The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is highly stress sensitive and known to modulate memory formation of emotionally arousing experiences across different corticolimbic structures. eCB signaling within these circuits is also essentially involved in regulating non-genomically mediated glucocorticoid hormone effects on memory. It has long been thought that the dorsal striatum, which plays a major role in procedural memory and habit formation, is considerably less impacted by stressful experiences; however, recent findings indicate that stress and glucocorticoids also affect striatal-dependent memory processes. Yet, to what extent eCB signaling within the dorsal striatum may mediate such glucocorticoid effects on memory consolidation is currently unknown. Here we show, in male Wistar rats, that the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 administered into the dorsal striatum immediately after an inhibitory avoidance training experience dose-dependently enhanced 48-h retention performance. Conversely, the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist AM251 impaired retention when administered into the dorsal striatum after inhibitory avoidance training. Most importantly, antagonism of striatal CB1R activity with AM251 completely abolished the effect of corticosterone or of the membrane-impermeable ligand corticosterone:BSA administered posttraining into the dorsal striatum or injected systemically on enhancement of inhibitory avoidance memory. Further, suppression of glucocorticoid signaling by systemic injection of the corticosterone-synthesis inhibitor metyrapone also impaired the memory-enhancing effect of intra-striatal WIN55, 212-2 administration. These findings indicate that the eCB system, in close interaction with glucocorticoid signaling, is involved in modulating plasticity changes underlying memory consolidation not only in corticolimbic structures but also within the dorsal striatum.
Dorsal striatum; Emotional memory; Endocannabinoids; Glucocorticoids; Memory consolidation; Stress
- PMID: 30216767
- DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.08.021