction training, VPA can strengthen reconsolidation of the original fear memory or enhance long-term memory for extinction such that it becomes independent of context. These findings have important implications for the use of HDAC inhibitors as adjuncts to behavior therapy in the treatment of phobia and related anxiety disorders.

  2. Generalization of conditioned fear along a dimension of increasing fear intensity

    PubMed Central

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two experimental groups underwent discriminative fear conditioning between a face stimulus of 55% fear intensity (conditioned stimulus, CS+), reinforced with an electric shock, and a second stimulus that was unreinforced (CS−). In Experiment 1 the CS− was a relatively neutral face stimulus, while in Experiment 2 the CS− was the most fear-intense stimulus. Before and following fear conditioning, skin conductance responses (SCR) were recorded to different morph values along the neutral-to-fear dimension. Both experimental groups showed gradients of generalization following fear conditioning that increased with the fear intensity of the stimulus. In Experiment 1 a peak shift in SCRs extended to the most fear-intense stimulus. In contrast, generalization to the most fear-intense stimulus was reduced in Experiment 2, suggesting that discriminative fear learning procedures can attenuate fear generalization. Together, the findings indicate that fear generalization is broadly tuned and sensitive to the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli, but that fear generalization can come under stimulus control. These results reveal a novel form of fear generalization in humans that is not merely based on physical similarity to a conditioned exemplar, and may have implications for understanding generalization processes in anxiety disorders characterized by heightened sensitivity to nonthreatening stimuli. PMID:19553384

  3. Context-Dependent Neuronal Activity in the Lateral Amygdala Represents Fear Memories after Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Hobin, Jennifer A.; Goosens, Ki A.; Maren, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The context in which fear memories are extinguished has important implications for treating human fear and anxiety disorders. Extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning is context specific; after extinction, fear responses are reduced only in the extinction context and remain elevated in every other context. Contextual modulation of spike firing in the amygdala is a putative mechanism for the context-specific expression of extinguished fear. To test this possibility, we conditioned rats to fear two auditory conditional stimuli (CSs) and then extinguished each CS in separate and distinct contexts. Thereafter, single-unit activity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and freezing behavior were recorded during tests in which each CS was presented in each extinction context. Hence, each CS was tested in its own extinction context and in the context of the other CS. Conditional freezing was context dependent; fear to an extinguished CS was low in its own extinction context and high in the other test context. Similarly, the majority of LA neurons exhibited context-dependent spike firing; short-latency spike firing was greater to both CSs when they were presented outside of their own extinction context. In contrast, behavioral and neuronal responses to either non-extinguished CSs or habituated auditory stimuli were not contextually modulated. Context-dependent neuronal activity in the LA may be an important mechanism for disambiguating the meaning of fear signals, thereby enabling appropriate behavioral responses to such stimuli. PMID:12968003

  4. Conditioned Fear Acquisition and Generalization in Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    PubMed

    Tinoco-González, Daniella; Fullana, Miquel Angel; Torrents-Rodas, David; Bonillo, Albert; Vervliet, Bram; Blasco, María Jesús; Farré, Magí; Torrubia, Rafael

    2015-09-01

    Abnormal fear conditioning processes (including fear acquisition and conditioned fear-generalization) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. Previous research has shown that individuals with panic disorder present enhanced conditioned fear-generalization in comparison to healthy controls. Enhanced conditioned fear-generalization could also characterize generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but research so far is inconclusive. An important confounding factor in previous research is comorbidity. The present study examined conditioned fear-acquisition and fear-generalization in 28 patients with GAD and 30 healthy controls using a recently developed fear acquisition and generalization paradigm assessing fear-potentiated startle and online expectancies of the unconditioned stimulus. Analyses focused on GAD patients without comorbidity but included also patients with comorbid anxiety disorders. Patients and controls did not differ as regards fear acquisition. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups did not differ either in most indexes of conditioned fear-generalization. Moreover, dimensional measures of GAD symptoms were not correlated with conditioned fear-generalization indexes. Comorbidity did not have a significant impact on the results. Our data suggest that conditioned fear-generalization is not enhanced in GAD. Results are discussed with special attention to the possible effects of comorbidity on fear learning abnormalities.

  5. The genetic covariation between fear conditioning and self-report fears.

    PubMed

    Hettema, John M; Annas, Peter; Neale, Michael C; Fredrikson, Mats; Kendler, Kenneth S

    2008-03-15

    Fear conditioning is a traditional model for the acquisition of phobias, whereas behavioral therapies use processes underlying extinction to treat phobic and other anxiety disorders. Furthermore, fear conditioning has been proposed as an endophenotype for genetic studies of anxiety disorders. Although prior studies have demonstrated that fear conditioning and self-report fears are heritable, no studies have determined whether they share a common genetic basis. We obtained fear conditioning data from 173 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry who also provided self-report ratings of 16 common fears. With multivariate structural equation modeling, we analyzed factor-derived scores for the subjective fear ratings together with the electrophysiologic skin conductance responses during habituation, acquisition, and extinction to determine the extent of their genetic covariation. Phenotypic correlations between experimental and self-report fear measures were modest and, counter-intuitively, negative (i.e., subjects who reported themselves as more fearful had smaller electrophysiologic responses). Best-fit models estimated a significant (negative) genetic correlation between them, although genetic factors underlying fear conditioning accounted for only 9% of individual differences in self-report fears. Experimentally derived fear conditioning measures share only a small portion of the genetic factors underlying individual differences in subjective fears, cautioning against relying too heavily on the former as an endophenotype for genetic studies of phobic disorders.

  6. The Genetic Covariation between Fear Conditioning and Self-Report Fears

    PubMed Central

    Hettema, John M.; Annas, Peter; Neale, Michael C.; Fredrikson, Mats; Sci, Dr Med; Kendler, Kenneth S.

    2008-01-01

    Background Fear conditioning is a traditional model for the acquisition of phobias, while behavioral therapies utilize processes underlying extinction to treat phobic and other anxiety disorders. Furthermore, fear conditioning has been proposed as an endophenotype for genetic studies of anxiety disorders. While prior studies have demonstrated that fear conditioning and self-report fears are heritable, no studies have determined whether they share a common genetic basis. Methods We obtained fear conditioning data from 173 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry who also provided self-report ratings of 16 common fears. Using multivariate structural equation modeling, we analyzed factor-derived scores for the subjective fear ratings together with the electrophysiologic skin conductance responses during habituation, acquisition, and extinction to determine the extent of their genetic covariation. Results Phenotypic correlations between experimental and self-report fear measures were modest and, and counter-intuitively, negative; that is, subjects who reported themselves as more fearful had smaller electrophysiologic responses. Best-fit models estimated a significant (negative) genetic correlation between them, although genetic factors underlying fear conditioning accounted for only 9% of individual differences in self-report fears. Conclusions Experimentally-derived fear conditioning measures share only a small portion of the genetic factors underlying individual differences in subjective fears, cautioning against relying too heavily on the former as an endophenotype for genetic studies of phobic disorders. PMID:17698042

  7. Modulation of cannabinoid signaling by amygdala α2-adrenergic system in fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Zamanparvar, Majid; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-03-01

    The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the modulation of emotional state, primarily related to anxiety, arousal, and stress. Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system mediates stress responses and emotional homeostasis, in part, by targeting noradrenergic circuits. In addition, there is an interaction between the cannabinoid and noradrenergic system that has significant functional and behavioral implications. Considering the importance of these systems in forming memories for fearful events, we have investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) α2-adrenoceptors on ACPA (as selective cannabinoid CB1 agonist)-induced inhibition of the acquisition of contextual and auditory conditioned fear. A contextual and auditory fear conditioning apparatus for assess fear memory in adult male NMRI mice was used. Pre-training, intraperitoneal administration of ACPA decreased the percentage freezing time in contextual (at doses of 0.05 and 0.1mg/kg) and auditory (at dose of 0.1 mg/kg) in the fear conditioning task, indicating memory acquisition deficit. The same result was observed with intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.001-0.5 μg/mouse, for both memories), as α2-adrenoceptor agonist and yohimbine (at doses of 0.005 and 0.05 for contextual and at dose of 0.05 μg/mouse for auditory fear memory), as α2-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.0005 μg/mouse) did not alter ACPA response in both conditions, while the same dose of yohimbine potentiated ACPA response at the lower dose on contextual fear memory. It is concluded that BLA α2-adrenergic receptors may be involved in context- but not tone-dependent fear memory impairment induced by activation of CB1 receptors.

  8. DHEA-S selectively impairs contextual-fear conditioning: support for the antiglucocorticoid hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Fleshner, M; Pugh, C R; Tremblay, D; Rudy, J W

    1997-06-01

    The authors had reported that glucocorticoids play a selective role in fear conditioning. The adrenal steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been reported to act as a functional antiglucocorticoid. If DHEA has antiglucocorticoid properties, then its effects on fear conditioning might resemble those produced by adrenalectomy. The authors now report that chronic exposure to high levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S; converted in vivo to DHEA) produced the same pattern of results as adrenalectomy. Specifically, treatment with DHEA-S impaired contextual fear conditioning 24 hr after conditioning but not immediately after conditioning, and like adrenalectomy, DHEA-S had no effect on auditory-cue fear conditioning. Preexposure to the context before drug treatment eliminated the amnestic effects of DHEA-S, suggesting that, like adrenalectomy, DHEA-S exerted its effect by interfering with the construction of a contextual memory representation. Thus, DHEA appears to act as a functional antiglucocorticoid in the processes that mediate learning and memory.

  9. Conditioned Fear Extinction and Reinstatement in a Human Fear-Potentiated Startle Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norrholm, Seth D.; Jovanovic, Tanja; Vervliet, Bram; Myers, Karyn M.; Davis, Michael; Rothbaum, Barbara O.; Duncan, Erica J.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze fear extinction and reinstatement in humans using fear-potentiated startle. Participants were fear conditioned using a simple discrimination procedure with colored lights as the conditioned stimuli (CSs) and an airblast to the throat as the unconditioned stimulus (US). Participants were extinguished 24 h…

  10. Short-term inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reversibly improves spatial memory but persistently impairs contextual fear memory in aged mice.

    PubMed

    Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P; Kenyon, Christopher J; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R; Holmes, Megan C; Seckl, Jonathan R; Yau, Joyce L W

    2015-04-01

    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.

  11. Short-term inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 reversibly improves spatial memory but persistently impairs contextual fear memory in aged mice

    PubMed Central

    Wheelan, Nicola; Webster, Scott P.; Kenyon, Christopher J.; Caughey, Sarah; Walker, Brian R.; Holmes, Megan C.; Seckl, Jonathan R.; Yau, Joyce L.W.

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Xenon impairs reconsolidation of fear memories in a rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    PubMed

    Meloni, Edward G; Gillis, Timothy E; Manoukian, Jasmine; Kaufman, Marc J

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Opioid receptors regulate the extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    McNally, Gavan P; Westbrook, R Frederick

    2003-12-01

    Rats received a single pairing of an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with a footshock unconditioned stimulus (US). The fear (freezing) that had accrued to the CS was then extinguished. Injection of naloxone prior to this extinction significantly impaired the development of extinction. This impairment was mediated by opioid receptors in the brain and was not observed when naloxone was injected after extinction training. Finally, an injection of naloxone on test failed to reinstate extinguished responding that had already accrued to the CS. These experiments show that opioid receptors regulate the development, but not the expression, of fear extinction and are discussed with reference to the roles of opioid receptors in US processing, memory, and appetitive motivation.

  14. An appetitive experience after fear memory destabilization attenuates fear retention: involvement GluN2B-NMDA receptors in the Basolateral Amygdala Complex

    PubMed Central

    Ferrer Monti, Roque I.; Giachero, Marcelo; Alfei, Joaquín M.; Bueno, Adrián M.; Cuadra, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    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 memory in rats during the reactivation-induced destabilization phase. Our findings show that exposure to an appetitive experience following reactivation can diminish fear retention. This effect persisted after 1 wk. Importantly, it was achieved only under conditions that induced fear memory destabilization. This result could not be explained as a potentiated extinction, because sucrose was unable to promote extinction. Since GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors in the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) have been implicated in triggering fear memory destabilization, we decided to block pharmacologically these receptors to explore the neurobiological bases of the observed effect. Intra-BLA infusion with ifenprodil, a GluN2B-NMDA antagonist, prevented the fear reduction caused by the appetitive experience. In sum, these results suggest that the expression of a fear memory can be dampened by an unrelated appetitive experience, as long as memory destabilization is achieved during reactivation. Possible mechanisms behind this effect and its clinical implications are discussed. PMID:27531837

  15. An appetitive experience after fear memory destabilization attenuates fear retention: involvement GluN2B-NMDA receptors in the Basolateral Amygdala Complex.

    PubMed

    Ferrer Monti, Roque I; Giachero, Marcelo; Alfei, Joaquín M; Bueno, Adrián M; Cuadra, Gabriel; Molina, Victor A

    2016-09-01

    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 memory in rats during the reactivation-induced destabilization phase. Our findings show that exposure to an appetitive experience following reactivation can diminish fear retention. This effect persisted after 1 wk. Importantly, it was achieved only under conditions that induced fear memory destabilization. This result could not be explained as a potentiated extinction, because sucrose was unable to promote extinction. Since GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors in the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) have been implicated in triggering fear memory destabilization, we decided to block pharmacologically these receptors to explore the neurobiological bases of the observed effect. Intra-BLA infusion with ifenprodil, a GluN2B-NMDA antagonist, prevented the fear reduction caused by the appetitive experience. In sum, these results suggest that the expression of a fear memory can be dampened by an unrelated appetitive experience, as long as memory destabilization is achieved during reactivation. Possible mechanisms behind this effect and its clinical implications are discussed.

  16. Selective and protracted effect of nifedipine on fear memory extinction correlates with induced stress response.

    PubMed

    Waltereit, Robert; Mannhardt, Sönke; Nescholta, Sabine; Maser-Gluth, Christiane; Bartsch, Dusan

    2008-05-01

    Memory extinction, defined as a decrease of a conditioned response as a function of a non-reinforced conditioned stimulus presentation, has high biological and clinical relevance. Extinction is not a passive reversing or erasing of the plasticity associated with acquisition, but a novel, active learning process. Nifedipine blocks L-type voltage gated calcium channels (LVGCC) and has been shown previously to selectively interfere with the extinction, but not the acquisition, of fear memory. We studied here the effect of retrograde and anterograde shifts of nifedipine application, with respect to an extinction training, on the extinction of fear conditioning. Subcutaneous injection of 30 mg/kg nifedipine, at least up to 4 h before the extinction session, significantly impaired extinction, as did intraperitoneal injection of 15 mg/kg nifedipine, at least up to 2 h before extinction training. However, the injection of nifedipine also induced a strong and protracted stress response. The pharmacokinetics of nifedipine suggest that it was mainly this stress response that triggered the specific inhibition of extinction, not the blockade of LVGCC in the brain. Our results support recent findings that stress selectively interferes with the extinction, but not the acquisition, of fear memory. They also indicate that a pharmacological approach is not sufficient to study the role of brain LVGCC in learning and memory. Further research using specific genetically modified animals is necessary to delineate the role of LVGCC in fear memory extinction.

