The late consolidation of an aversive memory is promoted by VTA dopamine release in the dorsal hippocampus.

The European Journal of Neuroscience
Cecilia P KramarM Flavia Barbano

Abstract

The hippocampus has been implicated in the processing and storage of aversive memories but the precise mechanisms by which these memories persist in time remain elusive. We have demonstrated that dopaminergic neurotransmission in the dorsal hippocampus regulates the long-term storage of both appetitive and aversive memories at a critical time point known as "late consolidation" (12 hr after the learning experience). This modulation appears to have opposite effects depending on the valence of the stimuli, with hippocampal dopamine release peaking immediately and 13-17 hr after a rewarding experience. Here, we determined the release pattern of hippocampal dopamine following an aversive experience, in order to better understand this opposite modulation process. We observed significant increases in dopamine levels at several times (6-8, 11-12, and 15 hr) after subjecting rats to a conditioned place aversion (CPA) task with the aversive agent lithium chloride (LiCl). Early pharmacological blockade of hippocampal DA receptors impaired CPA memory consolidation. In addition and consistent with previous findings showing that late post-training infusions of dopaminergic agents into the hippocampus modulate the long-term storage of aversi...Continue Reading

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