Perineuronal Nets Protect Fear Memories from Erasure

N. Gogolla, P. Caroni, A. Luthi, C. Herry
Science. 2009-09-03; 325(5945): 1258-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174146

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1. Science. 2009 Sep 4;325(5945):1258-61. doi: 10.1126/science.1174146.

Perineuronal nets protect fear memories from erasure.

Gogolla N(1), Caroni P, Lüthi A, Herry C.

Author information:
(1)Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66,
CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland.

Comment in
Science. 2009 Sep 4;325(5945):1214-5.

In adult animals, fear conditioning induces a permanent memory that is resilient
to erasure by extinction. In contrast, during early postnatal development,
extinction of conditioned fear leads to memory erasure, suggesting that fear
memories are actively protected in adults. We show here that this protection is
conferred by extracellular matrix chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) in
the amygdala. The organization of CSPGs into perineuronal nets (PNNs) coincided
with the developmental switch in fear memory resilience. In adults, degradation
of PNNs by chondroitinase ABC specifically rendered subsequently acquired fear
memories susceptible to erasure. This result indicates that intact PNNs mediate
the formation of erasure-resistant fear memories and identifies a molecular
mechanism closing a postnatal critical period during which traumatic memories can
be erased by extinction.

DOI: 10.1126/science.1174146
PMID: 19729657 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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