NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA Receptors in the Prelimbic Medial Prefrontal Cortex Differentially Mediate Trace, Delay, and Contextual Fear Conditioning

Marieke R. Gilmartin, Marquette University
Janine L. Kwapis, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Fred J. Helmstetter, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Published version. Learning and Memory, Vol. 20 (June 2013): 290-294. DOI. © Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 2013. Used with permission.


Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) in the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL mPFC) is necessary for the acquisition of both trace and contextual fear memories, but it is not known how specific NR2 subunits support each association. The NR2B subunit confers unique properties to the NMDAR and may differentially regulate these two fear memories. Here we show that NR2A-containing NMDARs mediate trace, delay, and contextual fear memories, but NR2B-containing NMDARs are required only for trace conditioning, consistent with a role for PL mPFC in working memory.