Publications by authors named "Lily J Kim"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Increasing the GluN2A/GluN2B Ratio in Neurons of the Mouse Basal and Lateral Amygdala Inhibits the Modification of an Existing Fear Memory Trace.

J Neurosci 2016 09;36(36):9490-504

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75080

Unlabelled: Reconsolidation updating is a form of memory modification in which an existing memory can become destabilized upon retrieval and subsequently be modified via protein-synthesis-dependent reconsolidation. However, not all memories appear to destabilize upon retrieval and thus are not modifiable via reconsolidation updating approaches and the neurobiological basis for this remains poorly understood. Here, we report that auditory fear memories created with 10 tone-shock pairings are resistant to retrieval-dependent memory destabilization and are associated with an increase in the synaptic GluN2A/GluN2B ratio in neurons of the basal and lateral amygdala (BLA) compared with weaker fear memories created via one or three tone-shock pairings. To increase the GluN2A/GluN2B ratio after learning, we generated a line of mice that expresses an inducible and doxycycline-dependent GFP-GluN2A transgene specifically in α-CaMKII-positive neurons. Our findings indicate that increasing the GluN2A/GluN2B ratio in BLA α-CaMKII-positive neurons after a weak fear memory has consolidated inhibits retrieval-dependent memory destabilization and modification of the fear memory trace. This was associated with a reduction in retrieval-dependent AMPA receptor trafficking, as evidenced by a reduction in retrieval-dependent phosphorylation of GluR1 at serine-845. In addition, we determined that increasing the GluN2A/GluN2B ratio before fear learning significantly impaired long term memory consolidation, whereas short-term memory remained unaltered. An increase in the GluN2A/GluN2B ratio after fear learning had no influence on fear extinction or expression. Our results underscore the importance of NMDAR subunit composition for memory destabilization and suggest a mechanism for why some memories are resistant to modification.

Significance Statement: Memory modification using reconsolidation updating is being examined as one of the potential treatment approaches for attenuating maladaptive memories associated with emotional disorders. However, studies have shown that, whereas weak memories can be modified using reconsolidation updating, strong memories can be resistant to this approach. Therefore, treatments targeting the reconsolidation process are unlikely to be clinically effective unless methods are devised to enhance retrieval-dependent memory destabilization. Currently, little is known about the cellular and molecular events that influence the induction of reconsolidation updating. Here, we determined that an increase in the GluN2A/GluN2B ratio interferes with retrieval-dependent memory destabilization and inhibits the initiation of reconsolidation updating.
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September 2016

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Delivered with Motor Training Enhances Recovery of Function after Traumatic Brain Injury.

J Neurotrauma 2016 05 5;33(9):871-9. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

1 The, School of Behavioral Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas , Richardson, Texas.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the largest health problems in the United States, and affects nearly 2 million people every year. The effects of TBI, including weakness and loss of coordination, can be debilitating and last years after the initial injury. Recovery of motor function is often incomplete. We have developed a method using electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve paired with forelimb use by which we have demonstrated enhanced recovery from ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Here we have tested the hypothesis that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with physical rehabilitation could enhance functional recovery after TBI. We trained rats to pull on a handle to receive a food reward. Following training, they received a controlled-cortical impact (CCI) in the forelimb area of motor cortex opposite the trained forelimb, and were then randomized into two treatment groups. One group of animals received VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy, whereas another group received rehabilitative therapy without VNS. Following CCI, volitional forelimb strength and task success rate in all animals were significantly reduced. VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy over a period of 5 weeks significantly increased recovery of both forelimb strength and success rate on the isometric pull task compared with rehabilitative training without VNS. No significant improvement was observed in the Rehab group. Our findings indicate that VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy enhances functional motor recovery after TBI.
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May 2016