Fear learning and memory are vital for livings to survive, dysfunctions in which have been implicated in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Appropriate neuronal activation in amygdala is critical for fear memory. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms are not well understood. Here we report that Neogenin, a DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer) family receptor, which plays important roles in axon navigation and adult neurogenesis, is enriched in excitatory neurons in BLA (Basolateral amygdala). Fear memory is impaired in male Neogenin mutant mice. The number of cFos+ neurons in response to tone-cued fear training was reduced in mutant mice, indicating aberrant neuronal activation in the absence of Neogenin. Electrophysiological studies show that Neogenin mutation reduced the cortical afferent input to BLA pyramidal neurons and compromised both induction and maintenance of Long-Term Potentiation evoked by stimulating cortical afferent, suggesting a role of Neogenin in synaptic plasticity. Concomitantly, there was a reduction in spine density and in frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), but not miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents, suggesting a role of Neogenin in forming excitatory synapses. Finally, ablating Neogenin in the BLA in adult male mice impaired fear memory likely by reducing mEPSC frequency in BLA excitatory neurons. These results reveal an unrecognized function of Neogenin in amygdala for information processing by promoting and maintaining neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity and provide insight into molecular mechanisms of neuronal activation in amygdala.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Oct 31 2018|
- Fear memory
- Synaptic transmission
ASJC Scopus subject areas