Functional connectivity of anterior retrosplenial cortex in object recognition memory

de Landeta, Ana Belén
Pereyra, Magdalena
Miranda, Magdalena
Bekinschtein, Pedro
Medina, Jorge Horacio
Katche, Cynthia
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"Recognition memory can rely on three components: “what”, “where” and “when”. Recently we demonstrated that the anterior retrosplenial cortex (aRSC), like the perirhinal cortex (PRH) and unlike the hippocampus (HP), is required for consolidation of the “what” component. Here, we aimed at studying which brain structures interact with the aRSC to process object recognition (OR) memory in rats. We studied the interaction of six brain structures that are connected to the aRSC during OR memory processing: PRH, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anteromedial thalamic nuclei (AM), medial entorhinal cortex (MEC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the dorsal HP (dHP). We previously described the role of the PRH and dHP, so we first studied the participation of the mPFC, AM, MEC and ACC in OR memory consolidation by bilateral microinfusions of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol. We observed an impairment in OR long-term memory (LTM) when inactivating the mPFC, the AM and the MEC, but not the ACC. Then, we studied the functional connections by unilateral inactivation of the aRSC and each one of the six structures in the same (ipsilateral) or the opposite (contralateral) hemisphere. Our results showed an amnesic LTM effect in rats with ipsilateral inactivations of aRSC-PRH, aRSC-mPFC, aRSC-AM, or aRSC-MEC. On the other hand, we observed memory impairment when aRSC-ACC were inactivated in opposite hemispheres, and no effect when the aRSC-dHP connection was inactivated. Thus, our ipsilateral inactivation findings reveal that the aRSC and, at least one brain region required in OR LTM processing are essential to consolidate OR memory. In conclusion, our results show that several cortico-cortical and cortico thalamic pathways are important for OR memory consolidation."