The Vasopressin 1b Receptor Antagonist A-988315 Blocks Stress Effects on the Retrieval of Object-Recognition Memory.
ABSTRACT: Stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and high circulating glucocorticoid levels are well known to impair the retrieval of memory. Vasopressin can activate the HPA axis by stimulating vasopressin 1b (V1b) receptors located on the pituitary. In the present study, we investigated the effect of A-988315, a selective and highly potent non-peptidergic V1b-receptor antagonist with good pharmacokinetic properties, in blocking stress effects on HPA-axis activity and memory retrieval. To study cognitive performance, male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on an object-discrimination task during which they could freely explore two identical objects. Memory for the objects and their location was tested 24 h later. A-988315 (20 or 60 mg/kg) or water was administered orally 90 min before retention testing, followed 60 min later by stress of footshock exposure. A-988315 dose-dependently dampened stress-induced increases in corticosterone plasma levels, but did not significantly alter HPA-axis activity of non-stressed control rats. Most importantly, A-988315 administration prevented stress-induced impairment of memory retrieval on both the object-recognition and the object-location tasks. A-988315 did not alter the retention of non-stressed rats and did not influence the total time spent exploring the objects or experimental context in either stressed or non-stressed rats. Thus, these findings indicate that direct antagonism of V1b receptors is an effective treatment to block stress-induced activation of the HPA axis and the consequent impairment of retrieval of different aspects of recognition memory.
Project description:Arginine vasopressin (AVP) from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of hypothalamus has important roles in regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and stress-related behaviors during chronic stress. It is unknown, however, whether AVP in the PVN is involved in the modulation of HPA activity after chronic cocaine exposure. Here, we examined the gene expression alterations of AVP in the hypothalamus, and V1b receptor and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the anterior pituitary, as well as HPA hormonal changes, in Fischer rats after chronic cocaine and withdrawal, using two different chronic (14-day) 'binge' pattern administration regimens: steady-dose cocaine (SDC, 45 mg/kg/day) and escalating-dose cocaine (EDC, 45 up to 90 mg/kg/day). There was a significant (7-fold) plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) elevation after chronic EDC (but not SDC), coupled with increased V1b and POMC mRNA levels in the anterior pituitary. From acute (1-day) to protracted (14-day) withdrawal from chronic EDC (but not from SDC), we found persistent elevations of both plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels and AVP mRNA levels in the PVN. Selective V1b antagonist SSR149415 (5 mg/kg) attenuated acute withdrawal-induced HPA activation after EDC. To study potential roles of endogenous opioids in modulating the AVP gene, we administered naloxone (1 mg/kg); we found that opioid receptor antagonism increased AVP mRNA levels in cocaine-naive rats, but not in cocaine-withdrawn rats, suggesting less tonic opioid inhibition of PVN AVP neurons after chronic EDC. To assess the effects of cocaine withdrawal on sub-populations of PVN AVP neurons, we utilized AVP-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) promoter transgenic mice and found that acute withdrawal following chronic EDC increased the number of AVP-EGFP neurons in the parvocellular PVN (pPVN). These results suggest that during protracted withdrawal, enhanced pPVN AVP gene expression is associated with persistent elevations of basal HPA activity; a hyposensitivity of PVN AVP gene expression to naloxone is indicative of reduced opioidergic tone. Our studies indicate that the AVP and its V1b receptor system may be a potential therapeutic target for treating anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with cocaine addiction.
Project description:Context-dependent memories may guide adaptive behavior relaying in previous experience while updating stored information through reconsolidation. Retrieval can be triggered by partial and shared cues. When the cue is presented, the most relevant memory should be updated. In a contextual version of the object recognition task, we examined the effect of medial PFC (mPFC) serotonin 2a receptor (5-HT2aR) blockade during retrieval in reconsolidation of competing objects memories. We found that mPFC 5-HT2aR controls retrieval and reconsolidation of object memories in the perirhinal cortex (PRH), but not in the dorsal hippocampus in rats. Also, reconsolidation of objects memories in PRH required a functional interaction between the ventral hippocampus and the mPFC. Our results indicate that in the presence of conflicting information at retrieval, mPFC 5-HT2aR may facilitate top-down context-guided control over PRH to control the behavioral response and object memory reconsolidation.
Project description:The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a critical site for the reconsolidation of labile contextual cocaine memories following retrieval-induced reactivation/destabilization. Here, we examined whether glucocorticoid receptors (GR), which are abundant in the BLA, mediate this phenomenon. Rats were trained to lever press for cocaine reinforcement in a distinct environmental context, followed by extinction training in a different context. Rats were then briefly exposed to the cocaine-paired context (to elicit memory reactivation and reconsolidation) or their home cages (no reactivation control). Exposure to the cocaine-paired context elicited greater serum corticosterone concentrations than home cage stay. Interestingly, the GR antagonist, mifepristone (3-10 ng/hemisphere), administered into the BLA after memory reactivation produced a further, dose-dependent increase in serum corticosterone concentrations during the putative time of cocaine-memory reconsolidation but produced an inverted U-shaped dose-effect curve on subsequent cocaine-seeking behavior 72 h later. This effect was anatomically selective, dependent on memory reactivation (i.e., not observed after home cage exposure), and did not reflect protracted hyperactivity. However, the effect was also observed when mifepristone was administered after novelty stress that mimics drug context-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation without explicit memory reactivation. Together, these findings suggest that, similar to explicit memory retrieval, a stressful event is sufficient to destabilize cocaine memories and permit their manipulation. Furthermore, BLA GR stimulation exerts inhibitory feedback upon HPA axis activation and thus suppresses cocaine-memory reconsolidation.
Project description:This study sought to investigate the role of nocturnal sleep duration for the retrieval of oversleep consolidated memories, both prior to and after being cognitively stressed for ?30 minutes the next morning.Participants learned object locations (declarative memory task comprising 15 card pairs) and a finger tapping sequence (procedural memory task comprising 5 digits) in the evening. After learning, participants either had a sleep opportunity of 8 hours (between ?23:00 and ?07:00, full sleep condition) or they could sleep between ?03:00 and ?07:00 (short sleep condition). Retrieval of both memory tasks was tested in the morning after each sleep condition, both before (?08:30) and after being stressed (?09:50).Sleep laboratory.15 healthy young men.The analyses demonstrated that oversleep memory changes did not differ between sleep conditions. However, in their short sleep condition, following stress hallmarked by increased subjective stress feelings, the men were unable to maintain their pre-stress performance on the declarative memory task, whereas their performance on the procedural memory task remained unchanged. While men felt comparably subjectively stressed by the stress intervention, overall no differences between pre- and post-stress recalls were observed following a full night of sleep.The findings suggest that 8-h sleep duration, within the range recommended by the US National Sleep Foundation, may not only help consolidate newly learned procedural and declarative memories, but also ensure full access to both during periods of subjective stress.
Project description:The hippocampus is critical for human episodic memory, but its role remains controversial. One fundamental question concerns whether the hippocampus represents specific objects or assigns context-dependent representations to objects. Here, we used multivoxel pattern similarity analysis of fMRI data during retrieval of learned object sequences to systematically investigate hippocampal coding of object and temporal context information. Hippocampal activity patterns carried information about the temporal positions of objects in learned sequences, but not about objects or temporal positions in random sequences. Hippocampal activity patterns differentiated between overlapping object sequences and between temporally adjacent objects that belonged to distinct sequence contexts. Parahippocampal and perirhinal cortex showed different pattern information profiles consistent with coding of temporal position and object information, respectively. These findings are consistent with models proposing that the hippocampus represents objects within specific temporal contexts, a capability that might explain its critical role in episodic memory.
Project description:After being trained to find a previous missing object within an array of four different objects, rats received occasional probe trials with such test arrays rotated from that of their respective three-object study arrays. Only animals exposed to each object's non-spatial features consistently paired with both its spatial features (feeder's relative orientation and direction) in the first experiment or with only feeder's relative orientation in the second experiment (Fixed Configuration groups) were adversely affected by probe trial test array rotations. This effect, however, was less persistent for this group in the second experiment but re-emerged when objects' non-spatial features were later rendered uninformative. Animals that had both types of each object's features randomly paired over trials but not between a trial's study and test array (Varied Configuration groups) were not adversely affected on probe trials but improved their missing-object recognition in the first experiment. These findings suggest that the Fixed Configuration groups had integrated each object's non-spatial with both (in Experiment 1) or one (in Experiment 2) of its spatial features to construct a single representation that they could not easily compare to any object in a rotated probe test array. The Varied Configuration groups must maintain separate representations of each object's features to solve this task. This prevented them from exhibiting such adverse effects on rotated probe trial test arrays but enhanced the rats' missing-object recognition in the first experiment. We discussed how rats' flexible use (retrieval) of encoded information from their visuospatial working memory corresponds to that of humans' visuospatial memory in object change detection and complex object recognition tasks. We also discussed how foraging-specific factors may have influenced each group's performance in this task.
Project description:Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often complain of doubt related to memory. As neuropsychological research has demonstrated that individuals with OCD tend to focus on details and miss the larger context, the construct of source (contextual) memory may be particularly relevant to memory complaints in OCD. Memory for object versus contextual information relies on partially distinct regions within the prefrontal cortex, parietal and medial temporal lobe, and may be differentially impacted by OCD. In the present study, we sought to test the hypothesis that individuals with OCD exhibit impaired source memory retrieval using a novel memory paradigm - The Memory for Rooms Test (MFRT) - a four-room memory task in which participants walk through four rooms and attempt to encode and remember objects. Demographically matched individuals with OCD and healthy controls studied objects in the context of four rooms, and then completed a memory retrieval test while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). While no differences were observed in source memory accuracy, individuals with OCD exhibited greater task related activation in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) relative to healthy controls during correct source memory retrieval. During correct object recognition, individuals with OCD failed to recruit the dorsolateral prefrontal(DLPFC)/premotor, left mPFC, and right parietal regions to the same extent as healthy controls. Our results suggest abnormal recruitment of frontal-parietal and PCC regions during source verses object memory retrieval in OCD. Within the OCD group, activation in the PCC and the premotor/DLPFC was associated with greater pathological doubt. This finding is consistent with the observation that OCD patients often experience extreme doubt, even when memory performance is intact.
Project description:Our episodic memory stores what happened when and where in life. Episodic memory requires the rapid formation and flexible retrieval of where things are located in space. Consciousness of the encoding scene is considered crucial for episodic memory formation. Here, we question the necessity of consciousness and hypothesize that humans can form unconscious episodic memories. Participants were presented with subliminal scenes, that is, scenes invisible to the conscious mind. The scenes displayed objects at certain locations for participants to form unconscious object-in-space memories. Later, the same scenes were presented supraliminally, that is, visibly, for retrieval testing. Scenes were presented absent the objects and rotated by 90°-270° in perspective to assess the representational flexibility of unconsciously formed memories. During the test phase, participants performed a forced-choice task that required them to place an object in one of two highlighted scene locations and their eye movements were recorded. Evaluation of the eye tracking data revealed that participants remembered object locations unconsciously, irrespective of changes in viewing perspective. This effect of gaze was related to correct placements of objects in scenes, and an intuitive decision style was necessary for unconscious memories to influence intentional behavior to a significant degree. We conclude that conscious perception is not mandatory for spatial episodic memory formation.
Project description:The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is known to play an important role in object recognition. Little is known, however, regarding the activity of PRC neurons during the presentation of stimuli that are commonly used for recognition memory tasks in rodents, that is, three-dimensional objects. Rats in the present study were exposed to three-dimensional objects while they traversed a circular track for food reward. Under some behavioral conditions, the track contained novel objects, familiar objects, or no objects. Approximately 38% of PRC neurons demonstrated "object fields" (a selective increase in firing at the location of one or more objects). Although the rats spent more time exploring the objects when they were novel compared to familiar, indicating successful recognition memory, the proportion of object fields and the firing rates of PRC neurons were not affected by the rats' previous experience with the objects. Together, these data indicate that the activity of PRC cells is powerfully affected by the presence of objects while animals navigate through an environment; but under these conditions, the firing patterns are not altered by the relative novelty of objects during successful object recognition.
Project description:Using a novel paradigm to engage the long-term mappings between object names and the prototypical colors for objects, we investigated the retrieval of object-color knowledge as indexed by long-term priming (the benefit in performance from a prior encounter with the same or a similar stimulus); a process about which little is known. We examined priming from object naming on a lexical-semantic matching task. In the matching task participants encountered a visually presented object name (Experiment 1) or object shape (Experiment 2) paired with either a color patch or color name. The pairings could either match whereby both were consistent with a familiar object (e.g., strawberry and red) or mismatch (strawberry and blue). We used the matching task to probe knowledge about familiar objects and their colors pre-activated during object naming. In particular, we examined whether the retrieval of object-color information was modality-specific and whether this influenced priming. Priming varied with the nature of the retrieval process: object-color priming arose for object names but not object shapes and beneficial effects of priming were observed for color patches whereas inhibitory priming arose with color names. These findings have implications for understanding how object knowledge is retrieved from memory and modified by learning.