Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral amygdala enhances object recognition memory and induces chromatin remodeling in the insular cortex
SourceFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, (2015), article 108
Article / Letter to editor
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Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
It is well established that arousal-induced memory enhancement requires noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) and modulatory influences on information storage processes in its many target regions. While this concept is well accepted, the molecular basis of such BLA effects on neural plasticity changes within other brain regions remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated whether noradrenergic activation of the BLA after object recognition training induces chromatin remodeling through histone post-translational modifications in the insular cortex (IC), a brain region that is importantly involved in object recognition memory. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on an object recognition task, followed immediately by bilateral microinfusions of norepinephrine (1.0 mug) or saline administered into the BLA. Saline-treated control rats exhibited poor 24-h retention, whereas norepinephrine treatment induced robust 24-h object recognition memory. Most importantly, this memory-enhancing dose of norepinephrine induced a global reduction in the acetylation levels of histone H3 at lysine 14, H2B and H4 in the IC 1 h later, whereas it had no effect on the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 or tri-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27. Norepinephrine administered into the BLA of non-trained control rats did not induce any changes in the histone marks investigated in this study. These findings indicate that noradrenergic activation of the BLA induces training-specific effects on chromatin remodeling mechanisms, and presumably gene transcription, in its target regions, which may contribute to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of stress and emotional arousal effects on memory consolidation.
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