Effects of acute restraint stress on different components of memory as assessed by object-recognition and object-location tasks in mice

Song Li, Ya Xin Fan, Wei Wang, Yi Yuan Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Studies on how acute stress and the stress-related hormones affect learning and memory have yielded inconsistent findings, which might be due to some variables such as the properties of stressors, the nature of memory, the protocols for behavioral tasks and the characteristics of the subjects. However, the impacts of acute stress on different memory components have not been clearly demonstrated within one single experiment. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effects of 1-h restraint stress and the stress-induced plasma corticosterone elevation on memory acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval in mice, using object-recognition task (ORT) and object-location task (OLT) with a 4-h or 24-h intertrial interval (ITI). The results showed that, regardless of ITI, the recognition memory retrieval was significantly disrupted by acute restraint stress exposure, which started 75. min before the test session of both ORT and OLT. Acute restraint stress performed immediately after memory acquisition interrupted the consolidation of short-term recognition memories (4-h ITI) into long-term ones (24-h ITI). Moreover, the disrupted memory retrieval or consolidation was strongly related to the stress-induced plasma corticosterone elevation in a negative manner. These preliminary results clarified that acute restraint stress differently impacts three memory components, and the enhanced plasma corticosterone level under stressful situation plays critical roles in the information processing of memory under the stressful situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012



  • Acute restraint stress
  • Corticosterone
  • Memory consolidation
  • Memory retrieval
  • Object-location
  • Object-recognition

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