Impaired fear memories are correlated with subregion-specific deficits in hippocampal and amygdalar LTP

Behav Neurosci. 2005 Feb;119(1):38-54. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.119.1.38.


Inbred mouse strains have different genetic backgrounds that likely influence memory and long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP, a form of synaptic plasticity, is a candidate cellular mechanism for some forms of learning and memory. Strains with impaired fear memory may have selective LTP deficits in different hippocampal subregions or in the amygdala. The authors assessed fear memory in 4 inbred strains: C57BL/6NCrlBR (B6), 129S1/SvImJ (129), C3H/HeJ (C3H), and DBA/2J (D2). The authors also measured LTP in the hippocampal Schaeffer collateral (SC) and medial perforant pathways (MPP) and in the basolateral amygdala. Contextual and cued fear memory, and SC and amygdalar LTP, were intact in B6 and 129, but all were impaired in C3H and D2. MPP LTP was similar in all 4 strains. Thus, SC, but not MPP, LTP correlates with hippocampus-dependent contextual memory expression, and amygdalar LTP correlates with amygdala-dependent cued memory expression, in these inbred strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / pathology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Long-Term Potentiation / genetics*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains