Image-guided cranial irradiation-induced ablation of dentate gyrus neurogenesis impairs extinction of recent morphine reward memories

Phillip D. Rivera, Steven J. Simmons, Ryan P. Reynolds, Alanna L. Just, Shari G Birnbaum, Amelia J Eisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Dentate gyrus adult neurogenesis is implicated in the formation of hippocampal-dependent contextual associations. However, the role of adult neurogenesis during reward-based context-dependent paradigms—such as conditioned place preference (CPP)—is understudied. Therefore, we used image-guided, hippocampal-targeted X-ray irradiation (IG-IR) and morphine CPP to explore whether dentate gyrus adult neurogenesis plays a role in reward memories created in adult C57BL/6J male mice. In addition, as adult neurogenesis appears to participate to a greater extent in retrieval and extinction of recent (<48 hr posttraining) versus remote (>1 week posttraining) memories, we specifically examined the role of adult neurogenesis in reward-associated contextual memories probed at recent and remote timepoints. Six weeks post-IG-IR or Sham treatment, mice underwent morphine CPP. Using separate groups, retrieval of recent and remote reward memories was found to be similar between IG-IR and Sham treatments. Interestingly, IG-IR mice showed impaired extinction—or increased persistence—of the morphine-associated reward memory when it was probed 24-hr (recent) but not 3-weeks (remote) postconditioning relative to Sham mice. Taken together, these data show that hippocampal-directed irradiation and the associated decrease in dentate gyrus adult neurogenesis affect the persistence of recently—but not remotely—probed reward memory. These data indicate a novel role for adult neurogenesis in reward-based memories and particularly the extinction rate of these memories. Consideration of this work may lead to better understanding of extinction-based behavioral interventions for psychiatric conditions characterized by dysregulated reward processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • addiction
  • conditioned place preference
  • learning and memory
  • opiate
  • retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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