Fear memory may undergo a process after memory reactivation called reconsolidation. To examine the roles of ephrinA4 in fear memory reconsolidation an inhibitory ephrinA4 mimetic peptide (pep-ephrinA4), that targets the EphA binding site and inhibits EphA activation, was used. Pep-ephrinA4 was microinjected into the lateral amygdala (LA) of fear-conditioned rats 24 h after training and 30 min before tone CS memory retrieval. Memory retrieval was unaffected by pep-ephrinA4. However, the animals were impaired in fear memory tested 1 h or 24 h afterward when compared to controls. Fear-conditioned animals injected with pep-ephrinA4 into LA immediately after long-term memory retrieval were unaffected when tested 24 h afterward. Microinjection into LA of a peptide originated from an ephrinA4 site that does not interact with EphA did not affect fear memory reconsolidation. Rats that were administrated with pep-ephrinA4 systemically 24 h after fear conditioning and 30 min before CS memory retrieval were impaired in long-term fear conditioning memory tested 24 h afterward when compared to the control peptide. These results show that ephrinA4 binding sites are needed for long-term fear memory reconsolidation in LA and may serve as a target for the treatment of fear-related disorders by blocking reconsolidation.
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