A role for anterior thalamic nuclei in affective cognition: Interaction with environmental conditions

Alexandra Dupire, Patricia Kant, Nicole Mons, Alain R. Marchand, Etienne Coutureau, John Dalrymple-Alford, Mathieu Wolff
Hippocampus. 2013-02-25; 23(5): 392-404
DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22098

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1. Hippocampus. 2013 May;23(5):392-404. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22098. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

A role for anterior thalamic nuclei in affective cognition: interaction with
environmental conditions.

Dupire A(1), Kant P, Mons N, Marchand AR, Coutureau E, Dalrymple-Alford J, Wolff

Author information:
(1)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaines, CNRS UMR
5287, Talence, France.

Damage to anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) is a well-known cause of diencephalic
pathology that produces a range of cognitive deficits reminiscent of a
hippocampal syndrome. Anatomical connections of the ATN also extend to cerebral
areas that support affective cognition. Enriched environments promote recovery of
declarative/relational memory after ATN lesions and are known to downregulate
emotional behaviors. Hence, the performance of standard-housed and enriched ATN
rats in a range of behavioral tasks engaging affective cognition was compared.
ATN rats exhibited reduced anxiety responses in the elevated plus maze, increased
activity and reduced corticosterone responses when exploring an open field, and
delayed acquisition of a conditioned contextual fear response. ATN rats also
exhibited reduced c-Fos and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein
(pCREB) immunoreactivity in the hippocampal formation and the amygdala after
completion of the contextual fear test. Marked c-Fos hypoactivity and reduced
pCREB levels were also evident in the granular retrosplenial cortex and, to a
lesser extent, in the anterior cingulate cortex. Unlike standard-housed ATN rats,
enriched ATN rats expressed virtually no fear of the conditioned context. These
results show that the ATN regulate affective cognition and that damage to this
region may produce markedly different behavioral effects as a function of
environmental housing conditions.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22098
PMID: 23436341 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus