Dopaminergic D1 receptor signalling is necessary, but not sufficient for cued fear memory destabilisation

Charlotte Flavell, Joff Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


Pharmacological targeting of memory reconsolidation is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of fear memory-related disorders. However, the success of reconsolidation-based approaches depends upon the effective destabilisation of the fear memory by memory reactivation.

Here, we aimed to determine the functional involvement of dopamine D1 receptors in cued fear memory destabilisation, using systemic drug administration.

We observed that direct D1 receptor agonism was not sufficient to stimulate tone fear memory destabilisation to facilitate reconsolidation disruption by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone. Instead, administration of the nootropic nefiracetam did facilitate mifepristone-induced amnesia, in a manner that was dependent upon dopamine D1 receptor activation. Finally, while the combined treatment with nefiracetam and mifepristone did not confer fear-reducing effects under conditions of extinction learning, there was some evidence that mifepristone reduces fear expression irrespective of memory reactivation parameters.

The use of combination pharmacological treatment to stimulate memory destabilisation and impair reconsolidation has potential therapeutic benefits, without risking a maladaptive increase of fear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3667-3676
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Early online date7 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Destabilisation
  • Dopamine
  • Extinction
  • Fear
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Mifepristone
  • Nefiracetam
  • Reconsolidation


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