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On the participation of mTOR in recognition memory.
Evidence indicates that activation of the neuronal protein synthesis machinery is required in areas of the brain relevant to memory for consolidation and persistence of the mnemonic trace. Here, we report that inhibition of hippocampal mTOR, a protein kinase involved in the initiation of mRNA translation, immediately or 180min but not 540min after training impairs consolidation of long-term object recognition memory without affecting short-term memory retention or exploratory behavior. When infused into dorsal CA1 after long-term memory reactivation in the presence of familiar objects the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (RAP) did not affect retention. However, when given immediately after exposing animals to a novel and a familiar object, RAP impaired memory for both of them. The amnesic effect of the post-retrieval administration of RAP was long-lasting, did not happen after exposure to two novel objects or following exploration of the training arena in the absence of other stimuli, suggesting that it was contingent with reactivation of the consolidated trace in the presence of a behaviorally relevant and novel cue. Our results indicate that mTOR activity is required in the dorsal hippocampus for consolidation of object recognition memory and suggest that inhibition of this kinase after memory retrieval in the presence of a particular set of cues hinders persistence of the original recognition memory trace.