Selectively enhanced contextual fear conditioning in mice lacking the transcriptional regulator CCAAT/enhancer binding protein δ

Esta Sterneck, Richard Paylor, Vernice Jackson-Lewis, Megan Libbey, Serge Przedborski, Lino Tessarollo, Jacqueline Crawley, Peter F. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

119 Scopus citations

Abstract

CCAAT/enhancer binding protein δ (C/EBPδ) is a transcriptional regulator implicated in the hepatic acute phase response and in adipogenic and myeloid cell differentiation. We found that C/EBPδ is widely expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems, including neurons of the hippocampal formation, indicating a role in neural functions. To examine the role of C/EBPδ in vivo, we generated mice with a targeted deletion of the C/EBPδ gene. This mutation does not interfere with normal embryonic and postnatal development. Performance in a battery of behavioral tests indicates that basic neurological functions are normal. Furthermore, performance in a Morris water maze task suggests that C/EBPδ mutant mice have normal spatial learning. However, in the contextual and auditory-cue-conditioned fear task, C/EBPδ null mice displayed significantly more conditioned freezing to the test context than did wild-type controls, but equivalent conditioning to the auditory cue. These data demonstrate a selectively enhanced contextual fear response in mice carrying a targeted genomic mutation and implicate C/EBPδ in the regulation of a specific type of learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10908-10913
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume95
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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