Time-limited role of the hippocampus in the memory for trace eyeblink conditioning in mice

Brain Res. 2002 Oct 4;951(2):183-90. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(02)03159-1.


We examined the role of the hippocampus in memory retention after trace eyeblink conditioning in mice. After establishing the conditioned response (CR) in the trace paradigm, mice received a bilateral aspiration of the dorsal hippocampus and its overlying neocortex on the next day (1-day group) or after 4 weeks (4-week group). Control mice received a neocortical aspiration on the same schedule as the hippocampal-lesion group. After 2 weeks of recovery, these groups received additional conditioning for 3 days. Frequency of the CR of the 1-day group was as low as spontaneous values on the first day in the post-lesion session and never reached pre-surgical level during the post-lesion sessions, while that of the control group did reach pre-surgical level during the post-lesion sessions although there was a transient decline just after lesion. In contrast to the 1-day group, the 4-week-hippocampal lesion group retained the CR and showed a further increase, without significant difference from the control group. The temporal pattern of the CR also was unchanged by the hippocampal lesion 4 weeks after learning. These results suggest a time-limited role for the hippocampus in memory retention after trace conditioning in mice: the CR acquired recently requires an intact hippocampus for its retention, but the CR acquired remotely does not. This is similar to the result reported in rabbits. Therefore, the mechanism and time course of memory consolidation after trace eyeblink conditioning may be similar in mice and rabbits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blinking
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electromyography
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL