Abrari K, Rashidy-Pour A, Semnanian S, Fathollahi,Y
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory - 91, , - February, 2009
Publication year: 2009


This study was designed to examine the effect of corticosterone on consolidation of contextual fear memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) in rats. In Experiment 1, dose-response effects of corticosterone on consolidation of contextual fear memory were determined. Immediately after training in contextual fear conditioning task, rats received different doses of corticosterone. Testing 24 h later, it revealed that corticosterone enhanced memory consolidation in an inverted U shape as evidenced in increased freezing behavior of corticosterone-treated animals. The most effective dose was 3 mg/kg. In Experiment 2, LTP was examined in rats whose memory consolidation has been enhanced with corticosterone. The rats were trained as the above and received corticosterone (3 mg/kg) immediately after training. Immediately or up to one day after retention test, rats were anesthetized with urethane for LTP experiments. For LTP induction, three episodes of high frequency stimuli, 30 s apart, were delivered to the perforant path, each consisting of 10 stimuli at 250 Hz. LTP was assessed by measuring the increase in the initial slope of the population excitatory post-synaptic potentials and the amplitude of the population spikes. Data indicated that animals whose memory has been enhanced by corticosterone, also displayed enhanced hippocampal LTP. The above findings suggest that glucocorticoids may enhance contextual fear memory consolidation via enhancing hippocampal LTP.