Blockade of muscarinic receptors impairs reconsolidation of older fear memory by decreasing cholinergic neurotransmission: A study in rat model of PTSD.Life Sci. 2020 Jun 25 [Online ahead of print]LS
The age and strength of fear memory are two potential parameters that can be influenced by the impairing effects of pharmacological agents on reconsolidation of fear memory. In reconsolidation, stored information is rendered labile again after being reactivated. Pharmacological manipulations at this stage result in an inability to retrieve the fear memories, suggesting that they are erased or persistently inhibited. This fear memory impairment phenomenon can be valuable to treat post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Previously β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol has been repeatedly reported to impair fear memory in the treatment of PTSD. Atropine has also shown to disrupt memory formation. The present study was therefore designed to compare the effects of atropine and propranolol on reconsolidation of older fear memory in rat model of PTSD using Pavlovian fear conditioning apparatus. For this purpose 18 rats were taken and divided into control, atropine and propranolol groups and subjected to Pavlovian fear conditioning trials in order to develop animal model of PTSD. To evaluate the reconsolidation impairment of fear memory by atropine and propranolol, short term and long term memory was tested after reactivation of fear memory in rats. The present findings demonstrate that atropine significantly decreases fear expression. These results suggest that atropine significantly reduces the strength of fear memories and may be effective in the treatment of psychiatric disorders especially in PTSD.