Direct dorsal hippocampal-prelimbic cortex connections strengthen fear memories

Xiaojing Ye, Dana Kapeller-Libermann, Alessio Travaglia, M. Carmen Inda, Cristina Alberini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ability to regulate the consolidation and strengthening of memories for threatening experiences is critical for mental health, and its dysregulation may lead to psychopathologies. Re-exposure to the context in which the threat was experienced can either increase or decrease fear response through distinct processes known, respectively, as reconsolidation or extinction. Using a context retrieval-dependent memory-enhancement model in rats, we report that memory strengthens through activation of direct projections from dorsal hippocampus to prelimbic (PL) cortex and activation of critical PL molecular mechanisms that are not required for extinction. Furthermore, while sustained PL brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression is required for memory consolidation, retrieval engages PL BDNF to regulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins neuroligin 1 and neuroligin 2, which promote memory strengthening while inhibiting extinction. Thus, context retrieval-mediated fear-memory enhancement results from a concerted action of mechanisms that strengthen memory through reconsolidation while suppressing extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Fear
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Aptitude
Psychopathology
Hippocampus
Mental Health
Psychological Extinction
Proteins
Memory Consolidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Direct dorsal hippocampal-prelimbic cortex connections strengthen fear memories. / Ye, Xiaojing; Kapeller-Libermann, Dana; Travaglia, Alessio; Inda, M. Carmen; Alberini, Cristina.

In: Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 20, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 52-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ye, Xiaojing ; Kapeller-Libermann, Dana ; Travaglia, Alessio ; Inda, M. Carmen ; Alberini, Cristina. / Direct dorsal hippocampal-prelimbic cortex connections strengthen fear memories. In: Nature Neuroscience. 2017 ; Vol. 20, No. 1. pp. 52-61.
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