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Neuron. 2003 Nov 13;40(4):695-701.

A requirement for the immediate early gene zif268 in reconsolidation of recognition memory after retrieval.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de l'Apprentissage de la Mémoire et de la Communication, CNRS UMR 8620, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay, France.


Recent research has revived interest in the possibility that previously consolidated memories need to reconsolidate when recalled to return to accessible long-term memory. Evidence suggests that both consolidation and reconsolidation of certain types of memory require protein synthesis, but whether similar molecular mechanisms are involved remains unclear. Here, we explore whether zif268, an activity-dependent inducible immediate early gene (IEG) required for consolidation of new memories, is also recruited for reconsolidation of recognition memory following reactivation. We show that when a consolidated memory for objects is recalled, zif268 mutant mice are impaired in further long-term but not short-term recognition memory. The impairment is specific to reactivation with the previously memorized objects in the relevant context, occurs in delayed recall, and does not recover over several days. These findings indicate that IEG-mediated transcriptional regulation in neurons is one common molecular mechanism for the storage of newly formed and reactivated recognition memories.

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