Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Ethanol has complex effects on memory performance, although hippocampus-dependent memory may be especially vulnerable to disruption by acute ethanol intoxication occurring during or shortly after a training episode. In the present experiments, the effects of post-training ethanol on delay and trace fear conditioning were examined in adolescent rats. In Experiment 1, 30-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were given delay or trace conditioning trials in which a 10 s flashing light CS was paired with a 0.5 mA shock US. For trace groups, the trace interval was 10 s. On days 31-33, animals were administered ethanol once daily (0.0 or 2.5 g/kg via intragastric intubation), and on day 34 animals were tested for CS-elicited freezing. Results showed that post-training ethanol affected the expression of trace, but had no effect on delay conditioned fear. Experiment 2 revealed that this effect was dose-dependent; doses lower than 2.5 g/kg were without effect. Experiment 3 evaluated whether proximity of ethanol to the time of training or testing was critical. Results show that ethanol administration beginning 24 h after training was more detrimental to trace conditioned freezing than administration that was delayed by 48 h. Finally, in Experiment 4 animals were trained with one of three different trace intervals: 1, 3 or 10 s. Results indicate that post-training administration of 2.5 g/kg ethanol disrupted trace conditioned fear in subjects trained with a 10 s, but not with a I or 3 s, trace interval. Collectively the results suggest that ethanol administration impairs post-acquisition memory processing of hippocampus-dependent trace fear conditioning. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hunt, P. S., Levillain, M. E., Spector, B. M., & Kostelnik, L. A. (2009). Post-training ethanol disrupts trace conditioned fear in rats: effects of timing of ethanol, dose and trace interval duration. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 91(1), 73-80.