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PLoS One. 2014 Aug 27;9(8):e106189. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106189. eCollection 2014.

Xenon impairs reconsolidation of fear memories in a rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

Xenon (Xe) is a noble gas that has been developed for use in people as an inhalational anesthestic and a diagnostic imaging agent. Xe inhibits glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors involved in learning and memory and can affect synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and hippocampus, two brain areas known to play a role in fear conditioning models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because glutamate receptors also have been shown to play a role in fear memory reconsolidation--a state in which recalled memories become susceptible to modification--we examined whether Xe administered after fear memory reactivation could affect subsequent expression of fear-like behavior (freezing) in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for contextual and cued fear conditioning and the effects of inhaled Xe (25%, 1 hr) on fear memory reconsolidation were tested using conditioned freezing measured days or weeks after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe administration immediately after fear memory reactivation significantly reduced conditioned freezing when tested 48 h, 96 h or 18 d after reactivation/Xe administration. Xe did not affect freezing when treatment was delayed until 2 h after reactivation or when administered in the absence of fear memory reactivation. These data suggest that Xe substantially and persistently inhibits memory reconsolidation in a reactivation and time-dependent manner, that it could be used as a new research tool to characterize reconsolidation and other memory processes, and that it could be developed to treat people with PTSD and other disorders related to emotional memory.

PMID:
25162644
PMCID:
PMC4146606
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0106189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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