Cellular theories of memory consolidation posit that new memories require new protein synthesis in order to be stored. Systems consolidation theories posit that the hippocampus has a time-limited role in memory storage, after which the memory is independent of the hippocampus. Here, we show that intra-hippocampal infusions of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin caused amnesia for a consolidated hippocampal-dependent contextual fear memory, but only if the memory was reactivated prior to infusion. The effect occurred even if reactivation was delayed for 45 days after training, a time when contextual memory is independent of the hippocampus. Indeed, reactivation of a hippocampus-independent memory caused the trace to again become hippocampus dependent, but only for 2 days rather than for weeks. Thus, hippocampal memories can undergo reconsolidation at both the cellular and systems levels.
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