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Front Behav Neurosci. 2013 Dec 17;7:205. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00205. eCollection 2013.

BDNF-dependent consolidation of fear memories in the perirhinal cortex.

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Tierphysiologie, Institut für Neurobiologie, Universität Tübingen Tübingen, Germany.
Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Physiologie, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg Magdeburg, Germany ; Center for Behavioral Brain Research (CBBS), Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg Magdeburg, Germany.
Medizinische Fakultät, Institut für Physiologie, Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg Magdeburg, Germany.


In the recent years the perirhinal cortex (PRh) has been identified as a crucial brain area in fear learning. Since the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important mediator of synaptic plasticity and also crucially involved in memory consolidation of several learning paradigms, we analyzed now whether fear conditioning influences the expression of BDNF protein in the PRh. Here we observed a specific increase of BDNF protein 120 min after fear conditioning training. In order to test whether this increase of BDNF protein level is also required for the consolidation of the fear memory, we locally applied the Trk receptor inhibitor k252a into the PRh during this time window in a second series of experiments. By interfering with Trk-signaling during this critical time window, the formation of a long-term fear memory was completely blocked, indicated by a complete lack of fear potentiated startle 1 day later. In conclusion the present study further emphasizes the important role of the PRh in cued fear learning and identified BDNF as an important mediator for fear memory consolidation in the PRh.


brain-derived neurotrophic factor; consolidation; fear learning; fear potentiated startle; perirhinal cortex

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