Cue-induced alcohol-seeking behaviour is reduced by disrupting the reconsolidation of alcohol-related memories
Recent studies have reported new evidence consistent with the hypothesis that reactivating a memory by re-exposure to a training context destabilizes the memory and induces "reconsolidation." In the present experiments, rats' memory for inhibitory avoidance (IA) training was tested 6 h (Test 1), 2 d (Test 2), and 6 d (Test 3) after training. On Test 1 the rats were either removed from the shock compartment immediately after entry or retained in the shock context for 200 sec, and intrahippocampal infusions of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin (75 microg/side) were administered immediately after the test. Anisomycin infusions administered after Test 1 impaired IA performance on Test 2 in animals given the brief re-exposure, but impaired extinction in animals exposed to the context for 200 sec. Rats with anisomycin-induced retention impairment on Test 2 demonstrated spontaneous recovery of retention performance on Test 3, whereas rats showing extinction on Test 2 showed further extinction on Test 3. The findings indicate that post-retrieval administration of anisomycin impairs subsequent retention performance only in the absence of extinction and that this impairment is temporary.