Glutaminase1 heterozygous mice show enhanced trace fear conditioning and Arc/Arg3.1 expression in hippocampus and cingulate cortex

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Mice heterozygous for a mutation in the glutaminase (GLS1) gene (GLS1 HZ mice), with reduced glutamate recycling and release, display reduced hippocampal function as well as memory of contextual cues in a delay fear conditioning (FC) paradigm. Here, we asked whether this deficit reflects an inability to process contextual information or a selective alteration in salience attribution. In addition, we asked whether baseline and activity-induced hippocampal activity were diminished in GLS1 HZ mice. For this purpose, we manipulated the relative salience of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and contextual cues in FC tasks, and examined gene expression of the immediate early gene Arc (Arc/Arg3.1) in hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) following trace FC (tFC). The results indicate that GLS1 HZ mice succeed in processing contextual information when the salient CS is absent or less predictive. In addition, in the hippocampus-dependent tFC paradigm GLS1 HZ mice display enhanced CS learning. Furthermore, while baseline arc activation was reduced in GLS1 HZ mice in the hippocampus, in line with previous fMRI findings, it was enhanced in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex following tFC. These findings suggest that GLS1 HZ mice have a pro-cognitive profile in the tFC paradigm, and this phenotype involves activation of both hippocampus and ACC.Taken together with previous work on the GLS1 HZ mouse, this study sheds light on the importance of glutamate transmission to memory processes that require the allocation of attentional resources, and extends our understanding of the underpinnings of attention deficits in SZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1916-1924
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by Israel Science Foundation (ISF) 484/10 , ISF New Lab Equipment Grant 1673/10 and Binational Science Foundation (BSF) 2009301 to IGS. The ISF and BSF had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.


  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Arc/Arg 3.1
  • Fear conditioning
  • Glutamate
  • Glutaminase
  • Hippocampus
  • Mouse
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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