Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral amygdala maintains hippocampus-dependent accuracy of remote memory [Neuroscience]
Emotional enhancement of memory by noradrenergic mechanisms is well-described, but the long-term consequences of such enhancement are poorly understood. Over time, memory traces are thought to undergo a neural reorganization, that is, a systems consolidation, during which they are, at least partly, transferred from the hippocampus to neocortical networks. This transfer is accompanied by a decrease in episodic detailedness. Here we investigated whether norepinephrine (NE) administration into the basolateral amygdala after training on an inhibitory avoidance discrimination task, comprising two distinct training contexts, alters systems consolidation dynamics to maintain episodic-like accuracy and hippocampus dependency of remote memory. At a 2-d retention test, both saline- and NE-treated rats accurately discriminated the training context in which they had received footshock. Hippocampal inactivation with muscimol before retention testing disrupted discrimination of the shock context in both treatment groups. At 28 d, saline-treated rats showed hippocampus-independent retrieval and lack of discrimination. In contrast, NE-treated rats continued to display accurate memory of the shock–context association. Hippocampal inactivation at this remote retention test blocked episodic-like accuracy and induced a general memory impairment. These findings suggest that the NE treatment altered systems consolidation dynamics by maintaining hippocampal involvement in the memory. This shift in systems consolidation was paralleled by time-regulated DNA methylation and transcriptional changes of memory-related genes, namely Reln and Pkmζ, in the hippocampus and neocortex. The findings provide evidence suggesting that consolidation of emotional memories by noradrenergic mechanisms alters systems consolidation dynamics and, as a consequence, influences the maintenance of long-term episodic-like accuracy of memory.
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.