Exposure to a novel context following contextual fear conditioning enhances the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation.
Summary of "Exposure to a novel context following contextual fear conditioning enhances the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation."
Abstract The prior behavioral experience of an animal can influence the direction and the probability of long-term plasticity induced at the activated synapses. In the present study, we compared alterations in long-term potentiation in the rat CA1 of the hippocampus following post-fear conditioning exposure to the conditioning context vs. a novel context. Furthermore, we examined whether the alterations in long-term potentiation are dependent on the prior formation of context-shock fear memory association. Whereas retrieval of fear memory 1 h after conditioning in the conditioning context was associated with impairment in the magnitude of long-term potentiation, exposure to a novel context at the same time point was associated with a robust increase in long-term potentiation. This effect was time-dependent, as exposure to a novel context 24 h after conditioning resulted in impaired long-term potentiation. Furthermore, preventing the formation of a fear context-shock association resulted in different modifications to long-term potentiation levels, regardless of whether association formation was prevented behaviorally (i.e. using a minimal context-shock association) or pharmacologically (using the N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor antagonist MK801). Our findings suggest that exposure to a novel environment following fear conditioning induces a form of metaplasticity that enhances the acquisition of novel information and could prevent acute stress-associated impairments in long-term potentiation.
Department of Neurobiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The European journal of neuroscience
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20649905
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07334.x
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