The Intralaminar Thalamic Nuclei Contribute to Remote Spatial Memory

J. Lopez, M. Wolff, L. Lecourtier, B. Cosquer, B. Bontempi, J. Dalrymple-Alford, J.-C. Cassel
Journal of Neuroscience. 2009-03-11; 29(10): 3302-3306
DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.5576-08.2009

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1. J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 11;29(10):3302-6. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5576-08.2009.

The intralaminar thalamic nuclei contribute to remote spatial memory.

Lopez J(1), Wolff M, Lecourtier L, Cosquer B, Bontempi B, Dalrymple-Alford J,
Cassel JC.

Author information:
(1)Laboratoire d’Imagerie et de Neurosciences Cognitives, Université de
Strasbourg, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 37 des Neurosciences, Groupement de
Recherche, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique 2905 Neuromem, F-67000
Strasbourg, France.

Recent studies have shown that the anterior (ATN) and lateral thalamic nuclei
(including the intralaminar nuclei; ILN/LT) play different roles in memory
processes. These nuclei have prominent direct and indirect connections with the
hippocampal system and/or the prefrontal cortex and may thus participate in the
time-dependent reorganization of memory traces during systems-level
consolidation. We investigated whether ATN or ILN/LT lesions in rats influenced
acquisition and subsequent retrieval of spatial memory in a Morris water maze.
Retrieval was assessed with a probe trial after a short (5 d, recent memory) or a
long (25 d, remote memory) postacquisition delay. The ATN group showed impaired
acquisition compared with the Sham controls and ILN/LT groups, which did not
differ during acquisition, and exhibited no preference for the target quadrant
during the recent or remote memory probe trials. In contrast, probe trial
performance in rats with ILN/LT lesions differed according to the age of the
memory, with accurate spatial retrieval for the recent memory probe trial but
impaired retrieval during the remote memory one. These findings confirm that ATN
but not ILN/LT lesions disrupt the acquisition of spatial memory and provide new
evidence that the ILN/LT region contributes to remote memory processing. Thus,
the lateral thalamus may modulate some aspects of remote memory formation and/or
retrieval during the course of systems-level consolidation.

DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5576-08.2009
PMID: 19279267 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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