Deficits in trace fear memory and long-term potentiation in a mouse model for fragile X syndrome

Ming Gao Zhao, Hiroki Toyoda, Shanelle W. Ko, Hoi Ki Ding, Long Jun Wu, Min Zhuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Trace fear memory requires the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and is sensitive to attention-distracting stimuli. Fragile X syndrome is the most common form of mental retardation with many patients exhibiting attention deficits. Previous studies in fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) knock-out (KO) mice, a mouse model for fragile X, focused mainly on hippocampal-dependent plasticity and spatial memory. We demonstrate that FMR1 knock-out mice show a defect in trace fear memory without changes in locomotion, anxiety, and pain sensitivity. Whole-cell path-clamp recordings in the ACC show that long-term potentiation (LTP) was completely abolished. A similar decrease in LTP was found in the lateral amygdala, another structure implicated in fear memory. No significant changes were found in basal synaptic transmission. This suggests that synaptic plasticity in the ACC and amygdala of FMR1 KO mice plays an important role in the expression of behavioral phenotypes similar to the symptoms of fragile X syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7385-7392
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 10 2005


  • Amygdala
  • Attention
  • Cingulate cortex
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Trace fear memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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