Involvement of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex in consolidation of inhibitory avoidance memory: Interaction with the basolateral amygdala

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Abstract

Previous findings suggest that the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) is involved in memory for emotionally arousing training. There is also extensive evidence that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of emotional arousing training experiences via interactions with other brain regions. The present experiments examined the effects of posttraining intra-rACC infusions of the cholinergic agonist oxotremorine (OXO) on inhibitory avoidance (IA) retention and investigated whether the BLA and rACC interact in enabling OXO effects on memory. In the first experiment, male Sprague–Dawley rats were implanted with bilateral cannulae above the rACC and given immediate posttraining OXO infusions. OXO (0.5 or 3 ng) induced significant enhancement of retention performance on a 48-h test. In the second experiment, unilateral posttraining OXO infusions (0.5, 3.0 or 10 ng) enhanced retention when infused into rACC, but not caudal ACC, consistent with previous evidence that ACC is composed of functionally distinct regions. A third experiment investigated the effects of posttraining intra-rACC OXO infusions (0.5 or 10 ng) in rats with bilateral sham or NMDA-induced lesions of the BLA. The BLA lesions did not impair IA retention, but blocked the enhancement induced by posttraining intra-rACC OXO infusions. Lastly, unilateral NMDA lesions of rACC blocked the enhancement of IA retention induced by posttraining ipsilateral OXO infusions into the BLA. These findings support the hypothesis that the rACC is involved in modulating the storage of emotional events and provide additional evidence that the BLA modulates memory consolidation through interactions with efferent brain regions, including the cortex.

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