Improved learning and memory of contextual fear conditioning and hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation in histidine decarboxylase knock-out mice

Luying Liu, Shihong Zhang, Yongping Zhu, Qiuli Fu, Yuanyuan Zhu, Yingxia Gong, Hiroshi Ohtsu, Jianhong Luo, Erqing Wei, Zhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some studies suggest that the histaminergic system plays an important role in learning and memory. However, the results seem to be controversial in many behavioral tasks. In the present study, we used HDC knockout (HDC-KO) mice to investigate the effects of long-term histamine deficiency on learning and memory in contextual fear conditioning. We found that HDC-KO mice exhibited improved contextual fear from 1 day after training and this lasted for at least 14 days when compared with the wild-type (WT) controls. Cued fear was also improved 2 days after training in HDC-KO mice. Moreover, injection of histamine (intracerebroventricularly, 10 μg/mouse) immediately after training reversed the improvement in contextual fear conditioning when tested 1 day after training. Electrophysiological data showed that hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) in HDC-KO mice was much greater than that in WT mice, and paired-pulse facilitation decreased 2 h after LTP induction in HDC-KO mice. In contrast, HDC-KO mice showed smaller LTP than did WT mice 1 day after training. Hippocampal glutamate levels significantly increased in HDC-KO mice 1 and 4 days after training. The results indicated that histamine deficiency may improve consolidation of contextual fear conditioning. This improvement may be due to the increased hippocampal CA1 LTP, and presynaptic glutamate release. The relationship between behavior and synaptic plasticity provides support for the involvement of activity-dependent LTP in learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-641
Number of pages8
JournalHippocampus
Volume17
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Fear conditioning
  • Histamine
  • Histidine decarboxylase knockout mice
  • Learning and memory
  • Long-term depression
  • Long-term potentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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