Mice with spontaneous and induced mutations causing cerebellar phenotypes have provided key insights into how motor-related memories are stored in cerebellar circuits. Delayed eyeblink conditioning is a form of associative motor learning that depends on the cerebellum. However, neurochemical investigation of the underlying mechanisms has been hampered by the long training period (usually several days) required to establish conditioning. Here, we report a new rapid-training protocol that reliably induced delayed eyeblink conditioning within a single day. The associative memory formation depended on the expression of the δ2 glutamate receptor (GluD2) in cerebellar Purkinje cells. It lasted for several weeks, but could be erased by extinction sessions in a single day. In addition, using the rapid protocol, we found that eyeblink conditioning could be induced in juvenile mice at postnatal day 21, and that the Sindbis-virus-mediated expression of GluD2 could rescue the impaired eyeblink conditioning in GluD2-null mice in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience