Late expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the amygdala is required for persistence of fear memory

Li Chin Ou, Shiu Hwa Yeh, Po Wu Gean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


In many instances, increase in neuronal activity can induce biphasic secretion of a modulator. The initial release of the modulator triggers the induction of synaptic plasticity, whereas the second-phase release reinforces the efficacy of synaptic transmission and growth of dendrites and axons. In this study, we showed that fear conditioning not only induced the first but also a second peak of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression. Fluorescent immunohistostaining confirmed that BDNF expression increased at 1 and 12. h after conditioning and returned to baseline at 30. h after conditioning. Mature BDNF expression increased in a similar manner. TrkB-IgG or K252a infusion before training impaired fear memory on days 1 and 7 after training. In contrast, TrkB-IgG or K252a infusion 9. h after fear conditioning did not affect memory retention on day 1 after training but impaired fear memory on day 7 after training. Fear conditioning significantly enhanced Zif268 expression in the amygdala at 12. h after training; this enhanced expression was completely inhibited by TrkB-IgG infusion 9. h after training. The level of growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43), a marker of newly formed synapses, in the amygdala increased 7. days after fear conditioning. Moreover, conditioned rats had higher AMPA/NMDA ratio than unpaired rats. These results suggest that consolidated memory could be continuously modulated by previous molecular changes produced during memory acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-382
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Late expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the amygdala is required for persistence of fear memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this