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PLoS One. 2009;4(1):e4157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004157. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

A novel form of memory for auditory fear conditioning at a low-intensity unconditioned stimulus.

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1
Department of Molecular Neurobiology and Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Fear is one of the most potent emotional experiences and is an adaptive component of response to potentially threatening stimuli. On the other hand, too much or inappropriate fear accounts for many common psychiatric problems. Cumulative evidence suggests that the amygdala plays a central role in the acquisition, storage and expression of fear memory. Here, we developed an inducible striatal neuron ablation system in transgenic mice. The ablation of striatal neurons in the adult brain hardly affected the auditory fear learning under the standard condition in agreement with previous studies. When conditioned with a low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, however, the formation of long-term fear memory but not short-tem memory was impaired in striatal neuron-ablated mice. Consistently, the ablation of striatal neurons 24 h after conditioning with the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, when the long-term fear memory was formed, diminished the retention of the long-term memory. Our results reveal a novel form of the auditory fear memory depending on striatal neurons at the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus.

PMID:
19132103
PMCID:
PMC2613534
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0004157
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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