The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact cognitive performance. We assessed the effects of 16O ion irradiation on cognitive performance of C57BL/6J × DBA/2J F1 (B6D2F1) mice at OHSU (Portland, OR) one month following irradiation at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, Upton, NY). Hippocampus-dependent contextual fear memory and hippocampus-independent cued fear memory of B6D2F1 mice were tested. 16O ion exposure enhanced cued fear memory. This effect showed a bell-shaped dose response curve. Cued fear memory was significantly stronger in mice irradiated with 16O ions at a dose of 0.4 or 0.8 Gy than in sham-irradiated mice or following irradiation at 1.6 Gy. In contrast to cued fear memory, contextual fear memory was not affected following 16O ion irradiation at the doses used in this study. These data indicate that the amygdala might be particularly susceptible to effects of 16O ion exposure.
- Fear memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis