Memory trace superimposition impairs recall in a mouse model of AD

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Stefanie PollMartin Fuhrmann


Learning and memory processes depend on the hippocampus and are impaired in Alzheimers disease (AD). Active neuronal ensembles form an engram by encoding information during learning. Their reactivation is required for memory recall. However, it remains unresolved whether the engram in CA1 principal neurons is impaired under AD-like conditions. We used two-photon in vivo imaging to visualize the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos within CA1 neurons during contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Surprisingly, we identified engrams in wild-type mice and in the mouse model of AD indicating intact memory formation. However, under AD-like conditions engrams were superimposed by a high number of newly recruited fosGFP+ neurons during memory recall. This superimposition resembled the network configuration of wild-type mice exposed to a novel context. Artificial superimposition of the memory trace during recall in wild-type mice was sufficient to induce memory impairment. Thus, we propose superimposition of the CA1 memory trace as a mechanism for memory impairment in a mouse model of AD.

Related Concepts

Alzheimer's Disease
Diagnostic Imaging
Hippocampus (Brain)
c-fos Genes
Memory Impairment
Memory Recall
CA1 Field

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