Coincident Pre- and Post-Synaptic Cortical Remodelling Disengages Episodic Memory from Its Original Context

Gisella Vetere, Antonella Borreca, Annabella Pignataro, Giulia Conforto, Michela Giustizieri, Silvia Marinelli, Martine Ammassari-Teule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The view that the neocortex is remotely recruited for long-term episodic memory recall is challenged by data showing that an intense transcriptional and synaptic activity is detected in this region immediately after training. By measuring markers of synaptic activity at recent and remote time points from contextual fear conditioning (CFC), we could show that pre-synaptic changes are selectively detected 1 day post-training when the memory is anchored to the training context. Differently, pre- and post-synaptic changes are detected 14 days post-training when the memory generalizes to other contexts. Confirming that coincident pre- and post-synaptic remodelling mediates the disengagement of memory from its original context, DREADDs-mediated enhancement of cortical neuron activity during CFC training anticipates expression of a schematic memory and observation of bilateral synaptic remodelling. Together, our data show that the plastic properties of cortical synapses vary over time and specialise in relation to the quality of memory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Dendritic spines
  • Episodic memory
  • Miniature EPSC
  • Neocortex
  • Synaptic proteins
  • Systems consolidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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