Memory consolidation is the process by which newly learned information is stabilized into long-term memory (LTM). Considerable evidence indicates that retrieval of a consolidated memory returns it to a labile state that requires it to be restabilized. Consolidation of new fear memories has been shown to require de novo RNA and protein synthesis in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). We have previously shown that de novo protein synthesis in the LA is required for reconsolidation of auditory fear memories. One key question is whether protein synthesis during reconsolidation depends on already existing mRNAs or on synthesis of new mRNAs in the amygdala. In the present study, we examined the effect of mRNA synthesis inhibition during consolidation and reconsolidation of auditory fear memories. We first show that intra-LA infusion of two different mRNA inhibitors dose-dependently impairs long-term memory but leaves short-term memory (STM) intact. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the same inhibitors dose-dependently blocks post-reactivation long-term memory (PR-LTM), whereas post-reactivation short-term memory (PR-STM) is left intact. Furthermore, the same treatment in the absence of memory reactivation has no effect. Together, these results show that both consolidation and reconsolidation of auditory fear memories require de novo mRNA synthesis and are equally sensitive to disruption of de novo mRNA synthesis in the LA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience