Appetitive memory reconsolidation depends upon NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 Jul;90(1):147-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2008.02.004. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Memory persistence is a dynamic process involving the reconsolidation of memories after their reactivation. Reconsolidation impairments have been demonstrated for many types of memories in rats, and signaling at N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors appears often to be a critical pharmacological mechanism. Here we investigated the reconsolidation of appetitive pavlovian memories reinforced by natural rewards. In male Lister Hooded rats, systemic administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-SH-dibenzo{a,d}cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801, 0.1mg/kg i.p.) either before or immediately following a brief memory reactivation session abolished the subsequent acquisition of a new instrumental response with sucrose conditioned reinforcement. However, only when injected prior to memory reactivation was MK-801 effective in disrupting the maintenance of a previously-acquired instrumental response with conditioned reinforcement. These results demonstrate that NMDA receptor-mediated signaling is required for appetitive pavlovian memory reconsolidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior / drug effects
  • Appetitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology*
  • Sucrose
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Taste


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Sucrose
  • Dizocilpine Maleate