Post-training gamma irradiation-enhanced contextual fear memory associated with reduced neuronal activation of the infralimbic cortex

Tara Kugelman, Damian G. Zuloaga, Sydney Weber, Jacob Raber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The brain might be exposed to irradiation under a variety of situations, including clinical treatments, nuclear accidents, dirty bomb scenarios, and military and space missions. Correctly recalling tasks learned prior to irradiation is important but little is known about post-learning effects of irradiation. It is not clear whether exposure to X-ray irradiation during memory consolidation, a few hours following training, is associated with altered contextual fear conditioning 24. h after irradiation and which brain region(s) might be involved in these effects. Brain immunoreactivity patterns of the immediately early gene c-Fos, a marker of cellular activity was used to determine which brain areas might be altered in post-training irradiation memory retention tasks. In this study, we show that post-training gamma irradiation exposure (1. Gy) enhanced contextual fear memory 24. h later and is associated with reduced cellular activation in the infralimbic cortex. Reduced GABA-ergic neurotransmission in parvalbumin-positive cells in the infralimbic cortex might play a role in this post-training radiation-enhanced contextual fear memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016



  • C-Fos
  • Contextual
  • Fear memory
  • Infralimbic
  • Irradiation
  • Parvalbumin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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