  17. Selective and protracted effect of nifedipine on fear memory extinction correlates with induced stress response

    PubMed Central

    Waltereit, Robert; Mannhardt, Sönke; Nescholta, Sabine; Maser-Gluth, Christiane; Bartsch, Dusan

    2008-01-01

    Memory extinction, defined as a decrease of a conditioned response as a function of a non-reinforced conditioned stimulus presentation, has high biological and clinical relevance. Extinction is not a passive reversing or erasing of the plasticity associated with acquisition, but a novel, active learning process. Nifedipine blocks L-type voltage gated calcium channels (LVGCC) and has been shown previously to selectively interfere with the extinction, but not the acquisition, of fear memory. We studied here the effect of retrograde and anterograde shifts of nifedipine application, with respect to an extinction training, on the extinction of fear conditioning. Subcutaneous injection of 30 mg/kg nifedipine, at least up to 4 h before the extinction session, significantly impaired extinction, as did intraperitoneal injection of 15 mg/kg nifedipine, at least up to 2 h before extinction training. However, the injection of nifedipine also induced a strong and protracted stress response. The pharmacokinetics of nifedipine suggest that it was mainly this stress response that triggered the specific inhibition of extinction, not the blockade of LVGCC in the brain. Our results support recent findings that stress selectively interferes with the extinction, but not the acquisition, of fear memory. They also indicate that a pharmacological approach is not sufficient to study the role of brain LVGCC in learning and memory. Further research using specific genetically modified animals is necessary to delineate the role of LVGCC in fear memory extinction. PMID:18441293

  18. Spontaneous brain activity following fear reminder of fear conditioning by using resting-state functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Pan; Zheng, Yong; Feng, Tingyong

    2015-01-01

    Although disrupting reconsolidation may be a promising approach to attenuate or erase the expression of fear memory, it is not clear how the neural state following fear reminder contribute to the following fear extinction. To address this question, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to measure spontaneous neuronal activity and functional connectivity (RSFC) following fear reminder. Some brain regions such as dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) showed increased amplitude of LFF (ALFF) in the fear reminder group than the no reminder group following fear reminder. More importantly, there was much stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and vmPFC in the fear reminder group than those in the no reminder group. These findings suggest that the strong functional connectivity between vmPFC and amygdala following a fear reminder could serve as a key role in the followed-up fear extinction stages, which may contribute to the erasing of fear memory. PMID:26576733

  19. Effects of Post-Training Hippocampal Injections of Midazolam on Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gafford, Georgette M.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2005-01-01

    Benzodiazepines have been useful tools for investigating mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The present set of experiments investigates the role of hippocampal GABA[subscript A]/benzodiazepine receptors in memory consolidation using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were prepared with cannulae aimed at the dorsal hippocampus and trained…

  20. Effects of Post-Training Hippocampal Injections of Midazolam on Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gafford, Georgette M.; Parsons, Ryan G.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2005-01-01

    Benzodiazepines have been useful tools for investigating mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The present set of experiments investigates the role of hippocampal GABA[subscript A]/benzodiazepine receptors in memory consolidation using Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats were prepared with cannulae aimed at the dorsal hippocampus and trained…

  1. Context Pre-Exposure Obscures Amygdala Modulation of Contextual-Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huff, Nicole C.; Wright-Hardesty, Karli J.; Higgins, Emily A.; Matus-Amat, Patricia; Rudy, Jerry W.

    2005-01-01

    We report that post-training inactivation of basolateral amygdala region (BLA) with muscimol impaired memory for contextual-fear conditioning (as measured by freezing) and intra-BLA norepinephrine enhanced this memory. However, pre-exposure to the context eliminated both of these effects. These findings provide a likely explanation of why an…

  2. The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Valproic Acid Enhances Acquisition, Extinction, and Reconsolidation of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Histone modifications contribute to the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, a process now recognized to be important for the consolidation of long-term memory. Valproic acid (VPA), used for many years as an anticonvulsant and a mood stabilizer, has effects on learning and memory and enhances the extinction of conditioned fear through its…

  3. Context Pre-Exposure Obscures Amygdala Modulation of Contextual-Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huff, Nicole C.; Wright-Hardesty, Karli J.; Higgins, Emily A.; Matus-Amat, Patricia; Rudy, Jerry W.

    2005-01-01

    We report that post-training inactivation of basolateral amygdala region (BLA) with muscimol impaired memory for contextual-fear conditioning (as measured by freezing) and intra-BLA norepinephrine enhanced this memory. However, pre-exposure to the context eliminated both of these effects. These findings provide a likely explanation of why an…

  4. The Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Valproic Acid Enhances Acquisition, Extinction, and Reconsolidation of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bredy, Timothy W.; Barad, Mark

    2008-01-01

    Histone modifications contribute to the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, a process now recognized to be important for the consolidation of long-term memory. Valproic acid (VPA), used for many years as an anticonvulsant and a mood stabilizer, has effects on learning and memory and enhances the extinction of conditioned fear through its…

  5. Time-dependent involvement of the dorsal hippocampus in trace fear conditioning in mice.

    PubMed

    Misane, Ilga; Tovote, Philip; Meyer, Michael; Spiess, Joachim; Ogren, Sven Ove; Stiedl, Oliver

    2005-01-01

    Hippocampal and amygdaloid neuroplasticity are important substrates for Pavlovian fear conditioning. The hippocampus has been implicated in trace fear conditioning. However, a systematic investigation of the significance of the trace interval has not yet been performed. Therefore, this study analyzed the time-dependent involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the dorsal hippocampus in one-trial auditory trace fear conditioning in C57BL/6J mice. The NMDA receptor antagonist APV was injected bilaterally into the dorsal hippocampus 15 min before training. Mice were exposed to tone (conditioned stimulus [CS]) and footshock (unconditioned stimulus [US]) in the conditioning context without delay (0 s) or with CS-US (trace) intervals of 1-45 s. Conditioned auditory fear was determined 24 h after training by the assessment of freezing and computerized evaluation of inactivity in a new context; 2 h later, context-dependent memory was tested in the conditioning context. NMDA receptor blockade by APV markedly impaired conditioned auditory fear at trace intervals of 15 s and 30 s, but not at shorter trace intervals. A 45-s trace interval prevented the formation of conditioned tone-dependent fear. Context-dependent memory was always impaired by APV treatment independent of the trace interval. The results indicate that the dorsal hippocampus and its NMDA receptors play an important role in auditory trace fear conditioning at trace intervals of 15-30-s length. In contrast, NMDA receptors in the dorsal hippocampus are unequivocally involved in contextual fear conditioning independent of the trace interval. The results point at a time-dependent role of the dorsal hippocampus in encoding of noncontingent explicit stimuli. Preprocessing of long CS-US contingencies in the hippocampus appears to be important for the final information processing and execution of fear memories through amygdala circuits.

  6. Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation does not affect fear memory reconsolidation in rats.

    PubMed

    Tian, Shaowen; Huang, Fulian; Li, Peng; Ouyang, Xinping; Li, Zengbang; Deng, Haifeng; Yang, Yufeng

    2009-09-29

    There is increasing evidence that sleep may be involved in memory consolidation. However, there remain comparatively few studies that have explored the relationship between sleep and memory reconsolidation. At present study, we tested the effects of rapid eye movement sleep deprivation (RSD) on the reconsolidation of cued (experiment 1) and contextual (experiment 2) fear memory in rats. Behaviour procedure involved four training phases: habituation, fear conditioning, reactivation and test. Rats were subjected to 6h RSD starting either immediately after reactivation or 6h later. The control rats were returned to their home cages immediately after reactivation and left undisturbed. Contrary to those hypotheses speculating a potential role of sleep in reconsolidation, we found that post-reactivation RSD whether from 0 to 6h or 6 to 12h had no effect on the reconsolidation of both cued and contextual fear memory. However, our present results did not exclude the potential roles of non-rapid eye movement sleep in the reconsolidation of fear memory or sleep in the reconsolidation of other memory paradigms.

  7. Spermidine improves the persistence of reconsolidated fear memory and neural differentiation in vitro: Involvement of BDNF.

    PubMed

    Signor, Cristiane; Girardi, Bruna Amanda; Lorena Wendel, Arithane; Frühauf, Pâmella Karina Santana; Pillat, Micheli M; Ulrich, Henning; Mello, Carlos F; Rubin, Maribel A

    2017-04-01

    Putrescine, spermidine and spermine are organic cations implicated in learning, memory consolidation, reconsolidation and neurogenesis. These physiological processes are closely related, and convincing evidence indicates that neurogenesis is implicated both, in the establishment and maintenance of remote contextual fear memory. Although brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key mediator involved in both neurogenesis and memory consolidation, effects of spermidine on persistence of memory after reactivation (reconsolidation) and possible involvement of BDNF have not been investigated. Here, we investigated whether the intrahippocampal infusion of spermidine improves the persistence of reconsolidated contextual fear conditioning memory in rats and whether these possible changes depend on BDNF/TrkB signaling in the hippocampus. The infusion of spermidine immediately and 12h post-reactivation improved fear memory of the animals tested seven but not two days after reactivation. The facilitatory effect of spermidine on the persistence of reconsolidated memory was blocked by the TrkB inhibitor ANA-12 (73.6pmol/site) and accompanied by mature BDNF level increase in the hippocampus, indicating that it depends on the BDNF/TrkB pathway. We also investigated whether spermidine alters BDNF levels and neural progenitor cell differentiation in vitro. Spermidine increased BDNF levels in vitro, facilitating neuritogenesis and neural migration. Spermidine-induced neuritogenesis in vitro was also blocked by ANA-12 (10µM). Since spermidine increases BDNF levels and facilitates neural differentiation in vitro, similar mechanisms may be involved in spermidine-induced facilitation of the persistence of reconsolidated memory.

  8. Sustained conditioned responses in prelimbic prefrontal neurons are correlated with fear expression and extinction failure.

    PubMed

    Burgos-Robles, Anthony; Vidal-Gonzalez, Ivan; Quirk, Gregory J

    2009-07-01

    During auditory fear conditioning, it is well established that lateral amygdala (LA) neurons potentiate their response to the tone conditioned stimulus, and that this potentiation is required for conditioned fear behavior. Conditioned tone responses in LA, however, last only a few hundred milliseconds and cannot be responsible for sustained fear responses to a tone lasting tens of seconds. Recent evidence from inactivation and stimulation studies suggests that the prelimbic (PL) prefrontal cortex is necessary for expression of learned fears, but the timing of PL tone responses and correlations with fear behavior have not been studied. Using multichannel unit recording techniques in behaving rats, we observed sustained conditioned tone responses in PL that were correlated with freezing behavior on a second-to-second basis during the presentation of a 30 s tone. PL tone responses were also correlated with conditioned freezing across different experimental phases (habituation, conditioning, extinction). Moreover, the persistence of PL responses after extinction training was associated with failure to express extinction memory. Together with previous inactivation findings, the present results suggest that PL transforms transient amygdala inputs to a sustained output that drives conditioned fear responses and gates the expression of extinction. Given the relatively long latency of conditioned responses we observed in PL (approximately 100 ms after tone onset), we propose that PL integrates inputs from the amygdala, hippocampus, and other cortical sources to regulate the expression of fear memories.

  9. The GABA-synthetic enzyme GAD65 controls circadian activation of conditioned fear pathways.

    PubMed

    Bergado-Acosta, Jorge R; Müller, Iris; Richter-Levin, Gal; Stork, Oliver

    2014-03-01

    Circadian fluctuations of fear and anxiety symptoms are observable in persons with post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder; however, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not sufficiently understood. In the present study, we investigated the putative role of inhibitory neurotransmission in the circadian fluctuation of fear symptoms, using mice with genetic ablation of the γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) synthesizing isoenzyme, glutamic acid decarboxylase GAD65. We observed in these mutant mice an altered expression of conditioned fear with a profound reduction of freezing, and an increase of hyperactivity bouts occurring only when both fear conditioning training and retrieval testing were done at the beginning of their active phase. Mutants further showed an increased arousal response at this time of the day, although, circadian rhythm of home cage activity was unaltered. Hyperactivity and reduced freezing during fear memory retrieval were accompanied by an increased induction of the immediate early gene cFos suggesting hyperactivation of the hippocampus, amygdala, and medial hypothalamus. Our data suggest a role of GAD65-mediated GABA synthesis in the encoding of circadian information to fear memory. GAD65 deficits in a state-dependent manner result in increased neural activation in fear circuits and elicit panic-like flight responses during fear memory retrieval.

  10. Endogenous co-agonists of the NMDA receptor modulate contextual fear in trace conditioning.

    PubMed

    Basu, Alo C; Puhl, Matthew D; Coyle, Joseph T

    2016-12-01

    We have used mutant mice to probe the roles of the endogenous co-agonists of the NMDA receptor (NMDAR), D-serine and glycine, in fear learning and memory. Serine racemase knockout (SR-/-) mice have less than 15% of wild type forebrain levels of D-serine, whereas glycine transporter 1 heterozygous knockout (GlyT1+/-) mice have elevated synaptic glycine. While cued fear was normal in both delay and trace conditioned mice of both mutant genotypes, contextual fear was affected in trace conditioned subjects: SR-/- mice showed decreased contextual freezing, whereas GlyT1+/- mice showed elevated contextual freezing. These results indicate that endogenous co-agonists of the NMDAR modulate the conditioning of contextual fear responses, particularly in trace conditioning. They further suggest that endogenous glycine can compensate for the D-serine deficiency in cued and contextual fear following delay conditioning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Prefrontal Consolidation Supports the Attainment of Fear Memory Accuracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vieira, Philip A.; Lovelace, Jonathan W.; Corches, Alex; Rashid, Asim J.; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Korzus, Edward

    2014-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying the attainment of fear memory accuracy for appropriate discriminative responses to aversive and nonaversive stimuli are unclear. Considerable evidence indicates that coactivator of transcription and histone acetyltransferase cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) binding protein (CBP) is critically required…

  12. Effects of Postnatal Serotonin Agonism on Fear Response and Memory

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Prefrontal Consolidation Supports the Attainment of Fear Memory Accuracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vieira, Philip A.; Lovelace, Jonathan W.; Corches, Alex; Rashid, Asim J.; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Korzus, Edward

    2014-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying the attainment of fear memory accuracy for appropriate discriminative responses to aversive and nonaversive stimuli are unclear. Considerable evidence indicates that coactivator of transcription and histone acetyltransferase cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) binding protein (CBP) is critically required…

  14. Exposure to a fearful context during periods of memory plasticity impairs extinction via hyperactivation of frontal-amygdalar circuits.

    PubMed

    Stafford, James M; Maughan, DeeAnna K; Ilioi, Elena C; Lattal, K Matthew

    2013-02-19

    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 extinction process results in the suppression of fear responses, but is generally thought to leave the original fearful memory intact. Here, we investigate the effects of extinction during periods of memory lability on behavioral responses and on expression of the immediate-early gene c-Fos within fear conditioning and extinction circuits. Our results show that long-term extinction is impaired when it occurs during time periods during which the memory should be most vulnerable to disruption (soon after conditioning or retrieval). These behavioral effects are correlated with hyperactivation of medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala subregions associated with fear expression rather than fear extinction. These findings demonstrate that behavioral experiences during periods of heightened fear prevent extinction and prolong the conditioned fear response.

  15. Exposure to a fearful context during periods of memory plasticity impairs extinction via hyperactivation of frontal-amygdalar circuits

    PubMed Central

    Stafford, James M.; Maughan, DeeAnna K.; Ilioi, Elena C.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2013-01-01

    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 extinction process results in the suppression of fear responses, but is generally thought to leave the original fearful memory intact. Here, we investigate the effects of extinction during periods of memory lability on behavioral responses and on expression of the immediate–early gene c-Fos within fear conditioning and extinction circuits. Our results show that long-term extinction is impaired when it occurs during time periods during which the memory should be most vulnerable to disruption (soon after conditioning or retrieval). These behavioral effects are correlated with hyperactivation of medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala subregions associated with fear expression rather than fear extinction. These findings demonstrate that behavioral experiences during periods of heightened fear prevent extinction and prolong the conditioned fear response. PMID:23422280

  16. Stress Enables Reinforcement-Elicited Serotonergic Consolidation of Fear Memory.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-05-15

    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.

