Ethanol Disrupts Reactivated Contextual Conditioned Fear Memory: Behavioral and Histological Perspectives

Document Type : Research Article



This research study is an attempt to examine whether the administration of ethanol after memory reactivation would modulate subsequent expression of memory in rats. Additionally, we examined whether this administration alters the density of Cornu Ammonis (CA)1 and CA3 pyramidal and dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, adult male Wistar rats (200-300 g) were trained in a fear conditioning system using two 1 second, 0.6 mA shocks with an interval of 180 seconds. Twenty four hours later rats were returned to the chamber for 120 seconds. Immediately after reactivation they were injected with ethanol (0.5, 1, 1.5 mg/ kg) or saline. 1, 7 and 14 days after reactivation, rats were returned to the context for 5 minutes. Seconds of freezing (absence of all movement except respiration) were scored. In the second experiment (described in the previous paragraph), after test 1, animals were anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital and perfused transcardially with phosphate buffer (10 minutes) and 4% paraformaldehyde (15 minutes). The brains were postfixed in phosphate-buffered 4% paraformaldehyde (24 hours) and 30% sucrose. 10-µm sections were stained with cresyl violet. Data were analyzed by 1-and 2-way ANOVA for repeated measurements by means of SPSS 16.0. Tukey's post hoc test was performed to determine the source of detected significant differences. P