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The CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 impairs reconsolidation of pavlovian fear memory in the rat basolateral amygdala

  • Ratano, P
  • Everitt, BJ
  • Milton, AL
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2014
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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We have investigated the requirement for signaling at CB1 receptors in the reconsolidation of a previously consolidated auditory fear memory, by infusing the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251, or the FAAH inhibitor URB597, directly into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in conjunction with memory reactivation. AM251 disrupted memory restabilization, but only when administered after reactivation. URB597 produced a small, transient enhancement of memory restabilization when administered after reactivation. The amnestic effect of AM251 was rescued by coadministration of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline at reactivation, indicating that the disruption of reconsolidation was mediated by altered GABAergic transmission in the BLA. These data show that the endocannabinoid system in the BLA is an important modulator of fear memory reconsolidation and that its effects on memory are mediated by an interaction with the GABAergic system. Thus, targeting the endocannabinoid system may have therapeutic potential to reduce the impact of maladaptive memories in neuropsychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. / This work was conducted within the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, a joint initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. This work was funded by a UK Medical Research Council programme grant (no. G1002231) awarded to BJE and ALM. PR was supported by a Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Fellowship at the Sapienza University of Rome, and an Italian Society of Pharmacology Fellowship. ALM is the Ferreras-Willetts Fellow in Neuroscience at Downing College, Cambridge. The manuscript was partly prepared while ALM was an Erskine Visiting Cambridge Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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