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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Jun;5(6):573-9.

Calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV is required for fear memory.

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Washington University Pain Center, Departments of Anesthesiology, Anatomy, and Neurobiology and Psychiatry, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The ability to remember potential dangers in an environment is necessary to the survival of animals and humans. The cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) is a key transcription factor in synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation. We have found that in CaMKIV(-/-) mice--which are deficient in a component of the calcium calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) pathway, a major pathway of CREB activation--fear memory, but not persistent pain, was significantly reduced. CREB activation by fear conditioning and synaptic potentiation in the amygdala and cortical areas was reduced or blocked. We propose that cognitive memory related to a noxious shock can be disassociated from behavioral responses to tissue injury and inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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