A fundamental question is how memory is stored for several weeks and even longer. A long-lasting increase in gene transcription has been suggested to mediate such long-term memory storage. Here, we used contextual fear conditioning in mice to search for lasting transcription that may contribute to long-term memory storage. Our study focussed on hippocampal area CA1, which has been suggested to have a role for at least one week in contextual fear memory. Using an unbiased microarray analysis followed by confirmatory quantitative real-time PCR, we identified an upregulation of two transcription factors, Fosl2 and Nfil3, which lasted for seven days after conditioning. To our knowledge these are the longest transcriptional changes ever detected in the hippocampus after contextual fear conditioning. Thus, our findings suggest novel transcriptional candidates for long-term memory storage.
Keywords: Contextual fear conditioning; Fosl2; Hippocampus; Nfil3; Transcription.
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