The retrieval of recent and remote memories are thought to rely on distinct brain circuits and mechanisms. The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is robustly activated during the retrieval of remotely acquired contextual fear memories (CFMs), but the contribution of particular subdivisions [granular (RSG) vs agranular retrosplenial area (RSA)] and the circuit mechanisms through which they interact to retrieve remote memories remain unexplored. In this study, using both anterograde and retrograde viral tracing approaches, we identified excitatory projections from layer 5 pyramidal neurons of the RSG to the CA1 stratum radiatum/lacunosum-moleculare of the dorsal hippocampus and the superficial layers of the RSA in male mice. We found that chemogenetic or optogenetic inhibition of the RSG-to-CA1, but not the RSG-to-RSA, pathway selectively impairs the retrieval of remote CFMs. Collectively, our results uncover a specific role for the RSG in remote CFM recall and provide circuit evidence that RSG-mediated remote CFM retrieval relies on direct RSG-to-CA1 connectivity. The present study provides a better understanding of brain circuit mechanisms underlying the retrieval of remote CFMs and may help guide the development of therapeutic strategies to attenuate remote traumatic memories that lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 醫藥 (全部)