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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2006 Sep;86(2):133-43. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

A role for ERK2 in reconsolidation of fear memories in mice.

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Istituto di Neuroscienze del CNR, via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64-00143 Roma, Italy.


Recent studies have shown that consolidated fear memories, when reactivated, return to a labile state that requires a new protein synthesis for reconsolidation. Post-retrieval infusion of an inhibitor of protein synthesis blocks memory reconsolidation processes. In a previous research, the role of MAPKs in memory consolidation has been shown in emotional tasks, such as passive and active avoidance. In particular, mice knockout for ERK1 had a better performance in comparison to wild type mice in both passive and active avoidance tasks. In the present study, in order to investigate the involvement of MAPKs in memory reconsolidation processes we administered immediately after retrieval, different doses of SL327 (an inhibitor of MEK, a kinase that activates both ERK1 and ERK2) both in C57BL/6 (C57) mice and ERK1 mutant mice tested in a fear conditioning task. Systemic administration of SL327 dose-dependently reduced the memory reconsolidation of fear memories in C57 mice. Moreover, SL327 administration impaired memory reconsolidation also in ERK1 mutant mice. Altogether, these results clearly indicate a central role for ERK2 protein in memory reconsolidation processes in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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