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Time-place learning and memory persist in mice lacking functional Per1 and Per2 clock genes

By C. Mulder, E. A. Van Der Zee, R. A. Hut and M. P. Gerkema

Abstract

With time-place learning, animals link a stimulus with the location and the time of day. This ability may optimize resource localization and predator avoidance in daily changing environments. Time-place learning is a suitable task to study the interaction of the circadian system and memory. Previously, we showed that time-place learning in mice depends on the circadian system and Cry1 and/or Cry2 clock genes. We questioned whether time-place learning is Cry specific or also depends on other core molecular clock genes. Here, we show that Per1/Per2 double mutant mice, despite their arrhythmic phenotype, acquire time-place learning similar to wild-type mice. As well as an established role in circadian rhythms, Per genes have also been implicated in the formation and storage of memory. We found no deficiencies in short-term spatial working memory in Per mutant mice compared to wild-type mice. Moreover, both Per mutant and wild-type mice showed similar long-term memory for contextual features of a paradigm (a mild foot shock), measured in trained mice after a 2-month nontesting interval. In contrast, time-place associations were lost in both wild-type and mutant mice after these 2 months, suggesting a lack of maintained long-term memory storage for this type of information. Taken together, Cry-dependent time-place learning does not require Per genes, and Per mutant mice showed no PER-specific short-term or long-term memory deficiencies. These results limit the functional role of Per clock genes in the circadian regulation of time-place learning and memory

Topics: circadian, time-place learning, memory, Period, Cryptochrome, mice, MAMMALIAN CIRCADIAN CLOCK, MUTANT MICE, FOOD ANTICIPATION, ACTIVITY RHYTHM, METHAMPHETAMINE, MPER1, RATS, NEUROBIOLOGY, OSCILLATOR, MODULATION
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0748730413512958
OAI identifier:
Provided by: NARCIS
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