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Learn Mem. 2008 Jan 29;15(2):88-92. doi: 10.1101/lm.825008. Print 2008 Feb.

Reconsolidation of appetitive memories for both natural and drug reinforcement is dependent on {beta}-adrenergic receptors.

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  • 1Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Site, Cambridge CB2 3EB, United Kingdom. alm46@cam.ac.uk


We have investigated the neurochemical mechanisms of memory reconsolidation and, in particular, the functional requirement for intracellular mechanisms initiated by beta-adrenergic signaling. We show that propranolol, given in conjunction with a memory reactivation session, can specifically disrupt the conditioned reinforcing properties of a previously appetitively reinforced conditioned stimulus (CS), whether the stimulus had been associated with self-administered cocaine or with sucrose. These data show that memories for both drug and nondrug CS-US associations are dependent on beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated signaling for their reconsolidation, with implications for the potential development of a novel treatment for drug addiction and some forms of obesity.

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