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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 9;107(6):2652-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0915059107. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Plastic modifications induced by object recognition memory processing.

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Centro de Memória, Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Long-term potentiation (LTP) phenomenon is widely accepted as a cellular model of memory consolidation. Object recognition (OR) is a particularly useful way of studying declarative memory in rodents because it makes use of their innate preference for novel over familiar objects. In this study, mice had electrodes implanted in the hippocampal Schaffer collaterals-pyramidal CA1 pathway and were trained for OR. Field EPSPs evoked at the CA3-CA1 synapse were recorded at the moment of training and at different times thereafter. LTP-like synaptic enhancement was found 6 h posttraining. A testing session was conducted 24 h after training, in the presence of one familiar and one novel object. Hippocampal synaptic facilitation was observed during exploration of familiar and novel objects. A short depotentiation period was observed early after the test and was followed by a later phase of synaptic efficacy enhancement. Here, we show that OR memory consolidation is accompanied by transient potentiation in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, while reconsolidation of this memory requires a short-lasting phase of depotentiation that could account for its well described vulnerability. The late synaptic enhancement phase, on the other hand, would be a consequence of memory restabilization.

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