Long-lasting transcription in hippocampal area CA1 after contextual fear conditioning

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2020 Jul:172:107250. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2020.107250. Epub 2020 May 15.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / metabolism*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Electroshock
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic*