Early Tagging of Cortical Networks Is Required for the Formation of Enduring Associative Memory

Edith Lesburguères, Oliviero L. Gobbo, Stéphanie Alaux-Cantin, Anne Hambucken, Pierre Trifilieff, Bruno Bontempi
Science. 2011-02-18; 331(619): 924-928
DOI: 10.1126/science.1196164

2011 Feb 18;331(6019):924-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1196164.

Early tagging of cortical networks is required for the formation of enduring associative memory.

Lesburguères E, Gobbo OL, Alaux-Cantin S, Hambucken A, Trifilieff P, Bontempi B.


Although formation and stabilization of long-lasting associative memories are thought to require time-dependent coordinated hippocampal-cortical interactions, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we present evidence that neurons in the rat cortex must undergo a “tagging process” upon encoding to ensure the progressive hippocampal-driven rewiring of cortical networks that support remote memory storage. This process was AMPA- and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent, information-specific, and capable of modulating remote memory persistence by affecting the temporal dynamics of hippocampal-cortical interactions. Post-learning reinforcement of the tagging process via time-limited epigenetic modifications resulted in improved remote memory retrieval. Thus, early tagging of cortical networks is a crucial neurobiological process for remote memory formation whose functional properties fit the requirements imposed by the extended time scale of systems-level memory consolidation.

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