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Psychopharmacology

Differential role of Rac in the basolateral amygdala and cornu ammonis 1 in the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory in rats.


PMID 24553575

Abstract

A conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with a fearful unconditioned stimulus (US) in the traditional fear conditioning model. After fear conditioning, the CS-US association memory undergoes the consolidation process to become stable. Consolidated memory enters an unstable state after retrieval and requires the reconsolidation process to stabilize again. Evidence indicates the important role of Rac (Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate) in the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. In the present study, we hypothesized that Rac in the amygdala is crucial for the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory. Auditory and contextual fear conditioning and microinjections of the Rac inhibitor NSC23766 were used to explore the role of Rac in the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory in rats. A microinjection of NSC23766 into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) but not central amygdala (CeA) or cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) immediately after memory retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of auditory Pavlovian fear memory. A microinjection of NSC23766 into the CA1 but not BLA or CeA after memory retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of contextual Pavlovian fear memory. Our experiments demonstrate that Rac in the BLA is crucial for the reconsolidation of auditory Pavlovian fear memory, whereas Rac in the CA1 is critical for the reconsolidation of contextual Pavlovian fear memory.