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Learn Mem. 2013 Jan 17;20(2):109-19. doi: 10.1101/lm.029157.112.

p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase activity is required for newly acquired and reactivated fear memories in the lateral amygdala.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Modifications in chromatin structure have been widely implicated in memory and cognition, most notably using hippocampal-dependent memory paradigms including object recognition, spatial memory, and contextual fear memory. Relatively little is known, however, about the role of chromatin-modifying enzymes in amygdala-dependent memory formation. Here, we use a combination of biochemical, behavioral, and neurophysiological methods to systematically examine the role of p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity in the consolidation and reconsolidation of auditory Pavlovian fear memories. We show that local infusions of c646, a selective pharmacological inhibitor of p300/CBP activity, shortly following either fear conditioning or fear memory retrieval impair training and retrieval-related regulation of histone acetylation in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA). Furthermore, we show that intra-LA infusion of c646 significantly impairs fear memory consolidation, reconsolidation, and associated neural plasticity in the LA. Our findings collectively suggest that p300/CBP HAT activity is critical for the consolidation and reconsolidation of amygdala-dependent Pavlovian fear memories.

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