Amygdala inhibitory neurons as loci for translation in emotional memories

Nature volume 586, pages407–411(2020)

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Abstract

To survive in a dynamic environment, animals need to identify and appropriately respond to stimuli that signal danger1. Survival also depends on suppressing the threat-response during a stimulus that predicts the absence of threat (safety)2,3,4,5. An understanding of the biological substrates of emotional memories during a task in which animals learn to flexibly execute defensive responses to a threat-predictive cue and a safety cue is critical for developing treatments for memory disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder5. The centrolateral amygdala is an important node in the neuronal circuit that mediates defensive responses6,7,8,9, and a key brain area for processing and storing threat memories. Here we applied intersectional chemogenetic strategies to inhibitory neurons in the centrolateral amygdala of mice to block cell-type-specific translation programs that are sensitive to depletion of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (p-eIF2α). We show that de novo translation in somatostatin-expressing inhibitory neurons in the centrolateral amygdala is necessary for the long-term storage of conditioned-threat responses, whereas de novo translation in protein kinase Cδ-expressing inhibitory neurons in the centrolateral amygdala is necessary for the inhibition of a conditioned response to a safety cue. Our results provide insight into the role of de novo protein synthesis in distinct inhibitory neuron populations in the centrolateral amygdala during the consolidation of long-term memories.

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About S. R. Zelenz 102 Articles
S.R. Zelenz has worked in education for 20 years. Working with students from all walks of life, cultures, races, and social diversity, Zelenz’s research in Educational Leadership led to finding a better way to approach learning for students with trauma histories. Many were juvenile offenders, gang members, diagnosed with varying behavioral disorders, or had family histories of violence, murder, or narcissistic parenting. This research could not be effectively accomplished without further understanding: how epigenetic trauma inheritance may be impacting these students; how brain development from trauma may be impacting their behavioral and emotional development; as well as deep understanding of psychology and its varying classifications for behavioral and personality disorders. The goal is to find solutions for changing the conversation and making a real difference for these students. She has also worked with nonprofits of varying focus areas for the last 25 years. Her undergraduate degree in Arts Administration and Music prepared her for managing nonprofits of any size as well as procuring funding so that they can achieve their goals. Pairing her nonprofit background with her education background, she has been able to make a difference for over 200 nonprofits worldwide, written curriculum for schools across the globe, and assisted many arts organizations through performance and management.