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Learn Mem. 2009 Feb 23;16(3):193-7. doi: 10.1101/lm.1254209. Print 2009 Mar.

Enhanced CREB-dependent gene expression increases the excitability of neurons in the basal amygdala and primes the consolidation of contextual and cued fear memory.

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Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Universidad Miguel Hernández-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Sant Joan d'Alacant, 03550 Alicante, Spain.


Regulated expression of a constitutively active form of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), VP16-CREB, lowers the threshold for the late phase of long-term potentiation in the Schaffer collateral pathway in a de novo gene expression-independent manner, and increases the excitability and reduces afterhyperpolarization of neurons at the amygdala and the hippocampus. We explore the consequences of these changes on the consolidation of fear conditioning and find that the expression of VP16-CREB can bypass the requirement for de novo gene expression associated with long-term memory formation, suggesting that CREB-dependent gene expression is sufficient for fear memory consolidation.

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