  17. Hippocampus and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Trace and Contextual Fear Memory Expression over Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beeman, Christopher L.; Bauer, Philip S.; Pierson, Jamie L.; Quinn, Jennifer J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous work has shown that damage to the dorsal hippocampus (DH) occurring at recent, but not remote, timepoints following acquisition produces a deficit in trace conditioned fear memory expression. The opposite pattern has been observed with lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The present studies address: (1) whether these lesion…

  18. Hippocampus and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Trace and Contextual Fear Memory Expression over Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beeman, Christopher L.; Bauer, Philip S.; Pierson, Jamie L.; Quinn, Jennifer J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous work has shown that damage to the dorsal hippocampus (DH) occurring at recent, but not remote, timepoints following acquisition produces a deficit in trace conditioned fear memory expression. The opposite pattern has been observed with lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The present studies address: (1) whether these lesion…

  19. The Cannabinoid System in the Retrosplenial Cortex Modulates Fear Memory Consolidation, Reconsolidation, and Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sachser, Ricardo Marcelo; Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto; e Souza, Tadeu Mello; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251…

  20. The Cannabinoid System in the Retrosplenial Cortex Modulates Fear Memory Consolidation, Reconsolidation, and Extinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sachser, Ricardo Marcelo; Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto; e Souza, Tadeu Mello; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251…

  1. Generalization of Conditioned Fear along a Dimension of Increasing Fear Intensity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two…

  2. Generalization of Conditioned Fear along a Dimension of Increasing Fear Intensity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunsmoor, Joseph E.; Mitroff, Stephen R.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which fear generalization in humans is determined by the amount of fear intensity in nonconditioned stimuli relative to a perceptually similar conditioned stimulus. Stimuli consisted of graded emotionally expressive faces of the same identity morphed between neutral and fearful endpoints. Two…

  3. Toll-like receptor 7-mediated enhancement of contextual fear memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Yasunori; Yanagawa, Yoshiki; Matsumoto, Machiko; Hiraide, Sachiko; Kobayashi, Masanobu; Togashi, Hiroko

    2012-10-01

    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.

  4. Effects of pre- or post-training entorhinal cortex AP5 injection on fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Schenberg, Eduardo Ekman; Soares, Juliana Carlota Kramer; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes

    2005-11-15

    Fear conditioning is one of the most studied paradigms to assess the neural basis of emotional memory. The circuitry involves NMDA receptor activation in the amygdala and, in the case of contextual conditioning, in the hippocampus. Entorhinal cortex is one of the major input/output structures to the hippocampus and also projects to the amygdala, both through glutamatergic transmission. Other learning tasks involving hippocampus and amygdala, such as inhibitory avoidance, require entorhinal cortex during acquisition and consolidation. However, the involvement of NMDA receptors mediated transmission in entorhinal cortex in fear conditioning acquisition and consolidation is not clear. To investigate that issue, rats were trained in fear conditioning to both contextual and tone conditioned stimulus. Immediately before, immediately, 30 or 90 min after training they received NMDA antagonist AP5 or saline injections bilaterally in the entorhinal cortex (AP-6.8 mm, L +/-5.0 mm DV-6.8 mm). Contextual fear conditioning was measured 24 h after training, and tone fear conditioning 48 h after training. AP5 injections selectively impaired contextual fear conditioning only when injected pre-training. Post-training injections had no effect. These findings suggest that entorhinal cortex NMDA receptors are necessary for acquisition, but not for consolidation, of contextual fear conditioning. On the other hand, both acquisition and consolidation of tone fear conditioning seem to be independent of NMDA receptors in the entorhinal cortex.

  5. Developmental aspects of fear: Comparing the acquisition and generalization of conditioned fear in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Schiele, Miriam A; Reinhard, Julia; Reif, Andreas; Domschke, Katharina; Romanos, Marcel; Deckert, Jürgen; Pauli, Paul

    2016-05-01

    Most research on human fear conditioning and its generalization has focused on adults whereas only little is known about these processes in children. Direct comparisons between child and adult populations are needed to determine developmental risk markers of fear and anxiety. We compared 267 children and 285 adults in a differential fear conditioning paradigm and generalization test. Skin conductance responses (SCR) and ratings of valence and arousal were obtained to indicate fear learning. Both groups displayed robust and similar differential conditioning on subjective and physiological levels. However, children showed heightened fear generalization compared to adults as indexed by higher arousal ratings and SCR to the generalization stimuli. Results indicate overgeneralization of conditioned fear as a developmental correlate of fear learning. The developmental change from a shallow to a steeper generalization gradient is likely related to the maturation of brain structures that modulate efficient discrimination between danger and (ambiguous) safety cues.

  6. M1 muscarinic receptors are necessary for retrieval of remote context fear memory.

    PubMed

    Patricio, Rafael Rodisanski; Soares, Juliana Carlota Kramer; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela Menezes

    2017-02-01

    Several studies have investigated the transition of consolidation of recent memory to remote memory in aversively motivated tasks, such as contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and inhibitory avoidance (IA). However, the mechanisms that serve the retrieval of remote memories, has not yet been fully understood. Some evidences suggest that the central cholinergic system appears be involved in the modulation of these processes. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of a pre-test administration of dicyclomine, a high-affinity M1 muscarinic receptor antagonist, on the retrieval of remote memories in fear conditioning and IA tasks. Male Wistar rats were trained, and after 1 or 28days, the rats received dicyclomine (16 or 32mg/kg, intraperitoneally, i.p.) and were tested in CFC, tone fear conditioning (TFC) and IA tasks. At both time intervals, 32mg/kg dicyclomine induced impairment of CFC. In TFC task only the performance of the rats 28days after training was impaired. The IA task was not affected in any of the studied intervals. These findings suggest a differential contribution of muscarinic receptors on recent and remote memories retrieval revealing a more generalized role in remote memory.

  7. Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction: Implications for Treatment of PTSD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-11-2-0001 TITLE: “Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction : Implications for Treatment of PTSD...Annual 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 1 OCT 2014- 30 SEP 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Sleep Deprivation in Fear Conditioning and Extinction ...successful acquisition, consolidation, and recall of extinction memory are implicated in both the natural reduction of initial PTSD symptoms and as the

  8. Prefrontal inputs to the amygdala instruct fear extinction memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Bukalo, Olena; Pinard, Courtney R.; Silverstein, Shana; Brehm, Christina; Hartley, Nolan D.; Whittle, Nigel; Colacicco, Giovanni; Busch, Erica; Patel, Sachin; Singewald, Nicolas; Holmes, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Persistent anxiety after a psychological trauma is a hallmark of many anxiety disorders. However, the neural circuits mediating the extinction of traumatic fear memories remain incompletely understood. We show that selective, in vivo stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)–amygdala pathway facilitated extinction memory formation, but not retrieval. Conversely, silencing the vmPFC-amygdala pathway impaired extinction formation and reduced extinction-induced amygdala activity. Our data demonstrate a critical instructional role for the vmPFC-amygdala circuit in the formation of extinction memories. These findings advance our understanding of the neural basis of persistent fear, with implications for posttraumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders. PMID:26504902

  9. Brain sites involved in fear memory reconsolidation and extinction of rodents.

    PubMed

    Baldi, Elisabetta; Bucherelli, Corrado

    2015-06-01

    Fear memory is a motivational system essential for organisms survival having a central role in organization of defensive behaviors to threat. In the last years there has been a growing interest on conditioned fear memory reconsolidation and extinction, two specific phases of memorization process, both induced by memory retrieval. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these two mnemonic processes may allow to work out therapeutic interventions for treatment of human fear and anxiety disorders, such as specific phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on the use of one-trial conditioning paradigms, which allow to follow the evolution of a mnemonic trace in its various phases, the present paper has attempted to reorganize the current literature relative to the rodents highlighting both the role of several brain structures in conditioned fear memory reconsolidation and extinction and the selective cellular processes involved. A crucial role seems to be play by medial prefrontal cortex, in particular by prelimbic and infralimbic cortices, and by distinct connections between them and the amygdala, hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Acute and chronic effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment on fear conditioning: implications for underlying fear circuits.

    PubMed

    Burghardt, N S; Bauer, E P

    2013-09-05

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used for the treatment of a spectrum of anxiety disorders, yet paradoxically they may increase symptoms of anxiety when treatment is first initiated. Despite extensive research over the past 30 years focused on SSRI treatment, the precise mechanisms by which SSRIs exert these opposing acute and chronic effects on anxiety remain unknown. By testing the behavioral effects of SSRI treatment on Pavlovian fear conditioning, a well characterized model of emotional learning, we have the opportunity to identify how SSRIs affect the functioning of specific brain regions, including the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and hippocampus. In this review, we first define different stages of learning involved in cued and context fear conditioning and describe the neural circuits underlying these processes. We examine the results of numerous rodent studies investigating how acute SSRI treatment modulates fear learning and relate these effects to the known functions of serotonin in specific brain regions. With these findings, we propose a model by which acute SSRI administration, by altering neural activity in the extended amygdala and hippocampus, enhances both acquisition and expression of cued fear conditioning, but impairs the expression of contextual fear conditioning. Finally, we review the literature examining the effects of chronic SSRI treatment on fear conditioning in rodents and describe how downregulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the amygdala and hippocampus may mediate the impairments in fear learning and memory that are reported. While long-term SSRI treatment effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety, their disruptive effects on fear learning should be kept in mind when combining chronic SSRI treatment and learning-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

  11. Pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning induces the link between freezing and passive avoidance behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunchan; Noh, Jihyun

    2016-07-01

    Social factor plays an important role in dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder related to excessive physiological fear response and insufficient fear memory extinction of the brain. However, although social circumstances occurred not only during contextual retrieval but also during fear conditioning, most previous studies focused on the advantageous aspects of social buffering in fear retrieval period. To demonstrate the association between fear responses and fear memory from social stimuli during fear conditioning, pair exposed rats with conspecific as social buffering were subjected to a fear conditioning of passive avoidance test to evaluate memory function and freezing behavior. Whereas single exposed rats showed the significant increase of freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to control rats, pair exposed rats showed significant alleviation of the freezing behaviors and passive avoidance behaviors compared to single exposed rats. Furthermore, we determined a significant correlation between freezing and passive avoidance behavioral alteration in pair exposed rats. Taken together, we suggest that pair exposure with conspecific during fear conditioning helps to cope with both freezing response and fear memory systems and their reciprocal interaction has a crucial potential as a resource for the relief of unreasonable stress responses in posttraumatic stress disorder.

  12. Systemic Inhibition of Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Inhibits Fear Memory Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Blundell, Jacqueline; Kouser, Mehreen; Powell, Craig M.

    2008-01-01

    Background Established traumatic memories have a selective vulnerability to pharmacologic interventions following their reactivation that can decrease subsequent memory recall. This vulnerable period following memory reactivation is termed reconsolidation. The pharmacology of traumatic memory reconsolidation has not been fully characterized despite its potential as a therapeutic target for established, acquired anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase is a critical regulator of mRNA translation and is known to be involved in various forms of synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation. We have examined the role of mTOR in traumatic memory reconsolidation. Methods Male C57BL/6 mice were injected systemically with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (1 – 40 mg/kg), at various time points relative to contextual fear conditioning training or fear memory retrieval, and compared to vehicle or anisomycin-treated groups (N = 10–12 in each group). Results Inhibition of mTOR via systemic administration of rapamycin blocks reconsolidation of an established fear memory in a lasting manner. This effect is specific to reconsolidation as a series of additional experiments make an effect on memory extinction unlikely. Conclusions Systemic rapamycin, in conjunction with therapeutic traumatic memory reactivation, can decrease the emotional strength of an established traumatic memory. This finding not only establishes mTOR regulation of protein translation in the reconsolidation phase of traumatic memory, but also implicates a novel, FDA-approved drug treatment for patients suffering from acquired anxiety disorders such as PTSD and specific phobia. PMID:18316213

  13. Hippocampal low-frequency stimulation and chronic mild stress similarly disrupt fear extinction memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Garcia, René; Spennato, Guillaume; Nilsson-Todd, Linda; Moreau, Jean-Luc; Deschaux, Olivier

    2008-05-01

    Disruptions of fear extinction-related potentiation of synaptic efficacy in the connection between the hippocampus (HPC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have been shown to impair the recall of extinction memory. This study was undertaken to examine if chronic mild stress (CMS), which is known to alter induction of HPC-mPFC long-term potentiation, would also interfere with both extinction-related HPC-mPFC potentiation and extinction memory. Following fear conditioning (5 tone-shock pairings), rats were submitted to fear extinction (20 tone-alone presentations), which produced an increase in the amplitude of HPC-mPFC field potentials. HPC low-frequency stimulation (LFS), applied immediately after training, suppressed these changes and induced fear return during the retention test (5 tone-alone presentations). CMS, delivered before fear conditioning, did not interfere with fear extinction but blocked the development of extinction-related potentiation in the HPC-mPFC pathway and impaired the recall of extinction. These findings suggest that HPC LFS may provoke metaplastic changes in HPC outputs that may mimic alterations associated with a history of chronic stress.

  14. Sleep Promotes Generalization of Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    PubMed Central

    Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Orr, Scott P.; Rauch, Scott L.; Stickgold, Robert; Pitman, Roger K.

    2009-01-01

    Study Objective: To examine the effects of sleep on fear conditioning, extinction, extinction recall, and generalization of extinction recall in healthy humans. Design: During the Conditioning phase, a mild, 0.5-sec shock followed conditioned stimuli (CS+s), which consisted of 2 differently colored lamps. A third lamp color was interspersed but never reinforced (CS-). Immediately after Conditioning, one CS+ was extinguished (CS+E) by presentation without shocks (Extinction phase). The other CS+ went unextinguished (CS+U). Twelve hours later, following continuous normal daytime waking (Wake group, N = 27) or an equal interval containing a normal night's sleep (Sleep group, N = 26), conditioned responses (CRs) to all CSs were measured (Extinction Recall phase). It was hypothesized that the Sleep versus Wake group would show greater extinction recall and/or generalization of extinction recall from the CS+E to the CS+U. Setting: Academic medical center. Subjects: Paid normal volunteers. Measurements and Results: Square-root transformed skin conductance response (SCR) measured conditioned responding. During Extinction Recall, the Group (Wake or Sleep) × CS+ Type (CS+E or CS+U) interaction was significant (P = 0.04). SCRs to the CS+E did not differ between groups, whereas SCRs to the CS+U were significantly smaller in the Sleep group. Additionally, SCRs were significantly larger to the CS+U than CS+E in the Wake but not the Sleep group. Conclusions: After sleep, extinction memory generalized from an extinguished conditioned stimulus to a similarly conditioned but unextinguished stimulus. Clinically, adequate sleep may promote generalization of extinction memory from specific stimuli treated during exposure therapy to similar stimuli later encountered in vivo. Citation: Pace-Schott EF; Milad MR; Orr SP; Rauch SL; Stickgold R; Pitman RK. Sleep promotes generalization of extinction of conditioned fear. SLEEP 2009;32(1):19-26. PMID:19189775

  15. Equal pain-Unequal fear response: enhanced susceptibility of tooth pain to fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Meier, Michael L; de Matos, Nuno M P; Brügger, Mike; Ettlin, Dominik A; Lukic, Nenad; Cheetham, Marcus; Jäncke, Lutz; Lutz, Kai

    2014-01-01

    Experimental fear conditioning in humans is widely used as a model to investigate the neural basis of fear learning and to unravel the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. It has been observed that fear conditioning depends on stimulus salience and subject vulnerability to fear. It is further known that the prevalence of dental-related fear and phobia is exceedingly high in the population. Dental phobia is unique as no other body part is associated with a specific phobia. Therefore, we hypothesized that painful dental stimuli exhibit an enhanced susceptibility to fear conditioning when comparing to equal perceived stimuli applied to other body sites. Differential susceptibility to pain-related fear was investigated by analyzing responses to an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) applied to the right maxillary canine (UCS-c) vs. the right tibia (UCS-t). For fear conditioning, UCS-c and USC-t consisted of painful electric stimuli, carefully matched at both application sites for equal intensity and quality perception. UCSs were paired to simple geometrical forms which served as conditioned stimuli (CS+). Unpaired CS+ were presented for eliciting and analyzing conditioned fear responses. Outcome parameter were (1) skin conductance changes and (2) time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses) in fear-related brain regions such as the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, insula, thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex. A preferential susceptibility of dental pain to fear conditioning was observed, reflected by heightened skin conductance responses and enhanced time-dependent brain activity (BOLD responses) in the fear network. For the first time, this study demonstrates fear-related neurobiological mechanisms that point toward a superior conditionability of tooth pain. Beside traumatic dental experiences our results offer novel evidence that might explain the high prevalence of dental-related fears in the population.

