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New paper from our lab revealing memory-related changes in gene-expression during contextual fear conditioning

September 1, 2020

Contextual fear conditioning (CFC) in rodents is the most widely used behavioural paradigm in neuroscience research to elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying learning and memory. It is based on the pairing of an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; e.g. mild footshock) with a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; e.g. context of the test chamber) in order to acquire associative long-term memory (LTM), which persists for days and even months. 

Using genome-wide analysis, several studies have generated lists of genes modulated in response to CFC in an attempt to identify the “memory genes”, which orchestrate memory formation. Yet, most studies use naïve animals as a baseline for assessing gene-expression changes, while only few studies have examined the effect of the US alone, without pairing to context, using genome-wide analysis of gene-expression.

 

By removing the effect of the immediate shock, we identify and validate a new set of genes, which are translationally and transcriptionally responsive to the association of context-to-footshock in CFC, and thus

constitute salient “memory genes”.

 

link to study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301008220301581

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