The entorhinal cortex modulates trace fear memory formation and neuroplasticity in the mouse lateral amygdala via cholecystokinin

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere69333
Journal / PublicationeLife
Volume10
Online published15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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Abstract

Although fear memory formation is essential for survival and fear-related mental disorders, the neural circuitry and mechanism are incompletely understood. Here, we utilized trace fear conditioning to study the formation of trace fear memory in mice. We identified the entorhinal cortex (EC) as a critical component of sensory signaling to the amygdala. We adopted both loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments to demonstrate that release of the cholecystokinin (CCK) from the EC is required for trace fear memory formation. We discovered that CCK-positive neurons project from the EC to the lateral nuclei of the amygdala (LA), and inhibition of CCK-dependent signaling in the EC prevented long-term potentiation of the auditory response in the LA and formation of trace fear memory. In summary, high-frequency activation of EC neurons triggers the release of CCK in their projection terminals in the LA, potentiating auditory response in LA neurons. The neural plasticity in the LA leads to trace fear memory formation.

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