  16. The role of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis in fear conditioning consolidation in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Baldi, Elisabetta; Mariottini, Chiara; Bucherelli, Corrado

    2007-01-01

    The nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) is known to be involved in the memorization of several conditioned responses. To investigate the role of the NBM in fear conditioning memorization, this neural site was subjected to fully reversible tetrodotoxin (TTX) inactivation during consolidation in adult male Wistar rats that had undergone fear training to acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS) and context. TTX was stereotaxically administered to different groups of rats at increasing intervals after the acquisition session. Memory was assessed as the conditioned freezing duration measured during retention testing, always performed 72 and 96 h after TTX administration. In this way, there was no interference with normal NBM function during either acquisition or retrieval phases, allowing any amnesic effect to be due only to consolidation disruption. The results show that for contextual fear response memory consolidation, NBM functional integrity is necessary up to 24 h post-acquisition. On the other hand, NBM functional integrity was shown to be necessary for memory consolidation of the acoustic CS fear response only immediately after acquisition and not 24-h post-acquisition. The present findings help to elucidate the role of the NBM in memory consolidation and better define the neural circuits involved in fear memories. PMID:18086829

  17. The role of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis in fear conditioning consolidation in the rat.

    PubMed

    Baldi, Elisabetta; Mariottini, Chiara; Bucherelli, Corrado

    2007-12-01

    The nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) is known to be involved in the memorization of several conditioned responses. To investigate the role of the NBM in fear conditioning memorization, this neural site was subjected to fully reversible tetrodotoxin (TTX) inactivation during consolidation in adult male Wistar rats that had undergone fear training to acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS) and context. TTX was stereotaxically administered to different groups of rats at increasing intervals after the acquisition session. Memory was assessed as the conditioned freezing duration measured during retention testing, always performed 72 and 96 h after TTX administration. In this way, there was no interference with normal NBM function during either acquisition or retrieval phases, allowing any amnesic effect to be due only to consolidation disruption. The results show that for contextual fear response memory consolidation, NBM functional integrity is necessary up to 24 h post-acquisition. On the other hand, NBM functional integrity was shown to be necessary for memory consolidation of the acoustic CS fear response only immediately after acquisition and not 24-h post-acquisition. The present findings help to elucidate the role of the NBM in memory consolidation and better define the neural circuits involved in fear memories.

  18. The endocannabinoid system in anxiety, fear memory and habituation

    PubMed Central

    Ruehle, S; Rey, A Aparisi; Remmers, F

    2012-01-01

    Evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in anxiety and fear has been accumulated, providing leads for novel therapeutic approaches. In anxiety, a bidirectional influence of the ECS has been reported, whereby anxiolytic and anxiogenic responses have been obtained after both increases and decreases of the endocannabinoid tone. The recently developed genetic tools have revealed different but complementary roles for the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor on GABAergic and glutamatergic neuronal populations. This dual functionality, together with the plasticity of CB1 receptor expression, particularly on GABAergic neurons, as induced by stressful and rewarding experiences, gives the ECS a unique regulatory capacity for maintaining emotional homeostasis. However, the promiscuity of the endogenous ligands of the CB1 receptor complicates the interpretation of experimental data concerning ECS and anxiety. In fear memory paradigms, the ECS is mostly involved in the two opposing processes of reconsolidation and extinction of the fear memory. Whereas ECS activation deteriorates reconsolidation, proper extinction depends on intact CB1 receptor signalling. Thus, both for anxiety and fear memory processing, endocannabinoid signalling may ensure an appropriate reaction to stressful events. Therefore, the ECS can be considered as a regulatory buffer system for emotional responses. PMID:21768162

  19. The MAP(K) of fear: from memory consolidation to memory extinction.

    PubMed

    Cestari, Vincenzo; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Saraulli, Daniele; Costanzi, Marco

    2014-06-01

    The highly conserved mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) signaling cascade is involved in several intracellular processes ranging from cell differentiation to proliferation, as well as in synaptic plasticity. In the last two decades, the role of MAPK/ERK in long-term memory formation in mammals, particularly in fear-related memories, has been extensively investigated. In this review we describe knowledge advancement on the role of MAPK/ERK in orchestrating the intracellular processes that lead to the consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction of fear memories. In doing so, we report studies in which the specific role of MAP/ERK in switching from memory formation to memory erasure has been suggested. The possibility to target MAPK/ERK in developing and/or refining pharmacological approaches to treat psychiatric disorders in which fear regulation is defective has also been envisaged. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Neurotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus and Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats.

    PubMed

    Maren, S; Aharonov, G; Fanselow, M S

    1997-11-01

    Electrolytic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) produce deficits in both the acquisition and expression of conditional fear to contextual stimuli in rats. To assess whether damage to DH neurons is responsible for these deficits, we performed three experiments to examine the effects of neurotoxic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) lesions of the DH on the acquisition and expression of fear conditioning. Fear conditioning consisted of the delivery of signaled or unsignaled footshocks in a novel conditioning chamber and freezing served as the measure of conditional fear. In Experiment 1, posttraining DH lesions produced severe retrograde deficits in context fear when made either 1 or 28, but not 100, days following training. Pretraining DH lesions made 1 week before training did not affect contextual fear conditioning. Tone fear was impaired by DH lesions at all training-to-lesion intervals. In Experiment 2, posttraining (1 day), but not pretraining (1 week), DH lesions produced substantial deficits in context fear using an unsignaled shock procedure. In Experiment 3, pretraining electrolytic DH lesions produced modest deficits in context fear using the same signaled and unsignaled shock procedures used in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Electrolytic, but not neurotoxic, lesions also increased pre-shock locomotor activity. Collectively, this pattern of results reveals that neurons in the DH are not required for the acquisition of context fear, but have a critical and time-limited role in the expression of context fear. The normal acquisition and expression of context fear in rats with neurotoxic DH lesions made before training may be mediated by conditioning to unimodal cues in the context, a process that may rely less on the hippocampal memory system.

  1. Identification of Functional Circuitry Between Retrosplenial and Postrhinal Cortices During Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Siobhan; Poorman, Caroline E.; Marder, Thomas J.; Bucci, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The retrosplenial (RSP) and postrhinal (POR) cortices are heavily interconnected with medial temporal lobe structures involved in learning and memory. Previous studies indicate that RSP and POR are necessary for contextual fear conditioning, but it remains unclear whether these regions contribute individually or instead work together as a functional circuit to modulate learning and/or memory. In Experiment 1, learning-related neuronal activity was assessed in RSP from home-cage, shock-only, context-only or fear conditioned rats using real-time PCR and immunohistochemical methods to quantify immediate early gene expression. A significant increase in Arc (activity regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein) mRNA and Arc and c-Fos protein expression was detected in RSP from fear conditioned rats compared to all other groups. In Experiment 2, retrograde tracing combined with immunohistochemistry revealed that compared to controls, a significant proportion of cells projecting from RSP to POR were immunopositive for c-Fos in fear conditioned rats. These results demonstrate that neurons projecting from RSP to POR are indeed active during fear conditioning. In Experiment 3, a functional disconnection paradigm was used to further examine the interaction between RSP and POR during fear conditioning. Compared to controls, rats with unilateral lesions of RSP and POR on opposite sides of the brain exhibited impaired contextual fear memory whereas rats with unilateral lesions in the same hemisphere displayed intermediate levels of freezing compared to controls and rats with contralateral lesions. Collectively these results are the first to show that RSP and POR function as a cortical network necessary for contextual fear learning and memory. PMID:22933791

  2. Identification of functional circuitry between retrosplenial and postrhinal cortices during fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Siobhan; Poorman, Caroline E; Marder, Thomas J; Bucci, David J

    2012-08-29

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSP) and postrhinal cortex (POR) are heavily interconnected with medial temporal lobe structures involved in learning and memory. Previous studies indicate that RSP and POR are necessary for contextual fear conditioning, but it remains unclear whether these regions contribute individually or instead work together as a functional circuit to modulate learning and/or memory. In Experiment 1, learning-related neuronal activity was assessed in RSP from home cage, shock-only, context-only, or fear-conditioned rats using real-time PCR and immunohistochemical methods to quantify immediate-early gene expression. A significant increase in activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) mRNA and Arc and c-Fos protein expression was detected in RSP from fear-conditioned rats compared with all other groups. In Experiment 2, retrograde tracing combined with immunohistochemistry revealed that, compared with controls, a significant proportion of cells projecting from RSP to POR were immunopositive for c-Fos in fear-conditioned rats. These results demonstrate that neurons projecting from RSP to POR are indeed active during fear conditioning. In Experiment 3, a functional disconnection paradigm was used to further examine the interaction between RSP and POR during fear conditioning. Compared with controls, rats with unilateral lesions of RSP and POR on opposite sides of the brain exhibited impaired contextual fear memory, whereas rats with unilateral lesions in the same hemisphere displayed intermediate levels of freezing compared with controls and rats with contralateral lesions. Collectively, these results are the first to show that RSP and POR function as a cortical network necessary for contextual fear learning and memory.

  3. Impaired contextual modulation of memories in PTSD: an fMRI and psychophysiological study of extinction retention and fear renewal.

    PubMed

    Garfinkel, Sarah N; Abelson, James L; King, Anthony P; Sripada, Rebecca K; Wang, Xin; Gaines, Laura M; Liberzon, Israel

    2014-10-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients display pervasive fear memories, expressed indiscriminately. Proposed mechanisms include enhanced fear learning and impaired extinction or extinction recall. Documented extinction recall deficits and failure to use safety signals could result from general failure to use contextual information, a hippocampus-dependent process. This can be probed by adding a renewal phase to standard conditioning and extinction paradigms. Human subjects with PTSD and combat controls were conditioned (skin conductance response), extinguished, and tested for extinction retention and renewal in a scanner (fMRI). Fear conditioning (light paired with shock) occurred in one context, followed by extinction in another, to create danger and safety contexts. The next day, the extinguished conditioned stimulus (CS+E) was re-presented to assess extinction recall (safety context) and fear renewal (danger context). PTSD patients showed impaired extinction recall, with increased skin conductance and heightened amygdala activity to the extinguished CS+ in the safety context. However, they also showed impaired fear renewal; in the danger context, they had less skin conductance response to CS+E and lower activity in amygdala and ventral-medial prefrontal cortex compared with combat controls. Control subjects displayed appropriate contextual modulation of memory recall, with extinction (safety) memory prevailing in the safety context, and fear memory prevailing in the danger context. PTSD patients could not use safety context to sustain suppression of extinguished fear memory, but they also less effectively used danger context to enhance fear. They did not display globally enhanced fear expression, but rather showed a globally diminished capacity to use contextual information to modulate fear expression.

  4. Dorsal hippocampus involvement in trace fear conditioning with long, but not short, trace intervals in mice.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Najwa; Quinn, Jennifer J; Fanselow, Michael S

    2005-10-01

    Placing a "trace" interval between a warning signal and an aversive shock makes consolidation of the memory for trace conditioning hippocampus dependent. To determine the trace at which memory consolidation requires the hippocampus, mice were trained with 0-s, 1-s, 3-s, or 20-s trace intervals and tested for freezing to context and tone. Posttraining dorsal hippocampus (DH) lesions decreased context conditioning regardless of trace interval. However, DH lesions attenuated only the 20-s trace tone freezing. Like eyeblink conditioning, the DH is necessary for trace fear conditioning only at long trace intervals, but the time scale for the effective interval in fear conditioning is about 40 times longer. Manipulations that alter trace fear conditioning with short trace intervals probably do not reflect altered DH function. Given this difference in time scale along with the use of posttraining DH lesions, hippocampus dependency of trace conditioning is not related to a bridging function or response timing.

  5. Asymmetrical Stimulus Generalization following Differential Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Bang, Sun Jung; Allen, Timothy A.; Jones, Lauren K.; Boguszewski, Pawel; Brown, Thomas H.

    2008-01-01

    Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are ethologically critical social signals. Rats emit 22 kHz USVs and 50 kHz USVs, respectively, in conjunction with negative and positive affective states. Little is known about what controls emotional reactivity to these social signals. Using male Sprague-Dawley rats, we examined unconditional and conditional freezing behavior in response to the following auditory stimuli: three 22 kHz USVs, a discontinuous tone whose frequency and on-off pattern matched one of the USVs, a continuous tone with the same or lower frequencies, a 4 kHz discontinuous tone with an on-off pattern matched to one of the USVs, and a 50 kHz USV. There were no differences among these stimuli in terms of the unconditional elicitation of freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally neutral before conditioning. During differential fear conditioning, one of these stimuli (the CS+) always co-terminated with a footshock unconditional stimulus (US) and another stimulus (the CS−) was explicitly unpaired with the US. There were no significant differences among these cues in CS+-elicited freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally salient or effective as cues in supporting fear conditioning. When the CS+ was a 22 kHz USV or a similar stimulus, rats discriminated based on the principal frequency and/or the temporal pattern of the stimulus. However, when these same stimuli served as the CS−, discrimination failed due to generalization from the CS+. Thus, the stimuli differed markedly in the specificity of conditioning. This strikingly asymmetrical stimulus generalization is a novel bias in discrimination. PMID:18434217

  6. Asymmetrical stimulus generalization following differential fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Bang, Sun Jung; Allen, Timothy A; Jones, Lauren K; Boguszewski, Pawel; Brown, Thomas H

    2008-07-01

    Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are ethologically critical social signals. Rats emit 22kHz USVs and 50kHz USVs, respectively, in conjunction with negative and positive affective states. Little is known about what controls emotional reactivity to these social signals. Using male Sprague-Dawley rats, we examined unconditional and conditional freezing behavior in response to the following auditory stimuli: three 22kHz USVs, a discontinuous tone whose frequency and on-off pattern matched one of the USVs, a continuous tone with the same or lower frequencies, a 4kHz discontinuous tone with an on-off pattern matched to one of the USVs, and a 50kHz USV. There were no differences among these stimuli in terms of the unconditional elicitation of freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally neutral before conditioning. During differential fear conditioning, one of these stimuli (the CS(+)) always co-terminated with a footshock unconditional stimulus (US) and another stimulus (the CS(-)) was explicitly unpaired with the US. There were no significant differences among these cues in CS(+)-elicited freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally salient or effective as cues in supporting fear conditioning. When the CS(+) was a 22kHz USV or a similar stimulus, rats discriminated based on the principal frequency and/or the temporal pattern of the stimulus. However, when these same stimuli served as the CS(-), discrimination failed due to generalization from the CS(+). Thus, the stimuli differed markedly in the specificity of conditioning. This strikingly asymmetrical stimulus generalization is a novel bias in discrimination.

