Event Date and Time
1103 Bioscience Research Building

Amygdala astrocytes gate the retrieval of fear memory

Brain systems mediating behavioral responses to previously encountered threats are critical to animals’ survival. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) mediates the expression of fear memory, but the contribution of BLA astrocytes to fear remains unclear. Employing in vivo calcium imaging, we found that BLA astrocytes dynamically track behavioral fear state and, using chronic and acute calcium manipulations, causally and bidirectionally link astrocyte-calcium levels with fear expression. In vivo cellular-resolution calcium imaging revealed how neuronal representations of fear are shaped by astrocytes. Our findings reveal that retrieval of fear memory involves a previously unknown degree of functional interaction between BA astrocytes and neurons, redefining current neurocircuit models of an essential survival function.

Dr. Andrew Holmes is a Senior Investigator at NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


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