Hippocampal parvalbumin interneurons play a critical role in memory development

Janelle M. Miranda, Emmanuel Cruz, Benjamin Bessières, Cristina M. Alberini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Episodic memories formed in early childhood rapidly decay, but their latent traces remain stored long term. These memories require the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) and seem to undergo a developmental critical period. It remains to be determined whether the maturation of parvalbumin interneurons (PVIs), a major mechanism of critical periods, contributes to memory development. Here, we show that episodic infantile learning significantly increases the levels of parvalbumin in the dHPC 48 h after training. Chemogenetic inhibition of PVIs before learning indicated that these neurons are required for infantile memory formation. A bilateral dHPC injection of the γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor agonist diazepam after training elicited long-term memory expression in infant rats, although direct PVI chemogenetic activation had no effect. Finally, PVI activity was required for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-dependent maturation of memory competence, i.e., adult-like long-term memory expression. Thus, dHPC PVIs are critical for the formation of infantile memories and for memory development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111643
JournalCell Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022


  • BDNF
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • critical period
  • hippocampus
  • infant
  • infantile amnesia
  • interneurons
  • memory
  • parvalbumin
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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