  7. On the transition from reconsolidation to extinction of contextual fear memories

    PubMed Central

    Flavell, Charlotte R.; Lee, Jonathan L.C.

    2017-01-01

    Retrieval of an associative memory can lead to different phenomena. Brief reexposure sessions tend to trigger reconsolidation, whereas more extended ones trigger extinction. In appetitive and fear cued Pavlovian memories, an intermediate “null point” period has been observed where neither process seems to be engaged. Here we investigated whether this phenomenon extends to contextual fear memory. Adult rats were subjected to a contextual fear conditioning paradigm, reexposed to the context 2 d later for 3, 5, 10, 20, or 30 min, with immediate injections of MK-801 or saline following reexposure, and tested on the following day. We observed a significant effect of MK-801 with the 3- and 30-min sessions, impairing reconsolidation and extinction, respectively. However, it did not have significant effects with 5-, 10-, or 20-min sessions, even though freezing decreased from reexposure to test. Further analyses indicated that this is not likely to be due to a variable transition point at the population level. In conclusion, the results show that in contextual fear memories there is a genuine “null point” between the parameters that induce reconsolidation and extinction, as defined by the effects of MK-801, although NMDA receptor-independent decreases in freezing can still occur in these conditions. PMID:28814464

  8. On the transition from reconsolidation to extinction of contextual fear memories.

    PubMed

    Cassini, Lindsey F; Flavell, Charlotte R; Amaral, Olavo B; Lee, Jonathan L C

    2017-09-01

    Retrieval of an associative memory can lead to different phenomena. Brief reexposure sessions tend to trigger reconsolidation, whereas more extended ones trigger extinction. In appetitive and fear cued Pavlovian memories, an intermediate "null point" period has been observed where neither process seems to be engaged. Here we investigated whether this phenomenon extends to contextual fear memory. Adult rats were subjected to a contextual fear conditioning paradigm, reexposed to the context 2 d later for 3, 5, 10, 20, or 30 min, with immediate injections of MK-801 or saline following reexposure, and tested on the following day. We observed a significant effect of MK-801 with the 3- and 30-min sessions, impairing reconsolidation and extinction, respectively. However, it did not have significant effects with 5-, 10-, or 20-min sessions, even though freezing decreased from reexposure to test. Further analyses indicated that this is not likely to be due to a variable transition point at the population level. In conclusion, the results show that in contextual fear memories there is a genuine "null point" between the parameters that induce reconsolidation and extinction, as defined by the effects of MK-801, although NMDA receptor-independent decreases in freezing can still occur in these conditions. © 2017 Cassini et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  9. NMDA receptor- and ERK-dependent histone methylation changes in the lateral amygdala bidirectionally regulate fear memory formation

    PubMed Central

    Gupta-Agarwal, Swati; Jarome, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Jordan; Lubin, Farah D.

    2014-01-01

    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 consolidation. Here we found increases in histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) levels in the LA at 1 h following auditory fear conditioning, which continued to be temporally regulated up to 25 h following behavioral training. Additionally, we demonstrate that inhibiting the H3K9me2 histone lysine methyltransferase G9a (H/KMTs-G9a) in the LA impaired fear memory, while blocking the H3K9me2 histone lysine demethylase LSD1 (H/KDM-LSD1) enhanced fear memory, suggesting that H3K9me2 in the LA can bidirectionally regulate fear memory formation. Furthermore, we show that NMDAR activity differentially regulated the recruitment of H/KMT-G9a, H/KDM-LSD1, and subsequent H3K9me2 levels at a target gene promoter. This was largely regulated by GluN2B- but not GluN2A-containing NMDARs via ERK activation. Moreover, fear memory deficits associated with NMDAR or ERK blockade were successfully rescued through pharmacologically inhibiting LSD1, suggesting that enhancements of H3K9me2 levels within the LA can rescue fear memory impairments that result from hypofunctioning NMDARs or loss of ERK signaling. Together, the present study suggests that histone lysine methylation regulation in the LA via NMDAR-ERK-dependent signaling is involved in fear memory formation. PMID:24939839

  10. Prior chronic nicotine impairs cued fear extinction but enhances contextual fear conditioning in rats.

    PubMed

    Tian, S; Gao, J; Han, L; Fu, J; Li, C; Li, Z

    2008-06-02

    Clinical observations have shown a link for the high comorbid rate between smoking and psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders. However, little is known about the neural mechanism underlying the progression from nicotine dependence to an anxiety disorder. A deficit in fear extinction in general is considered to contribute to anxiety disorders. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of chronic nicotine on fear extinction in rats. Rats were administrated s.c. nicotine twice per day for 14 days. Two weeks after the last injection rats received a cued or contextual fear conditioning session. Twenty-four hours and 48 h after conditioning, rats received an extinction training session and an extinction test session, respectively. Percent freezing was assessed during all phases of training. In the cued task, prior chronic nicotine did not affect the acquisition of fear response or the within-session fear extinction, but impaired the between-session fear extinction. In the contextual task, the same nicotine treatment schedule did not affect the acquisition of fear response or the within- and between-session fear extinction, but enhanced the retention of fear conditioning. This prior chronic nicotine-induced deficit in cued fear extinction and/or enhanced fear to context may be one of the critical components that contribute to the progression from nicotine dependence to an anxiety disorder.

  11. Fear conditioning and extinction in anxious and nonanxious youth and adults: examining a novel developmentally appropriate fear-conditioning task.

    PubMed

    Shechner, Tomer; Britton, Jennifer C; Ronkin, Emily G; Jarcho, Johanna M; Mash, Jamie A; Michalska, Kalina J; Leibenluft, Ellen; Pine, Daniel S

    2015-04-01

    Fear conditioning and extinction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. However, due to ethical and methodological limitations, few studies have examined these learning processes across development, particularly among anxious individuals. The present study examined differences in fear conditioning and extinction in anxious and nonanxious youth and adults using a novel task designed to be more tolerable for children than existing paradigms. Twenty-two anxious adults, 15 anxious youth, 30 healthy adults, and 17 healthy youth completed two discriminative fear-conditioning tasks. A well-validated task paired a woman's fearful face with a scream as the unconditioned stimulus. The novel task paired a bell with an aversive alarm as the unconditioned stimulus. Self-reported fear, skin conductance response, and fear-potentiated startle eye blink were measured. Both tasks were well tolerated and elicited fear responses with moderate stability. Anxious youth and adults reported overall greater fear than healthy participants during the tasks, although no group differences occurred in discriminative fear conditioning or extinction, as assessed by self-report or physiology. The novel bell-conditioning task is potent in eliciting fear responses but tolerable for pediatric and anxious populations. Our findings are consistent with prior studies that have shown comparable fear learning processes in anxious and nonanxious youth, but dissimilar from studies exhibiting between-group differences in extinction. Given the limited research on fear conditioning in youth, methodological issues and suggestions for future work are discussed. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Neural mechanisms of human temporal fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Harnett, Nathaniel G; Shumen, Joshua R; Wagle, Pooja A; Wood, Kimberly H; Wheelock, Muriah D; Baños, James H; Knight, David C

    2016-12-01

    Learning the temporal relationship between a warning cue (conditioned stimulus; CS) and aversive threat (unconditioned stimulus; UCS) is an important aspect of Pavlovian conditioning. Although prior functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has identified brain regions that support Pavlovian conditioning, it remains unclear whether these regions support time-related processes important for this type of associative learning. Elucidating the neural substrates of temporal conditioning is important for a complete understanding of the Pavlovian conditioning process. Therefore, the present study used a temporal Pavlovian conditioning procedure to investigate brain activity that mediates the formation of temporal associations. During fMRI, twenty-three healthy volunteers completed a temporal conditioning procedure and a control task that does not support conditioning. Specifically, during the temporal conditioning procedure, the UCS was presented at fixed intervals (ITI: 20s) while in the control condition the UCS was presented at random intervals (Average ITI: 20s, ITI Range: 6-34s). We observed greater skin conductance responses and expectancy of the UCS during fixed (i.e., temporal conditioning) relative to random (i.e., control procedure) interval trials. These findings demonstrate fixed trials support temporal conditioning, while random trials do not. During fixed interval trials, greater conditioned fMRI signal responses were observed within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, inferior and middle temporal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. The current findings suggest these brain regions constitute a neural circuit that encodes the temporal information necessary for Pavlovian fear conditioning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Can Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Augment Extinction of Conditioned Fear?

    PubMed Central

    van ’t Wout, Mascha; Mariano, Timothy Y.; Garnaat, Sarah L.; Reddy, Madhavi K.; Rasmussen, Steven A.; Greenberg, Benjamin D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Exposure-based therapy parallels extinction learning of conditioned fear. Prior research points to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as a potential site for the consolidation of extinction learning and subsequent retention of extinction memory. Objective/hypothesis The present study aimed to evaluate whether the application of non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during extinction learning enhances late extinction and early recall in human participants. Methods Forty-four healthy volunteers completed a 2-day Pavlovian fear conditioning, extinction, and recall paradigm while skin conductance activity was continuously measured. Twenty-six participants received 2 mA anodal tDCS over EEG coordinate AF3 during extinction of a first conditioned stimulus. The remaining 18 participants received similar tDCS during extinction of a second conditioned stimulus. Sham stimulation was applied for the balance of extinction trials in both groups. Normalized skin conductance changes were analyzed using linear mixed models to evaluate effects of tDCS over late extinction and early recall trials. Results We observed a significant interaction between timing of tDCS during extinction blocks and changes in skin conductance reactivity over late extinction trials. These data indicate that tDCS was associated with accelerated late extinction learning of a second conditioned stimulus after tDCS was combined with extinction learning of a previous conditioned stimulus. No significant effects of tDCS timing were observed on early extinction recall. Conclusions Results could be explained by an anxiolytic aftereffect of tDCS and extend previous studies on tDCS-induced modulation of fear and threat related learning processes. These findings support further exploration of the clinical use of tDCS. PMID:27037186

  14. Can Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Augment Extinction of Conditioned Fear?

    PubMed

    van 't Wout, Mascha; Mariano, Timothy Y; Garnaat, Sarah L; Reddy, Madhavi K; Rasmussen, Steven A; Greenberg, Benjamin D

    2016-01-01

    Exposure-based therapy parallels extinction learning of conditioned fear. Prior research points to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex as a potential site for the consolidation of extinction learning and subsequent retention of extinction memory. The present study aimed to evaluate whether the application of non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during extinction learning enhances late extinction and early recall in human participants. Forty-four healthy volunteers completed a 2-day Pavlovian fear conditioning, extinction, and recall paradigm while skin conductance activity was continuously measured. Twenty-six participants received 2 mA anodal tDCS over EEG coordinate AF3 during extinction of a first conditioned stimulus. The remaining 18 participants received similar tDCS during extinction of a second conditioned stimulus. Sham stimulation was applied for the balance of extinction trials in both groups. Normalized skin conductance changes were analyzed using linear mixed models to evaluate effects of tDCS over late extinction and early recall trials. We observed a significant interaction between timing of tDCS during extinction blocks and changes in skin conductance reactivity over late extinction trials. These data indicate that tDCS was associated with accelerated late extinction learning of a second conditioned stimulus after tDCS was combined with extinction learning of a previous conditioned stimulus. No significant effects of tDCS timing were observed on early extinction recall. Results could be explained by an anxiolytic aftereffect of tDCS and extend previous studies on tDCS-induced modulation of fear and threat related learning processes. These findings support further exploration of the clinical use of tDCS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Role of the amygdala GABA-A receptors in ACPA-induced deficits during conditioned fear learning.

    PubMed

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Roghani, Farnaz; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-04-04

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a key structure for the emotional processing and storage of memories associated with emotional events, especially fear. On the other hand, endocannabinoids and CB1 receptors play a key role in learning and memory partly through long-term synaptic depression of GABAergic synapses in the BLA. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of GABA-A receptor agonist and antagonist in the fear-related memory acquisition deficits induced by ACPA (a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist). This study used context and tone fear conditioning paradigms to assess fear-related memory in male NMRI mice. Our results showed that the pre-training intraperitoneal administration of ACPA (0.5mg/kg) or (0.1 and 0.5mg/kg) decreased the percentage of freezing time in the contextual and tone fear conditioning, respectively. This indicated an impaired context- or tone-dependent fear memory acquisition. Moreover, the pre-training intra-BLA microinjection of GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol, at 0.05 and 0.5μg/mouse impaired context-dependent fear memory, while the same doses of GABA-A antagonist, bicuculline, impaired tone-dependent fear memory. However, a subthreshold dose of muscimol or bicuculline increased the effect of ACPA at 0.1 and 0.5 or 0.05mg/kg on context- or tone-dependent fear memory, respectively. In addition, bicuculline at the lower dose increased the ACPA response on locomotor activity compared to its respective group. Such findings highlighted an interaction between BLA GABAergic and cannabinoidergic systems during the acquisition phase of conditioned fear memories.

  16. Conditioned fear is modulated by CRF mechanisms in the periaqueductal gray columns.

    PubMed

    Borelli, Karina G; Albrechet-Souza, Lucas; Fedoce, Alessandra G; Fabri, Denise S; Resstel, Leonardo B; Brandão, Marcus L

    2013-05-01

    The periaqueductal gray (PAG) columns have been implicated in controlling stress responses through corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which is a neuropeptide with a prominent role in the etiology of fear- and anxiety-related psychopathologies. Several studies have investigated the involvement of dorsal PAG (dPAG) CRF mechanisms in models of unconditioned fear. However, less is known about the role of this neurotransmission in the expression of conditioned fear memories in the dPAG and ventrolateral PAG (vlPAG) columns. We assessed the effects of ovine CRF (oCRF 0.25 and 1.0 μg/0.2 μL) locally administered into the dPAG and vlPAG on behavioral (fear-potentiated startle and freezing) and autonomic (arterial pressure and heart rate) responses in rats subjected to contextual fear conditioning. The lower dose injected into the columns promoted proaversive effects, enhanced contextual freezing, increased the blood pressure and heart rate and decreased tail temperature. The lower dose of oCRF into the vlPAG, but not into the dPAG, produced a pronounced enhancement of the fear-potentiated startle response. The results imply that the PAG is a heterogeneous structure that is involved in the coordination of distinct behaviors and autonomic control, suggest PAG involvement in the expression of contextual fear memory as well as implicate the CRF as an important modulator of the neural substrates of fear in the PAG.

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Aubry, Antonio V.; Serrano, Peter A.; Burghardt, Nesha S.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27818625

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala.

    PubMed

    Aubry, Antonio V; Serrano, Peter A; Burghardt, Nesha S

    2016-01-01

    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.

