Post-training intra-basolateral complex of the amygdala infusions of clenbuterol enhance memory for conditioned place preference and increase ARC protein expression in dorsal hippocampal synaptic fractions.Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2021 11; 185:107539.NL
The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) is critically involved in modulation of memory by stress hormones. Noradrenergic activation of the BLA enhances memory consolidation and plays a necessary role in the enhancing or impairing effects of stress hormones on memory. The BLA is not only involved in the consolidation of aversive memories but can regulate appetitive memory formation as well. Extensive evidence suggests that the BLA is a modulatory structure that influences consolidation of arousing memories through modulation of plasticity and expression of plasticity-related genes, such as the activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated (Arc/Arg 3.1) protein, in efferent brain regions. ARC is an immediate early gene whose mRNA is localized to the dendrites and is necessary for hippocampus-dependent long-term potentiation and long-term memory formation. Post-training intra-BLA infusions of the β-adrenoceptor agonist, clenbuterol, enhances memory for an aversive task and increases dorsal hippocampus ARC protein expression following training on that task. To examine whether this function of BLA noradrenergic signaling extends to the consolidation of appetitive memories, the present studies test the effect of post-training intra-BLA infusions of clenbuterol on memory for the appetitive conditioned place preference (CPP) task and for effects on ARC protein expression in hippocampal synapses. Additionally, the necessity of increased hippocampal ARC protein expression was also examined for long-term memory formation of the CPP task. Immediate post-training intra-BLA infusions of clenbuterol (4 ng/0.2 µL) significantly enhanced memory for the CPP task. This same memory enhancing treatment significantly increased ARC protein expression in dorsal, but not ventral, hippocampal synaptic fractions. Furthermore, immediate post-training intra-dorsal hippocampal infusions of Arc antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), which reduce ARC protein expression, prevented long-term memory formation for the CPP task. These results suggest that noradrenergic activity in the BLA influences long-term memory for aversive and appetitive events in a similar manner and the role of the BLA is conserved across classes of memory. It also suggests that the influence of the BLA on hippocampal ARC protein expression and the role of hippocampal ARC protein expression are conserved across classes of emotionally arousing memories.