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Science 335 (6075): 1510-1513

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Glucocorticoids Can Induce PTSD-Like Memory Impairments in Mice

Nadia Kaouane,1,2,3 Yves Porte,1,2,* Monique Vallée,2,3 Laurent Brayda-Bruno,1,2,3 Nicole Mons,1,2,{dagger} Ludovic Calandreau,4 Aline Marighetto,1,2,3 Pier Vincenzo Piazza,2,3,{ddagger},§ Aline Desmedt1,2,3,{ddagger},§

Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by a hypermnesia of the trauma and by a memory impairment that decreases the ability to restrict fear to the appropriate context. Infusion of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus after fear conditioning induces PTSD-like memory impairments and an altered pattern of neural activation in the hippocampal-amygdalar circuit. Mice become unable to identify the context as the correct predictor of the threat and show fear responses to a discrete cue not predicting the threat in normal conditions. These data demonstrate PTSD-like memory impairments in rodents and identify a potential pathophysiological mechanism of this condition.

1 CNRS UMR 5228, Centre de Neurosciences Intégratives et Cognitives, 33405 Talence, France.
2 Department of Life Science, Université de Bordeaux, 33077 Bordeaux, France.
3 INSERM U862, Neurocentre Magendie, 146 rue Leo Saignat, 33077 Bordeaux, France.
4 Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) Centre de Tours Nouzilly, Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, CNRS UMR 6175, INRA UMR 85, Université de Tours–Haras Nationaux, 37380 Nouzilly, France.

* Present address: Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, CNRS UMR 5293, Universités Bordeaux 1 et 2, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence, France.

{dagger} Present address: Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, CNRS UMR 5287, Universités Bordeaux 1 et 2, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence, France.

{ddagger} These authors contributed equally to this work.

§ To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: aline.desmedt{at} (A.D.); pier-vincenzo.piazza{at} (P.V.P.)

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