  19. Nonassociative learning processes determine expression and extinction of conditioned fear in mice.

    PubMed

    Kamprath, Kornelia; Wotjak, Carsten T

    2004-01-01

    Freezing to a tone following auditory fear conditioning is commonly considered as a measure of the strength of the tone-shock association. The decrease in freezing on repeated nonreinforced tone presentation following conditioning, in turn, is attributed to the formation of an inhibitory association between tone and shock that leads to a suppression of the expression of fear. This study challenges these concepts for auditory fear conditioning in mice. We show that acquisition of conditioned fear by a few tone-shock pairings is accompanied by a nonassociative sensitization process. As a consequence, the freezing response of conditioned mice seems to be determined by both associative and nonassociative memory components. Our data suggest that the intensity of freezing as a function of footshock intensity is primarily determined by the nonassociative component, whereas the associative component is more or less categorical. We next demonstrate that the decrease in freezing on repeated nonreinforced tone presentation following conditioning shows fundamental properties of habituation. Thus, it might be regarded as a habituation-like process, which abolishes the influence of sensitization on the freezing response to the tone without affecting the expression of the associative memory component. Taken together, this study merges the dual-process theory of habituation with the concept of classical fear conditioning and demonstrates that sensitization and habituation as two nonassociative learning processes may critically determine the expression of conditioned fear in mice.

  20. Maintenance of GABAergic activity by neuregulin 1-ErbB4 in amygdala for fear memory.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yisheng; Sun, Xiang-Dong; Hou, Feng-Qing; Bi, Lin-Lin; Yin, Dong-Min; Liu, Fang; Chen, Yong-Jun; Bean, Jonathan C; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Liu, Xihui; Li, Bao-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Gao, Tian-Ming; Mei, Lin

    2014-11-19

    Inhibitory neurotransmission in amygdala is important for fear learning and memory. However, mechanisms that control the inhibitory activity in amygdala are not well understood. We provide evidence that neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and its receptor ErbB4 tyrosine kinase are critical for maintaining GABAergic activity in amygdala. Neutralizing endogenous NRG1, inhibition, or genetic ablation of ErbB4, which was expressed in a majority of palvalbumin (PV)+ neurons in amygdala, reduced GABAergic transmission and inhibited tone-cued fear conditioning. Specific ablation of ErbB4 in PV+ neurons reduced eIPSC/eEPSC ratios and impaired fear conditioning. Notably, expression of ErbB4 in amygdala was sufficient to diminish synaptic dysfunction and fear conditioning deficits in PV-ErbB4-/- mice. These observations indicated that NRG1 signaling maintains high GABAergic activity in amygdala and, thus, regulates fear memory. Considering that both NRG1 and ErbB4 are susceptibility genes of schizophrenia, our study sheds light on potential pathophysiological mechanisms of this disorder.

  1. Long-term changes in the CA3 associative network of fear-conditioned mice.

    PubMed

    Çalışkan, Gürsel; Albrecht, Anne; Hollnagel, Jan O; Rösler, Anton; Richter-Levin, Gal; Heinemann, Uwe; Stork, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    The CA3 associative network plays a critical role in the generation of network activity patterns related to emotional state and fear memory. We investigated long-term changes in the corticosterone (CORT)-sensitive function of this network following fear conditioning and fear memory reactivation. In acute slice preparations from mice trained in either condition, the ratio of orthodromic population spike (PS) to antidromic PS was reduced compared to unconditioned animals, indicating a decrease in efficacy of neuronal coupling within the associative CA3 network. However, spontaneous sharp wave-ripples (SW-R), which are thought to arise from this network, remained unaltered. Following CORT application, we observed an increase in orthodromic PS and a normalization to control levels of their ratio to antidromic PS, while SW-R increased in slices of fear conditioned and fear reactivated mice, but not in slices of unconditioned controls. Together with our previous observations of altered hippocampal gamma activity under these learning paradigms, these data suggest that fear conditioning and fear reactivation lastingly alters the CORT-sensitive configuration of different network activity patterns generated by the CA3 associational network. Observed changes in the mRNA expression of receptors for glutamate, GABA and cannabinoids in the stratum pyramidale of area CA3 may provide a molecular mechanism for these adaptive changes.

  2. The central nucleus of the amygdala is essential for acquiring and expressing conditional fear after overtraining.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, Joshua M; Rabinak, Christine A; McLachlan, Ian G; Maren, Stephen

    2007-09-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) is critical for the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats. Nonetheless, rats with neurotoxic BLA lesions can acquire conditional fear after overtraining (75 trials). The capacity of rats with BLA lesions to acquire fear memory may be mediated by the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA). To examine this issue, we examined the influence of neurotoxic CEA lesions or reversible inactivation of the CEA on the acquisition and expression of conditional freezing after overtraining in rats. Rats with pretraining CEA lesions (whether alone or in combination with BLA lesions) did not acquire conditional freezing to either the conditioning context or an auditory conditional stimulus after extensive overtraining. Similarly, post-training lesions of the CEA or BLA prevented the expression of overtrained fear. Lastly, muscimol infusions into the CEA prevented both the acquisition and the expression of overtrained fear, demonstrating that the effects of CEA lesions are not likely due to the destruction of en passant axons. These results suggest that the CEA is essential for conditional freezing after Pavlovian fear conditioning. Moreover, overtraining may engage a compensatory fear conditioning circuit involving the CEA in animals with damage to the BLA.

  3. The NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Pathway Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Fear Memory Consolidation in the Lateral Amygdala via Activation of ERK/MAP Kinase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ota, Kristie T.; Pierre, Vicki J.; Ploski, Jonathan E.; Queen, Kaila; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) signaling plays a crucial role in memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and in synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA). In the present experiments, we examined the role of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), a downstream effector of NO, in fear memory consolidation and…

  4. The NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Pathway Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Fear Memory Consolidation in the Lateral Amygdala via Activation of ERK/MAP Kinase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ota, Kristie T.; Pierre, Vicki J.; Ploski, Jonathan E.; Queen, Kaila; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) signaling plays a crucial role in memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and in synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA). In the present experiments, we examined the role of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), a downstream effector of NO, in fear memory consolidation and…

  5. Presynaptic Excitation via GABAB Receptors in Habenula Cholinergic Neurons Regulates Fear Memory Expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Juen; Tan, Lubin; Ren, Yuqi; Liang, Jingwen; Lin, Rui; Feng, Qiru; Zhou, Jingfeng; Hu, Fei; Ren, Jing; Wei, Chao; Yu, Tao; Zhuang, Yinghua; Bettler, Bernhard; Wang, Fengchao; Luo, Minmin

    2016-07-28

    Fear behaviors are regulated by adaptive mechanisms that dampen their expression in the absence of danger. By studying circuits and the molecular mechanisms underlying this adaptive response, we show that cholinergic neurons of the medial habenula reduce fear memory expression through GABAB presynaptic excitation. Ablating these neurons or inactivating their GABAB receptors impairs fear extinction in mice, whereas activating the neurons or their axonal GABAB receptors reduces conditioned fear. Although considered exclusively inhibitory, here, GABAB mediates excitation by amplifying presynaptic Ca(2+) entry through Cav2.3 channels and potentiating co-release of glutamate, acetylcholine, and neurokinin B to excite interpeduncular neurons. Activating the receptors for these neurotransmitters or enhancing neurotransmission with a phosphodiesterase inhibitor reduces fear responses of both wild-type and GABAB mutant mice. We identify the role of an extra-amygdalar circuit and presynaptic GABAB receptors in fear control, suggesting that boosting neurotransmission in this pathway might ameliorate some fear disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Role of Muscarinic and Nicotinic Cholinergic Neurotransmission in Aversive Conditioning: Comparing Pavlovian Fear Conditioning and Inhibitory Avoidance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tinsley, Matthew R.; Quinn, Jennifer J.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2004-01-01

    Aversive conditioning is an ideal model for studying cholinergic effects on the processes of learning and memory for several reasons. First, deficits produced by selective lesions of the anatomical structures shown to be critical for Pavlovian fear conditioning and inhibitory avoidance (such as the amygdala and hippocampus) resemble those deficits…

  7. The Role of Muscarinic and Nicotinic Cholinergic Neurotransmission in Aversive Conditioning: Comparing Pavlovian Fear Conditioning and Inhibitory Avoidance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tinsley, Matthew R.; Quinn, Jennifer J.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2004-01-01

    Aversive conditioning is an ideal model for studying cholinergic effects on the processes of learning and memory for several reasons. First, deficits produced by selective lesions of the anatomical structures shown to be critical for Pavlovian fear conditioning and inhibitory avoidance (such as the amygdala and hippocampus) resemble those deficits…

  8. The Acquisition and Extinction of Fear of Painful Touch: a Novel Tactile Fear Conditioning Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Biggs, Emma E; Meulders, Ann; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, Rainer; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2017-08-22

    Fear of touch, due to allodynia and spontaneous pain, is not well-understood. Experimental methods to advance this topic are lacking, and therefore we propose a novel tactile conditioning paradigm. Seventy-six pain-free participants underwent acquisition in both a predictable and unpredictable pain context. In the predictable context, vibrotactile stimulation was paired with painful electrocutaneous stimulation (simulating allodynia). In the unpredictable context, vibrotactile stimulation was unpaired with pain (simulating spontaneous pain). During an extinction phase, a cue exposure and context exposure group continued in the predictable and unpredictable context, respectively, without pain. A control group received continued acquisition in both contexts. Self-reported fear and skin conductance responses (SCRs), but not startle responses, showed fear of touch was acquired in the predictable context. Context-related startle responses showed contextual fear emerged in the unpredictable context, together with elevated self-reported fear and SCRs evoked by the unpaired vibrotactile stimulations. Cue exposure reduced fear of touch, whilst context exposure reduced contextual fear. Thus, painful touch leads to increased fear, as does touch in the same context as unpredictable pain, and extinction protocols can reduce this fear. We conclude that tactile conditioning is valuable for investigating fear of touch and can advance our understanding of chronic pain. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Thalamocortical interactions underlying visual fear conditioning in humans.

    PubMed

    Lithari, Chrysa; Moratti, Stephan; Weisz, Nathan

    2015-11-01

    Despite a strong focus on the role of the amygdala in fear conditioning, recent works point to a more distributed network supporting fear conditioning. We aimed to elucidate interactions between subcortical and cortical regions in fear conditioning in humans. To do this, we used two fearful faces as conditioned stimuli (CS) and an electrical stimulation at the left hand, paired with one of the CS, as unconditioned stimulus (US). The luminance of the CS was rhythmically modulated leading to "entrainment" of brain oscillations at a predefined modulation frequency. Steady-state responses (SSR) were recorded by MEG. In addition to occipital regions, spectral analysis of SSR revealed increased power during fear conditioning particularly for thalamus and cerebellum contralateral to the upcoming US. Using thalamus and amygdala as seed-regions, directed functional connectivity was calculated to capture the modulation of interactions that underlie fear conditioning. Importantly, this analysis showed that the thalamus drives the fusiform area during fear conditioning, while amygdala captures the more general effect of fearful faces perception. This study confirms ideas from the animal literature, and demonstrates for the first time the central role of the thalamus in fear conditioning in humans.

  10. Versatility of fear-potentiated startle paradigms for assessing human conditioned fear extinction and return of fear.

    PubMed

    Norrholm, Seth D; Anderson, Kemp M; Olin, Ilana W; Jovanovic, Tanja; Kwon, Cliffe; Warren, Victor T; McCarthy, Alexander; Bosshardt, Lauren; Sabree, Justin; Duncan, Erica J; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Bradley, Bekh

    2011-01-01

    Fear conditioning methodologies have often been employed as testable models for assessing learned fear responses in individuals with anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and specific phobia. One frequently used paradigm is measurement of the acoustic startle reflex under conditions that mimic anxiogenic and fear-related conditions. For example, fear-potentiated startle is the relative increase in the frequency or magnitude of the acoustic startle reflex in the presence of a previously neutral cue (e.g., colored shape; termed the conditioned stimulus or CS+) that has been repeatedly paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (e.g., airblast to the larynx). Our group has recently used fear-potentiated startle paradigms to demonstrate impaired fear extinction in civilian and combat populations with PTSD. In the current study, we examined the use of either auditory or visual CSs in a fear extinction protocol that we have validated and applied to human clinical conditions. This represents an important translational bridge in that numerous animal studies of fear extinction, upon which much of the human work is based, have employed the use of auditory CSs as opposed to visual CSs. Participants in both the auditory and visual groups displayed robust fear-potentiated startle to the CS+, clear discrimination between the reinforced CS+ and non-reinforced CS-, significant extinction to the previously reinforced CS+, and marked spontaneous recovery. We discuss the current results as they relate to future investigations of PTSD-related impairments in fear processing in populations with diverse medical and psychiatric histories.

  11. Computational search for hypotheses concerning the endocannabinoid contribution to the extinction of fear conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Anastasio, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Fear conditioning, in which a cue is conditioned to elicit a fear response, and extinction, in which a previously conditioned cue no longer elicits a fear response, depend on neural plasticity occurring within the amygdala. Projection neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) learn to respond to the cue during fear conditioning, and they mediate fear responding by transferring cue signals to the output stage of the amygdala. Some BLA projection neurons retain their cue responses after extinction. Recent work shows that activation of the endocannabinoid system is necessary for extinction, and it leads to long-term depression (LTD) of the GABAergic synapses that inhibitory interneurons make onto BLA projection neurons. Such GABAergic LTD would enhance the responses of the BLA projection neurons that mediate fear responding, so it would seem to oppose, rather than promote, extinction. To address this paradox, a computational analysis of two well-known conceptual models of amygdaloid plasticity was undertaken. The analysis employed exhaustive state-space search conducted within a declarative programming environment. The analysis reveals that GABAergic LTD actually increases the number of synaptic strength configurations that achieve extinction while preserving the cue responses of some BLA projection neurons in both models. The results suggest that GABAergic LTD helps the amygdala retain cue memory during extinction even as the amygdala learns to suppress the previously conditioned response. The analysis also reveals which features of both models are essential for their ability to achieve extinction with some cue memory preservation, and suggests experimental tests of those features. PMID:23761759

  12. Transient acidosis while retrieving a fear-related memory enhances its lability

    PubMed Central

    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

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. Dissociable Roles of Prelimbic and Infralimbic Cortices, Ventral Hippocampus, and Basolateral Amygdala in the Expression and Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    PubMed Central

    Sierra-Mercado, Demetrio; Padilla-Coreano, Nancy; Quirk, Gregory J

    2011-01-01

    Current models of conditioned fear expression and extinction involve the basolateral amygdala (BLA), ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and the hippocampus (HPC). There is some disagreement with respect to the specific roles of these structures, perhaps due to subregional differences within each area. For example, growing evidence suggests that infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) subregions of vmPFC have opposite influences on fear expression. Moreover, it is the ventral HPC (vHPC), rather than the dorsal HPC, that projects to vmPFC and BLA. To help determine regional specificity, we used small doses of the GABAA agonist muscimol to selectively inactivate IL, PL, BLA, or vHPC in an auditory fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Infusions were performed prior to extinction training, allowing us to assess the effects on both fear expression and subsequent extinction memory. Inactivation of IL had no effect on fear expression, but impaired the within-session acquisition of extinction as well as extinction memory. In contrast, inactivation of PL impaired fear expression, but had no effect on extinction memory. Inactivation of the BLA or vHPC impaired both fear expression and extinction memory. Post-extinction inactivations had no effect in any structure. We suggest a model in which amygdala-dependent fear expression is modulated by inputs from PL and vHPC, whereas extinction memory requires extinction-induced plasticity in IL, BLA, and/or vHPC. PMID:20962768

  14. A time-dependent role of midline thalamic nuclei in the retrieval of fear memory

    PubMed Central

    Padilla-Coreano, Nancy; Do-Monte, Fabricio H.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2011-01-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the amygdala mediate expression and extinction of conditioned fear, but few studies have examined the inputs to these structures. The dorsal part of the midline thalamus (dMT) contains structures such as the mediodorsal nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, and paratenial nucleus that project prominently to mPFC, as well as to basal (BA) and central (Ce) nuclei of the amygdala. Using temporary inactivation with GABA agonist muscimol, we found that dMT was necessary for retrieving auditory fear memory that was 24 h old, but not 2-8 h old. However, pre-training infusions did not impair fear acquisition or extinction. To determine the possible targets of dMT that might modulate fear retrieval, we combined dMT inactivation with Fos immunohistochemistry. Rats with inactivation-induced impairment showed increased Fos in the lateral division of Ce (CeL), and decreased Fos in the medial division of Ce. No differences in Fos expression were observed in the mPFC or BA. We suggest that the projections from the paraventricular nucleus to CeL are involved in retrieval of well consolidated fear memories. Paré PMID:21903111

  15. Harnessing reconsolidation to weaken fear and appetitive memories: A meta-analysis of post-retrieval extinction effects.

