NIH Research Festival
Contextual fear learning is heavily dependent on the hippocampus. Despite evidence that catecholamines contribute to contextual encoding and memory retrieval, the precise temporal dynamics of their release in the hippocampus during behavior is unknown. In addition, new animal models are required to probe the effects of altered catecholamine synthesis on release dynamics and contextual learning.
Utilizing GRABNE and GRABDA sensors, in vivo fiber photometry, and two new mouse models of altered locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) synthesis, we investigate norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) release dynamics in dorsal hippocampal CA1 during contextual fear conditioning.
We report that aversive foot-shock increases both NE and DA release in dorsal CA1, while freezing behavior associated with recall of fear memory is accompanied by decreased release. Partial loss of LC-NE synthesis reveals that NE release dynamics are modulated by sex. Moreover, we find that recall of recent fear memory is sensitive to both partial and complete loss of LC-NE synthesis throughout prenatal and postnatal development, similar to prior observations of mice with global loss of NE synthesis beginning postnatally. In contrast, remote recall is compromised only by complete loss of LC-NE synthesis beginning prenatally.
Overall, these findings provide novel insights into the role of NE in contextual fear and the precise temporal dynamics of both NE and DA during freezing behavior and highlight a complex relationship between genotype, sex, and NE signaling.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023