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Tracking the Time-Dependent Role of the Hippocampus in Memory Recall Using DREADDs

Varela, C; Weiss, S; Meyer, R; Halassa, M; Biedenkapp, J; Wilson, MA; Goosens, KA; (2016) Tracking the Time-Dependent Role of the Hippocampus in Memory Recall Using DREADDs. PLOS ONE , 11 (5) , Article e0154374. 10.1371/journal.pone.0154374. Green open access

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Abstract

The hippocampus is critical for the storage of new autobiographical experiences as memories. Following an initial encoding stage in the hippocampus, memories undergo a process of systems-level consolidation, which leads to greater stability through time and an increased reliance on neocortical areas for retrieval. The extent to which the retrieval of these consolidated memories still requires the hippocampus is unclear, as both spared and severely degraded remote memory recall have been reported following post-training hippocampal lesions. One difficulty in definitively addressing the role of the hippocampus in remote memory retrieval is the precision with which the entire volume of the hippocampal region can be inactivated. To address this issue, we used Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs), a chemical-genetic tool capable of highly specific neuronal manipulation over large volumes of brain tissue. We find that remote (>7 weeks after acquisition), but not recent (1–2 days after acquisition) contextual fear memories can be recalled after injection of the DREADD agonist (CNO) in animals expressing the inhibitory DREADD in the entire hippocampus. Our data demonstrate a time-dependent role of the hippocampus in memory retrieval, supporting the standard model of systems consolidation.

Type: Article
Title: Tracking the Time-Dependent Role of the Hippocampus in Memory Recall Using DREADDs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154374
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154374
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Varela et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Retrograde Amnesia, Remote Memories, Contextual Fear, Lesions, Consolidation, Damage, Rats
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477042
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