Opposite effects of lateral septal LTP and lateral septal lesions on contextual fear conditioning in mice

Behav Neurosci. 1998 Aug;112(4):875-84. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.112.4.875.


The effect of fimbrial high-frequency stimulation (HFS)-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral septum (LS) on contextual fear conditioning was studied in mice. Mice were conditioned for fear toward a novel context through the use of footshocks. The 1st experiment showed that pretraining HFS reduced significantly conditional freezing to contextual stimuli. The 2nd experiment was designed to determine whether the reduction of freezing produced by fimbrial HFS resulted from LTP in the LS rather than from LTP in other brain structures. Accordingly, mice with lesions of the LS were used and submitted to the same protocol as in the 1st experiment. Results showed that LS lesions completely abolished the impairing effect of fimbrial HFS and, as a whole, potentiated the freezing response. These data suggest that contextual fear conditioning is strongly modulated by the level of hippocampal-LS synaptic neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroshock
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Septum Pellucidum / physiology*