    PubMed

    Kredlow, M Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D; Otto, Michael W

    2016-03-01

    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.

  16. Harnessing Reconsolidation to Weaken Fear and Appetitive Memories: A Meta-Analysis of Post-Retrieval Extinction Effects

    PubMed Central

    Kredlow, M. Alexandra; Unger, Leslie D.; Otto, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. The cannabinoid system in the retrosplenial cortex modulates fear memory consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction.

    PubMed

    Sachser, Ricardo Marcelo; Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto; Mello E Souza, Tadeu; de Oliveira Alvares, Lucas

    2015-12-01

    Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251 impaired, and the agonist CP55940 improved, long-term memory consolidation. Additionally, a post-reactivation infusion of AM251 enhanced memory reconsolidation, while CP55940 had the opposite effect. Finally, AM251 blocked extinction, whereas CP55940 facilitated it and maintained memory extinguished over time. Altogether, our data strongly suggest that the cannabinoid system of the RSC modulates emotional memory.

  18. The cannabinoid system in the retrosplenial cortex modulates fear memory consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction

    PubMed Central

    Sachser, Ricardo Marcelo; Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto; Mello e Souza, Tadeu

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251 impaired, and the agonist CP55940 improved, long-term memory consolidation. Additionally, a post-reactivation infusion of AM251 enhanced memory reconsolidation, while CP55940 had the opposite effect. Finally, AM251 blocked extinction, whereas CP55940 facilitated it and maintained memory extinguished over time. Altogether, our data strongly suggest that the cannabinoid system of the RSC modulates emotional memory. PMID:26572648

  19. Single dose of l-dopa makes extinction memories context-independent and prevents the return of fear

    PubMed Central

    Haaker, Jan; Gaburro, Stefano; Sah, Anupam; Gartmann, Nina; Lonsdorf, Tina B.; Meier, Kolja; Singewald, Nicolas; Pape, Hans-Christian; Morellini, Fabio; Kalisch, Raffael

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic events can engender persistent excessive fear responses to trauma reminders that may return even after successful treatment. Extinction, the laboratory analog of behavior therapy, does not erase conditioned fear memories but generates competing, fear-inhibitory “extinction memories” that, however, are tied to the context in which extinction occurred. Accordingly, a dominance of fear over extinction memory expression—and, thus, return of fear—is often observed if extinguished fear stimuli are encountered outside the extinction (therapy) context. We show that postextinction administration of the dopamine precursor l-dopa makes extinction memories context-independent, thus strongly reducing the return of fear in both mice and humans. Reduced fear is accompanied by decreased amygdala and enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation in both species. In humans, ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity is predicted by enhanced resting-state functional coupling of the area with the dopaminergic midbrain during the postextinction consolidation phase. Our data suggest that dopamine-dependent boosting of extinction memory consolidation is a promising avenue to improving anxiety therapy. PMID:23754384

  20. Role of the basolateral amygdala in the storage of fear memories across the adult lifetime of rats.

    PubMed

    Gale, Greg D; Anagnostaras, Stephan G; Godsil, Bill P; Mitchell, Shawn; Nozawa, Takashi; Sage, Jennifer R; Wiltgen, Brian; Fanselow, Michael S

    2004-04-14

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is intimately involved in the development of conditional fear. Converging lines of evidence support a role for this region in the storage of fear memory but do not rule out a time-limited role in the memory consolidation. To examine this issue, we assessed the stability of BLA contribution to fear memories acquired across the adult lifetime of rats. Fear conditioning consisted of 10 tone-shock pairings in one context (remote memory), followed 16 months later by 10 additional tone-shock pairings with a novel tone in a novel context (recent memory). Twenty-four hours after recent training, rats were given NMDA or sham lesions of the BLA. Contextual and tone freezing were independently assessed in individual test sessions. Sham-lesioned rats showed high and comparable levels of freezing across all context and tone tests. In contrast, BLA-lesioned rats displayed robust freezing deficits across both recent and remote tests. Subsequent open-field testing revealed no effects of BLA lesions on activity patterns in a dark open field or during bright light exposure. Lesioned rats were able to reacquire normal levels of context-specific freezing after an overtraining procedure (76 unsignaled shocks). Together, these findings indicate that BLA lesions do not disrupt freezing behavior by producing hyperactivity, an inability to suppress behavior, or an inability to freeze. Rather, the consistent pattern of freezing deficits at both training-to-lesion intervals supports a role for the BLA in the permanent storage of fear memory.

  1. Preclinical Models of Overwhelming Sepsis Implicate the Neural System that Encodes Contextual Fear Memory

    PubMed Central

    Huerta, Patricio T; Robbiati, Sergio; Huerta, Tomás S; Sabharwal, Anchal; Berlin, Roseann; Frankfurt, Maya; Volpe, Bruce T

    2016-01-01

    Long-term sepsis survivors sustain cryptic brain injury that leads to cognitive impairment, emotional imbalance and increased disability burden. Suitable animal models of sepsis, such as cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), have permitted the analysis of abnormal brain circuits that underlie post-septic behavioral phenotypes. For instance, we have previously shown that CLP-exposed mice exhibit impaired spatial memory together with depleted dendritic arbors and decreased spines in the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here we show that contextual fear conditioning, a form of associative memory for fear, is chronically disrupted in CLP mice when compared with sham-operated animals. We also find that excitatory neurons in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) and granule cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) display significantly fewer dendritic spines in the CLP group relative to the sham mice, although the dendritic arbors and gross morphology of the BLA and DG are comparable between the two groups. Moreover, the basal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are unaffected in CLP mice. Taken together, our data indicate that structural damage in the amygdalar-hippocampal network represents the neural substrate for impaired contextual fear memory in long-term sepsis survivors. Further, our data suggest that brain injury caused by overwhelming sepsis alters the stability of the synaptic connections involved in associative fear. These results likely have implications for the emotional imbalance observed in human sepsis survivors. PMID:27878209

  2. Preclinical models of overwhelming sepsis implicate the neural system that encodes contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Huerta, Patricio T; Robbiati, Sergio; Huerta, Tomás Salvador; Sabharwal, Anchal; Berlin, Rose A; Frankfurt, Maya; Volpe, Bruce T

    2016-11-17

    Long-term sepsis survivors sustain cryptic brain injury that leads to cognitive impairment, emotional imbalance, and increased disability burden. Suitable animal models of sepsis, such as cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), have permitted the analysis of abnormal brain circuits that underlie post-septic behavioral phenotypes. For instance, we have previously shown that CLP-exposed mice exhibit impaired spatial memory together with depleted dendritic arbors and decreased spines in the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here we show that contextual fear conditioning, a form of associative memory for fear, is chronically disrupted in CLP mice when compared to SHAM-operated animals. We also find that the excitatory neurons in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) and the granule cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) display significantly fewer dendritic spines in the CLP group relative to the SHAM mice, although the dendritic arbors and gross morphology of the BLA and DG are comparable between the two groups. Moreover, the basal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are unaffected in the CLP mice. Taken together, our data indicate that the structural damage in the amygdalar-hippocampal network represents the neural substrate for impaired contextual fear memory in long-term sepsis survivors. Further, our data suggest that the brain injury caused by overwhelming sepsis alters the stability of the synaptic connections involved in associative fear. These results likely have implications for the emotional imbalance observed in human sepsis survivors.

  3. A microRNA negative feedback loop downregulates vesicle transport and inhibits fear memory

    PubMed Central

    Mathew, Rebecca S; Tatarakis, Antonis; Rudenko, Andrii; Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Yang, Yawei J; Murphy, Elisabeth A; Todd, Travis P; Schepers, Scott T; Siuti, Nertila; Martorell, Anthony J; Falls, William A; Hammack, Sayamwong E; Walsh, Christopher A; Tsai, Li-Huei; Umemori, Hisashi; Bouton, Mark E; Moazed, Danesh

    2016-01-01

    The SNARE-mediated vesicular transport pathway plays major roles in synaptic remodeling associated with formation of long-term memories, but the mechanisms that regulate this pathway during memory acquisition are not fully understood. Here we identify miRNAs that are up-regulated in the rodent hippocampus upon contextual fear-conditioning and identify the vesicular transport and synaptogenesis pathways as the major targets of the fear-induced miRNAs. We demonstrate that miR-153, a member of this group, inhibits the expression of key components of the vesicular transport machinery, and down-regulates Glutamate receptor A1 trafficking and neurotransmitter release. MiR-153 expression is specifically induced during LTP induction in hippocampal slices and its knockdown in the hippocampus of adult mice results in enhanced fear memory. Our results suggest that miR-153, and possibly other fear-induced miRNAs, act as components of a negative feedback loop that blocks neuronal hyperactivity at least partly through the inhibition of the vesicular transport pathway. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22467.001 PMID:28001126

  4. Strain-dependent Effects of Acute, Chronic, and Withdrawal from Chronic Nicotine on Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Portugal, George S.; Wilkinson, Derek S.; Kenney, Justin W.; Sullivan, Colleen

    2013-01-01

    The effects of nicotine on cognitive processes such as learning and memory may play an important role in the addictive liability of tobacco. However, it remains unknown whether genetic variability modulates the effects of nicotine on learning and memory. The present study characterized the effects of acute, chronic, and withdrawal from chronic nicotine administration on fear conditioning, somatic signs, and the elevated plus maze in 8 strains of inbred mice. Strain-dependent effects of acute nicotine and nicotine withdrawal on contextual fear conditioning, somatic signs, and the elevated plus maze were observed, but no association between the effects of acute nicotine and nicotine withdrawal on contextual fear conditioning were observed, suggesting that different genetic substrates may mediate these effects. The identification of genetic factors that may alter the effects of nicotine on cognition may lead to more efficacious treatments for nicotine addiction. PMID:21822688

  5. Extinction of conditioned fear is better learned and recalled in the morning than in the evening.

    PubMed

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C; Vijayakumar, Shilpa; Ahmed, Nafis A K; Verga, Patrick W; Orr, Scott P; Pitman, Roger K; Milad, Mohammed R

    2013-11-01

    Sleep helps emotional memories consolidate and may promote generalization of fear extinction memory. We examined whether extinction learning and memory might differ in the morning and evening due, potentially, to circadian and/or sleep-homeostatic factors. Healthy men (N = 109) in 6 groups completed a 2-session protocol. In Session 1, fear conditioning was followed by extinction learning. Partial reinforcement with mild electric shock produced conditioned skin conductance responses (SCRs) to 2 differently colored lamps (CS+), but not a third color (CS-), within the computer image of a room (conditioning context). One CS+ (CS + E) but not the other (CS + U) was immediately extinguished by un-reinforced presentations in a different room (extinction context). Delay durations of 3 h (within AM or PM), 12 h (morning-to-evening or evening-to-morning) or 24 h (morning-to-morning or evening-to-evening) followed. In Session 2, extinction recall and contextual fear renewal were tested. We observed no significant effects of the delay interval on extinction memory but did observe an effect of time-of-day. Fear extinction was significantly better if learned in the morning (p = .002). Collapsing across CS + type, there was smaller morning differential SCR at both extinction recall (p = .003) and fear renewal (p = .005). Morning extinction recall showed better generalization from the CS + E to CS + U with the response to the CS + U significantly larger than to the CS + E only in the evening (p = .028). Thus, extinction is learned faster and its memory is better generalized in the morning. Cortisol and testosterone showed the expected greater salivary levels in the morning when higher testosterone/cortisol ratio also predicted better extinction learning. Circadian factors may promote morning extinction. Alternatively, evening homeostatic sleep pressure may impede extinction and favor recall of conditioned fear. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Distinct Contributions of Median Raphe Nucleus to Contextual Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle

    PubMed Central

    Silva, R. C. B.; Cruz, A. P. M.; Avanzi, V.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Brandão, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    Ascending 5-HT projections from the median raphe nucleus (MRN), probably to the hippocampus, are implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear (background stimuli), as assessed by freezing behavior. Foreground cues like light, used as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical fear conditioning, also cause freezing through thalamic transmission to the amygdala. As the MRN projects to the hippocampus and amygdala, the role of this raphe nucleus in fear conditioning to explicit cues remains to be explained. Here we analyzed the behavior of rats with MRN electrolytic lesions in a contextual conditioning situation and in a fear-potentiated startle procedure. The animals received MRN electrolytic lesions either before or on the day after two consecutive training sessions in which they were submitted to 10 conditioning trials, each in an experimental chamber (same context) where they. received foot-shocks (0.6 mA, 1 sec) paired to a 4-sec light CS. Seven to ten days later, the animals were submitted to testing sessions for assessing conditioned fear when they were placed for five shocks, and the duration of contextual freezing was recorded. The animals were then submitted to a fear-potentiated startle in response to a 4-sec light-CS, followed by white noise (100 dB, 50 ms). Control rats (sham) tested in the same context showed more freezing than did rats with pre- or post-training MRN lesions. Startle was clearly potentiated in the presence of light CS in the sham-lesioned animals. Whereas pretraining lesions reduced both freezing and fear-potentiated startle, the post-training lesions reduced only freezing to context, without changing the fear-potentiated startle. In a second experiment, neurotoxic lesions of the MRN with local injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate or the activation of 5-HT1A somatodendritic auto-receptors of the MRN by microinjections of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy- 2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) before the training sessions also

  7. Cannabidiol disrupts the consolidation of specific and generalized fear memories via dorsal hippocampus CB1 and CB2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Stern, Cristina A J; da Silva, Thiago R; Raymundi, Ana M; de Souza, Camila P; Hiroaki-Sato, Vinicius A; Kato, Luiza; Guimarães, Francisco S; Andreatini, Roberto; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Bertoglio, Leandro J

    2017-10-01

    Pharmacological interventions able to modulate a fear memory while it is consolidated could have therapeutic value in tempering those maladaptively overconsolidated. Animal and human studies have shown the intensity of unconditioned stimulus delivered during fear conditioning influences qualitative and quantitative aspects of the memory to be established. By varying the shock intensity used for contextual pairing in rats, here we induced specific and more generalized long-term fear memories to investigate whether, how and where in the brain the cannabidiol (CBD; 3.0-30 mg/kg i.p.) could impair their consolidation and related outcomes. When given immediately after their acquisition, it reduced respectively the conditioned fear expression, and fear generalization, ultrasonic vocalizations at 22-kHz and the relative resistance to extinction. CBD had no effects on short-term fear memory, and its delayed treatment no longer affected the consolidation process. As the dorsal hippocampus (DH) modulates fear memory specificity and generalization, and cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2) receptors contribute to consolidation, we investigated their involvement in CBD effects. Both systemic and intra-DH treatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 or the CB2 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM630 prevented the disrupting CBD effects on consolidation. Since the CBD effects on the endocannabinoid transmission are probably indirect, we investigated and demonstrated the FAAH inhibitor URB597 induced effects similar to those of CBD when given systemically or intra-DH. Altogether, the present results suggest the CBD disrupts the consolidation of different fear memories via anandamide-mediated activation of DH CB1 and CB2 receptors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. M1-muscarinic receptors promote fear memory consolidation via phospholipase C and the M-current.

