Different temporal windows for CB1 receptor involvement in contextual fear memory destabilisation in the amygdala and hippocampus
Published: 01-15-2019 In Publication
Reconsolidation is a process in which re-exposure to a reminder causes a previously acquired memory to undergo a process of destabilisation followed by subsequent restabilisation. Different molecular mechanisms have been postulated for destabilisation in the amygdala and hippocampus, including CB1 receptor activation, protein degradation and AMPA receptor exchange; however, most of the amygdala studies have used pre-reexposure interventions, while those in the hippocampus have usually performed them after reexposure. To test whether the temporal window for destabilisation is similar across both structures, we trained Lister Hooded rats in a contextual fear conditioning task, and 1 day later performed memory reexposure followed by injection of either the NMDA antagonist MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) or saline in order to block reconsolidation. In parallel, we also performed local injections of either the CB1 antagonist SR141716A or its vehicle in the hippocampus or in the amygdala, either immediately before or immediately after reactivation. Infusion of SR141716A in the hippocampus prevented the reconsolidation-blocking effect of MK-801 when performed after reexposure, but not before it. In the amygdala, meanwhile, pre-reexposure infusions of SR141716A impaired reconsolidation blockade by MK-801, although the time-dependency of this effect was not as clear as in the hippocampus. Our results suggest the temporal windows for CB1-receptor-mediated memory destabilisation during reconsolidation vary between brain structures. Whether this reflects different time windows for engagement of these structures or different roles played by CB1 receptors in destabilisation across structures remains an open question for future studies.