Age-related impairments in memory and in CREB and pCREB expression in hippocampus and amygdala following inhibitory avoidance training

Ken A. Morris, Paul E. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


This experiment examined whether age-related changes in CREB and pCREB contribute to the rapid forgetting seen in aged animals. Young (3-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) Fischer-344 rats received inhibitory avoidance training with a low (0.2. mA, 0.4. s) or moderate (0.5. mA, 0.5. s) foot shock; memory was measured 7 days later. Other rats were euthanized 30. min after training, and CREB and pCREB expression levels were examined in the hippocampus, amygdala, and piriform cortex using immunohistochemistry. CREB levels decreased with age in the hippocampus and amygdala. After training with either shock level, young rats exhibited good memory and increases in pCREB levels in the hippocampus and amygdala. Aged rats exhibited good memory for the moderate but not the low shock but did not show increases in pCREB levels after either shock intensity. These results suggest that decreases in total CREB and in pCREB activation in the hippocampus and amygdala may contribute to rapid forgetting in aged rats. After moderate foot shock, the stable memory in old rats together with absence of CREB activation suggests either that CREB was phosphorylated in a spatiotemporal pattern other than analyzed here or that the stronger training conditions engaged alternate mechanisms that promote long-lasting memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012



  • Amygdala
  • CREB
  • Hippocampus
  • Inhibitory avoidance
  • Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology

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