    PubMed

    Young, Matthew B; Thomas, Steven A

    2014-01-29

    Neuromodulators released during and after a fearful experience promote the consolidation of long-term memory for that experience. Because overconsolidation may contribute to the recurrent and intrusive memories of post-traumatic stress disorder, neuromodulatory receptors provide a potential pharmacological target for prevention. Stimulation of muscarinic receptors promotes memory consolidation in several conditioning paradigms, an effect primarily associated with the M1 receptor (M1R). However, neither inhibiting nor genetically disrupting M1R impairs the consolidation of cued fear memory. Using the M1R agonist cevimeline and antagonist telenzepine, as well as M1R knock-out mice, we show here that M1R, along with β2-adrenergic (β2AR) and D5-dopaminergic (D5R) receptors, regulates the consolidation of cued fear memory by redundantly activating phospholipase C (PLC) in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). We also demonstrate that fear memory consolidation in the BLA is mediated in part by neuromodulatory inhibition of the M-current, which is conducted by KCNQ channels and is known to be inhibited by muscarinic receptors. Manipulating the M-current by administering the KCNQ channel blocker XE991 or the KCNQ channel opener retigabine reverses the effects on consolidation caused by manipulating β2AR, D5R, M1R, and PLC. Finally, we show that cAMP and protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) signaling relevant to this stage of consolidation is upstream of these neuromodulators and PLC, suggesting an important presynaptic role for cAMP/PKA in consolidation. These results support the idea that neuromodulatory regulation of ion channel activity and neuronal excitability is a critical mechanism for promoting consolidation well after acquisition has occurred.

  9. Enhancement of fear memory by retrieval through reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Fukushima, Hotaka; Zhang, Yue; Archbold, Georgia; Ishikawa, Rie; Nader, Karim; Kida, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Memory retrieval is considered to have roles in memory enhancement. Recently, memory reconsolidation was suggested to reinforce or integrate new information into reactivated memory. Here, we show that reactivated inhibitory avoidance (IA) memory is enhanced through reconsolidation under conditions in which memory extinction is not induced. This memory enhancement is mediated by neurons in the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) through the simultaneous activation of calcineurin-induced proteasome-dependent protein degradation and cAMP responsive element binding protein-mediated gene expression. Interestingly, the amygdala is required for memory reconsolidation and enhancement, whereas the hippocampus and mPFC are required for only memory enhancement. Furthermore, memory enhancement triggered by retrieval utilizes distinct mechanisms to strengthen IA memory by additional learning that depends only on the amygdala. Our findings indicate that reconsolidation functions to strengthen the original memory and show the dynamic nature of reactivated memory through protein degradation and gene expression in multiple brain regions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02736.001 PMID:24963141

  10. Association of poor childhood fear conditioning and adult crime.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian; Venables, Peter H; Dawson, Michael E; Mednick, Sarnoff A

    2010-01-01

    Amygdala dysfunction is theorized to give rise to poor fear conditioning, which in turn predisposes to crime, but it is not known whether poor conditioning precedes criminal offending. This study prospectively assessed whether poor fear conditioning early in life predisposes to adult crime in a large cohort. Electrodermal fear conditioning was assessed in a cohort of 1,795 children at age 3, and registration for criminal offending was ascertained at age 23. In a case-control design, 137 cohort members with a criminal record were matched on gender, ethnicity, and social adversity with 274 noncriminal comparison members. Statistical analyses compared childhood fear conditioning for the two groups. Criminal offenders showed significantly reduced electrodermal fear conditioning at age 3 compared to matched comparison subjects. Poor fear conditioning at age 3 predisposes to crime at age 23. Poor fear conditioning early in life implicates amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex dysfunction and a lack of fear of socializing punishments in children who grow up to become criminals. These findings are consistent with a neurodevelopmental contribution to crime causation.

  11. Fear Conditioning Effects on Sensitivity to Drug Reward

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-01

    basolateral amygdala The second step is to demonstrate efficacy of the GABAB receptor agonist baclofen in blocking the development of fear conditioning...controls. The fourth step assesses the impact of baclofen given during the development of fear conditioning and measures its impact on subsequent

  12. Personality and fear responses during conditioning: Beyond extraversion

    PubMed Central

    Pineles, Suzanne L.; Vogt, Dawne S.; Orr, Scott P.

    2008-01-01

    The personality domain of introversion-extraversion has been theorized to be associated with the strength of fear conditioning, but the literature on this topic has been equivocal. Furthermore, except for extraversion and neuroticism, relationships of the other Big Five personality domains with fear response acquisition have not been explored. In the current study, multi-level modeling was used to examine the relationships of facets of the Big 5 domains to fear response acquisition. Participants were 217 police and firefighter trainees who completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R; Costa & McCrae, 1992) and a fear conditioning task as part of a larger study. Results indicated that several facets of extraversion have opposing associations with fear response acquisition of an electrodermal response– possibly contributing to the mixed results in the literature. Additionally, facets of other Big Five domains were found to be associated with fear response acquisition. PMID:20046207

  13. EphrinA4 mimetic peptide targeted to EphA binding site impairs the formation of long-term fear memory in lateral amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Dines, M; Lamprecht, R

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25268254

  14. EphrinA4 mimetic peptide targeted to EphA binding site impairs the formation of long-term fear memory in lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Dines, M; Lamprecht, R

    2014-09-30

    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.

  15. Neonatal Odor-Shock Conditioning Alters the Neural Network Involved in Odor Fear Learning at Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sevelinges, Yannick; Sullivan, Regina M.; Messaoudi, Belkacem; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2008-01-01

    Adult learning and memory functions are strongly dependent on neonatal experiences. We recently showed that neonatal odor-shock learning attenuates later life odor fear conditioning and amygdala activity. In the present work we investigated whether changes observed in adults can also be observed in other structures normally involved, namely…

  16. DHPG Activation of Group 1 mGluRs in BLA Enhances Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudy, Jerry W.; Matus-Amat, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors are known to play an important role in both synaptic plasticity and memory. We show that activating these receptors prior to fear conditioning by infusing the group 1 mGluR agonist, (R.S.)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), into the basolateral region of the amygdala (BLA) of adult Sprague-Dawley rats…

  17. Neonatal Odor-Shock Conditioning Alters the Neural Network Involved in Odor Fear Learning at Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sevelinges, Yannick; Sullivan, Regina M.; Messaoudi, Belkacem; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2008-01-01

    Adult learning and memory functions are strongly dependent on neonatal experiences. We recently showed that neonatal odor-shock learning attenuates later life odor fear conditioning and amygdala activity. In the present work we investigated whether changes observed in adults can also be observed in other structures normally involved, namely…

  18. DHPG Activation of Group 1 mGluRs in BLA Enhances Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudy, Jerry W.; Matus-Amat, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors are known to play an important role in both synaptic plasticity and memory. We show that activating these receptors prior to fear conditioning by infusing the group 1 mGluR agonist, (R.S.)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), into the basolateral region of the amygdala (BLA) of adult Sprague-Dawley rats…

  19. Impaired conditioned fear response and startle reactivity in epinephrine-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Toth, Mate; Ziegler, Michael; Sun, Ping; Gresack, Jodi; Risbrough, Victoria

    2013-02-01

    Norepinephrine and epinephrine signaling is thought to facilitate cognitive processes related to emotional events and heightened arousal; however, the specific role of epinephrine in these processes is less known. To investigate the selective impact of epinephrine on arousal and fear-related memory retrieval, mice unable to synthesize epinephrine (phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase knockout, PNMT-KO) were tested for contextual and cued-fear conditioning. To assess the role of epinephrine in other cognitive and arousal-based behaviors these mice were also tested for acoustic startle, prepulse inhibition, novel object recognition, and open-field activity. Our results show that compared with wild-type mice, PNMT-KO mice showed reduced contextual fear but normal cued fear. Mice exhibited normal memory performance in the short-term version of the novel object recognition task, suggesting that PNMT mice exhibit more selective memory effects on highly emotional and/or long-term memories. Similarly, open-field activity was unaffected by epinephrine deficiency, suggesting that differences in freezing are not related to changes in overall anxiety or exploratory drive. Startle reactivity to acoustic pulses was reduced in PNMT-KO mice, whereas prepulse inhibition was increased. These findings provide further evidence for a selective role of epinephrine in contextual-fear learning and support its potential role in acoustic startle.

  20. One-year-old fear memories rapidly activate human fusiform gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Pizzagalli, Diego A.

    2016-01-01

    Fast threat detection is crucial for survival. In line with such evolutionary pressure, threat-signaling fear-conditioned faces have been found to rapidly (<80 ms) activate visual brain regions including the fusiform gyrus on the conditioning day. Whether remotely fear conditioned stimuli (CS) evoke similar early processing enhancements is unknown. Here, 16 participants who underwent a differential face fear-conditioning and extinction procedure on day 1 were presented the initial CS 24 h after conditioning (Recent Recall Test) as well as 9-17 months later (Remote Recall Test) while EEG was recorded. Using a data-driven segmentation procedure of CS evoked event-related potentials, five distinct microstates were identified for both the recent and the remote memory test. To probe intracranial activity, EEG activity within each microstate was localized using low resolution electromagnetic tomography analysis (LORETA). In both the recent (41–55 and 150–191 ms) and remote (45–90 ms) recall tests, fear conditioned faces potentiated rapid activation in proximity of fusiform gyrus, even in participants unaware of the contingencies. These findings suggest that rapid processing enhancements of conditioned faces persist over time. PMID:26416784

  1. Precondition of right frontal region with anodal tDCS can restore the fear memory impairment induced by ACPA in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Manteghi, Fariborz; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-01-01

    Fear memory and learning cause behavioural patterns such as fight or flight responses, which increase survival probability, but unfit processing of fear memory and learning can lead to maladaptive behaviours and maladies such as phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders. The growing prevalence of these maladies shows the need to quest novel methods for their treatment. We used anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the right frontal region as a precondition neuromodulator and arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA), a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist, as a fear memory impairing agent to assess their effects on contextual and auditory fear conditioning (reliable model for fear studies). Right frontal anodal tDCS (0.2 mA for. 20 minutes) 24 hours before the train did not alter contextual and auditory learning and memory in short-term (24 hrs after the training phase). Moreover, intraperitoneal pre-train injection of ACPA (0.1 mg/kg) alone, decreased both contextual and auditory learning and memory in short- but not long-term. Right frontal anodal tDCS improved short-term contextual fear memory in subthreshold doses of ACPA. On the other hand, right frontal anodal tDCS in long-term improved (lower doses of ACPA) and restored (higher doses of ACPA) both fear memories. These findings showed that, aforementioned approach could cause durable learning and memory improvements. Also this combined modality could be useful for fear extinction training and maladies which inflict amnesia. PMID:28337114

  2. Oxytocin and Social Support as Synergistic Inhibitors of Aversive Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle in Male Rats

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-01

    startle amplitude. They then received Pavlovian fear conditioning of five pairings of a 3 s light co-terminating with a 500 ms, 0.6mA footshock. Four...Synergistic Inhibitors of Aversive Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle in Male Rats PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jeffrey B. Rosen, Ph.D...NUMBER Oxytocin and Social Support as Synergistic Inhibitors of Aversive Fear Conditioning and Fear-Potentiated Startle in Male Rats 5b. GRANT

  3. Computer-assisted behavioral assessment of Pavlovian fear conditioning in mice.

    PubMed

    Anagnostaras, S G; Josselyn, S A; Frankland, P W; Silva, A J

    2000-01-01

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, a conditional stimulus (CS, usually a tone) is paired with an aversive unconditional stimulus (US, usually a foot shock) in a novel context. After even a single pairing, the animal comes to exhibit a long-lasting fear to the CS and the conditioning context, which can be measured as freezing, an adaptive defense reaction in mice. Both context and tone conditioning depend on the integrity of the amygdala, and context conditioning further depends on the hippocampus. The reliability and efficiency of the fear conditioning assay makes it an excellent candidate for the screening of learning and memory deficits in mutant mice. One obstacle is that freezing in mice has been accurately quantified only by human observers, using a tedious method that can be subject to bias. In the present study we generated a simple, high-speed, and highly accurate algorithm that scores freezing of four mice simultaneously using NIH Image on an ordinary Macintosh computer. The algorithm yielded a high correlation and excellent linear fit between computer and human scores across a broad range of conditions. This included the ability to score low pretraining baseline scores and accurately mimic the effects of two independent variables (shock intensity and test modality) on fear. Because we used a computer and digital video, we were able to acquire a secondary index of fear, activity suppression, as well as baseline activity scores. Moreover, we measured the unconditional response to shock. These additional measures can enhance the sensitivity of the assay to detect interesting memory phenotypes and control for possible confounds. Thus, this computer-assisted system for measuring behavior during fear conditioning allows for the standardized and carefully controlled assessment of multiple aspects of the fear conditioning experience.

  4. Neurabin contributes to hippocampal long-term potentiation and contextual fear memory.

    PubMed

    Wu, Long-Jun; Ren, Ming; Wang, Hansen; Kim, Susan S; Cao, Xiaoyan; Zhuo, Min

    2008-01-09

    Neurabin is a scaffolding protein that interacts with actin and protein phosphatase-1. Highly enriched in the dendritic spine, neurabin is important for spine morphogenesis and synaptic formation. However, less is known about the role of neurabin in hippocampal plasticity and its possible effect on behavioral functions. Using neurabin knockout (KO) mice, here we studied the function of neurabin in hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and behavioral memory. We demonstrated that neurabin KO mice showed a deficit in contextual fear memory but not auditory fear memory. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings in the hippocampal CA1 neurons showed that long-term potentiation (LTP) was significantly reduced, whereas long-term depression (LTD) was unaltered in neurabin KO mice. Moreover, increased AMPA receptor but not NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission was found in neurabin KO mice, and is accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of GluR1 at the PKA site (Ser845) but no change at the CaMKII/PKC site (Ser831). Pre-conditioning with LTD induction rescued the following LTP in neurabin KO mice, suggesting the loss of LTP may be due to the saturated synaptic transmission. Our results indicate that neurabin regulates contextual fear memory and LTP in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

  5. Limited Efficacy of Propranolol on the Reconsolidation of Fear Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muravieva, Elizaveta V.; Alberini, Cristina M.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol might be a novel, potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This hypothesis stemmed mainly from rodent studies showing that propranolol interferes with the reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning (FC). However, subsequent investigations…

  6. Limited Efficacy of Propranolol on the Reconsolidation of Fear Memories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muravieva, Elizaveta V.; Alberini, Cristina M.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol might be a novel, potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This hypothesis stemmed mainly from rodent studies showing that propranolol interferes with the reconsolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning (FC). However, subsequent investigations…

  7. Impairment of fear memory consolidation in maternally stressed male mouse offspring: evidence for nongenomic glucocorticoid action on the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun Jeong; Son, Gi Hoon; Chung, Sooyoung; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Choi, Sukwoo; Kim, Kyungjin

    2011-05-11

    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 m