The emotion of despair that occurs with uncontrollable stressful event is probably retained by memory, termed despair-associated memory, although little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we report that forced swimming (FS) with no hope to escape, but not hopefully escapable swimming (ES), enhances hippocampal α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-dependent GluA1 Ser831 phosphorylation (S831-P), induces a slow-onset CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) in freely moving rats and leads to increased test immobility 24-h later. Before FS application of the antagonists to block S831-P or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) or glucocorticoid receptor (GR) disrupts LTP and reduces test immobility, to levels similar to those of the ES group. Because these mechanisms are specifically linked with the hopeless of escape from FS, we suggest that despair-associated memory occurs with an endogenous CA1 LTP that is intriguingly mediated by a unique combination of rapid S831-P with NMDAR and GR activation to shape subsequent behavioral despair.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by 973 program from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2013CB835103 to L.X.), the National Science Foundation of China (31100775 and 31371141 to Q-X.Z.), Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB02020002), External Cooperation Program of BIC of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GJHZ1549) and Science and Technology Program of Yunnan Province (2013GA003).
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