Drug-associated conditioned cues promote subjects to recall drug reward memory, resulting in drug-seeking and reinstatement. A consolidated memory becomes unstable after recall, such that the amnestic agent can disrupt the memory during the reconsolidation stage, which implicates a potential therapeutic strategy for weakening maladaptive memories. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) involves the association of conditioned cues with reward and aversive valences and projects the information to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) that mediates reward-seeking. However, whether the BLA-NAc projection plays a role in drug-associated memory reactivation and reconsolidation is unknown. We used methamphetamine (MeAM) conditioned place preference (CPP) to investigate the role of BLA-NAc neural projection in the memory reconsolidation. Two weeks before CPP training, we infused adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying the designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) or control constructs. We infused clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) after the recall test to manipulate the neural activity of BLA-NAc projections in mice. We found that after recall, DREADD-mediated inhibition of BLA neurons projecting to the NAc core blunted consolidated MeAM-associated memory. Inhibition of BLA glutamatergic nerve terminals in the NAc core 1 h after recall disrupted consolidated MeAM-associated memory. However, inhibiting this pathway after the time window of reconsolidation failed to affect memory. Furthermore, under the condition without memory retrieval, DREADD-mediated activation of BLA-NAc core projection was required for amnesic agents to disrupt consolidated MeAM-associated memory. Our findings provide evidence that the BLA-NAc pathway activity is involved in the post-retrieval processing of MeAM-associated memory in CPP.
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