This website requires JavaScript.
DOI: 10.1101/2023.05.22.541732

Basolateral Amygdala Corticotrophin Releasing Factor Receptor 2 Interacts with Nonmuscle Myosin II to Destabilize Memory

M.Hafenbreidel S. B. Briggs M. Arza ...+10 C. A. Miller
Inhibiting the actin motor ATPase nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) with blebbistatin (Blebb) in the basolateral amgydala (BLA) depolymerizes actin, resulting in an immediate, retrieval-independent disruption of methamphetamine (METH)-associated memory. The effect is highly selective, as NMII inhibition has no effect in other relevant brain regions (e.g. dorsal hippocampus [dPHC], nucleus accumbens [NAc]), nor does it interfere with associations for other aversive or appetitive stimuli, including cocaine (COC). To investigate a potential source of this specificity, pharmacokinetic differences in METH and COC brain exposure were examined. Replicating METH's longer half-life with COC did not render the COC association susceptible to disruption by NMII inhibition. Therefore, transcriptional differences were next assessed. Comparative RNA-seq profiling in the BLA, dHPC and NAc following METH or COC conditioning identified crhr2, which encodes the corticotrophin releasing factor receptor 2 (CRF2), as uniquely upregulated by METH in the BLA. CRF2 antagonism with Astressin-2B (AS2B) had no effect on METH-associated memory after consolidation, allowing for determination of CRF2 influences on NMII-based susceptibility after METH conditioning. Pretreatment with AS2B occluded the ability of Blebb to disrupt an established METH-associated memory. Alternatively, the Blebb-induced, retrieval-independent memory disruption seen with METH was mimicked for COC when combined with CRF2 overexpression in the BLA and its ligand, UCN3 during conditioning. These results indicate that BLA CRF2 receptor activation during learning can prevent stabilization of the actin-myosin cytoskeleton supporting the memory, rendering it vulnerable to disruption via NMII inhibition. CRF2 represents an interesting target for BLA-dependent memory destabilization via downstream effects on NMII.