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J Neurosci. 2005 Feb 23;25(8):2070-80.

Acquisition, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of eyelid conditioning responses require de novo protein synthesis.

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División de Neurociencias, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Seville, Spain.


Memory, as measured by changes in an animal's behavior some time after learning, is a reflection of many processes. Here, using a trace paradigm, in mice we show that de novo protein synthesis is required for acquisition, consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of classically conditioned eyelid responses. Two critical periods of protein synthesis have been found: the first, during training, the blocking of which impaired acquisition; and the second, lasting the first 4 h after training, the blocking of which impaired consolidation. The process of reconsolidation was sensitive to protein synthesis inhibition if anisomycin was injected before or just after the reactivation session. Furthermore, extinction was also dependent on protein synthesis, following the same temporal course as that followed during acquisition and consolidation. This last fact reinforces the idea that extinction is an active learning process rather than a passive event of forgetting. Together, these findings demonstrate that all of the different stages of memory formation involved in the classical conditioning of eyelid responses are dependent on protein synthesis.

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