About this item:

96 Views | 54 Downloads

Author Notes:

Co-Corresponding authors: Kerry J. Ressler (Lead contact), James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry, Chief, Division of Depression & Anxiety Disorders, McLean Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, kressler@mclean.harvard.edu, Robert C. Liu, Department of Biology, 1510 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, robert.liu@emory.edu

Author contributions: RCL and KJR are co-authors.

SBB, VAG, JB, HSA and NKD conducted the experiments.

SBB, RCL and KJR designed the experiments and wrote the paper.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank the staff of the Yerkes Neuroscience vivarium for animal husbandry and veterinary support.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Dennis Choi and Dr. Orion Keifer who provided training in stereotaxic surgery as well as Dr. Mallory Bowers who assisted with confocal microscopy.

Disclosures: The authors have nothing to disclose.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH R21MH102191 grant to KJR and RCL, NIH R01DC008343 grant to RCL, and was funded in part by ORIP/OD P51OD011132 (formerly NCRR P51RR000165).


  • Chondroitinase ABC
  • PTSD
  • auditory cortex
  • conditioning
  • consolidation
  • extracellular matrix
  • hearing
  • memory
  • perceptual learning
  • plasticity
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex
  • Conditioning (Psychology)
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Fear
  • GABA-A Receptor Agonists
  • Learning
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Mice
  • Muscimol
  • Proteoglycans
  • RNA, Messenger

Perineuronal Nets in the Adult Sensory Cortex Are Necessary for Fear Learning


Journal Title:



Volume 95, Number 1


, Pages 169-179.e3

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Lattice-like structures known as perineuronal nets (PNNs) are key components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Once fully crystallized by adulthood, they are largely stable throughout life. Contrary to previous reports that PNNs inhibit processes involving plasticity, here we report that the dynamic regulation of PNN expression in the adult auditory cortex is vital for fear learning and consolidation in response to pure tones. Specifically, after first confirming the necessity of auditory cortical activity for fear learning and consolidation, we observed that mRNA levels of key proteoglycan components of PNNs were enhanced 4 hr after fear conditioning but were no longer different from the control groups 24 hr later. A similar pattern of regulation was observed in numbers of cells surrounded by PNNs and area occupied by them in the auditory cortex. Finally, the removal of auditory cortex PNNs resulted in a deficit in fear learning and consolidation. Banerjee et al., 2017 show that key components of the extracellular matrix, perineuronal nets (PNNs) in the auditory cortex of adult mice, are necessary for consolidation of fear learning in response to Pavlovian fear conditioning.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Creative Commons License

Export to EndNote