A Novel Form of Memory for Auditory Fear Conditioning at a Low-Intensity Unconditioned Stimulus

Abstract

Fear is one of the most potent emotional experiences and is an adaptive component of response to potentially threatening stimuli. On the other hand, too much or inappropriate fear accounts for many common psychiatric problems. Cumulative evidence suggests that the amygdala plays a central role in the acquisition, storage and expression of fear memory. Here, we developed an inducible striatal neuron ablation system in transgenic mice. The ablation of striatal neurons in the adult brain hardly affected the auditory fear learning under the standard condition in agreement with previous studies. When conditioned with a low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, however, the formation of long-term fear memory but not short-tem memory was impaired in striatal neuron-ablated mice. Consistently, the ablation of striatal neurons 24 h after conditioning with the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus, when the long-term fear memory was formed, diminished the retention of the long-term memory. Our results reveal a novel form of the auditory fear memory depending on striatal neurons at the low-intensity unconditioned stimulus.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004157

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@article{Kishioka2009ANF, title={A Novel Form of Memory for Auditory Fear Conditioning at a Low-Intensity Unconditioned Stimulus}, author={Ayumi Kishioka and Fumiaki Fukushima and Tamae Ito and Hirotaka Kataoka and Hisashi Mori and Toshio Ikeda and Shigeyoshi Itohara and Kenji Sakimura and Masayoshi Mishina}, journal={PLoS ONE}, year={2009}, volume={4}, pages={353 - 375} }