The role of protein synthesis during the labile phases of memory: revisiting the skepticism

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 Mar;89(3):234-46. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2007.08.007. Epub 2007 Oct 24.


Despite the fact that extensive evidence supports the view that phases of de novo protein synthesis are necessary for memory formation and maintenance, doubts are still raised. Skeptics generally argue that amnesia and the disruption of long-term synaptic plasticity are caused by "non-specific effects" of the reagents or approaches used to disrupt protein synthesis. This paper attempts to clarify some of these issues by reviewing, discussing and providing results addressing some of the major critiques that argue against the idea that de novo protein synthesis is necessary for the stabilization of long-term memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anisomycin / adverse effects
  • Cues
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / drug effects
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects*
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Retention, Psychology / drug effects


  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Anisomycin
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases