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Social recognition memory requires protein synthesis after reactivation.

Authors
  • Perrin, Gaëlle
  • Ferreira, Guillaume
  • Meurisse, Maryse
  • Verdin, Sébastien
  • Mouly, Anne-Marie
  • Lévy, Frédéric
Type
Published Article
Journal
Behavioral neuroscience
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2007
Volume
121
Issue
1
Pages
148–155
Identifiers
PMID: 17324059
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that reactivation of consolidated memories returns them to a protein-synthesis-dependent state called reconsolidation. The hypothesis that memories reconsolidate has never been assessed in social memory. The authors tested whether sheep (Ovis aries) mothers' memory of their lambs undergoes reconsolidation upon reactivation. After 7 days of mother-young contact, ewes were separated from their lambs for 8 hr, after which the lambs were reintroduced to their mothers for a 10-min reactivation session. Before reactivation, mothers received a subcutaneous injection of either the protein-synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide (CY, 1 mg/kg) or vehicle. Mothers' lamb memory was tested 1 hr (short-term memory [STM]) or 16 hr (long-term memory [LTM]) after reactivation. Mothers treated with CY exhibited intact STM but deficient LTM. CY injection without reactivation or before presentation of an alien lamb induced no deficit in LTM. CY-induced LTM deficit was alleviated by (a) introducing a reminder just before the LTM test, (b) extending mother-young contact, and (c) preventing suckling by the familiar lamb during reactivation. Thus, reconsolidation can be shown to exist in social memory, and some of its boundary conditions are discussed.

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