Hippocampal CARP over-expression solidifies consolidation of contextual fear memories

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Physiol Behav, Volume 102, Number 3-4, p.323-331 (2011)


1873-507X (Electronic)00

DOI Name (links to online publication)



The Doublecortin-Like Kinase (DCLK) gene is involved in neuronal migration during development. Through alternative splicing the DCLK gene also produces a transcript called Ca(2+)/calmodulin dependent protein kinase (CaMK)-related peptide (CARP) that is expressed exclusively during adulthood in response to neuronal activity. The function of CARP, however, is poorly understood. To study CARP function, we have generated transgenic mice with over-expression of the CARP transcript in, amongst other brain areas, the hippocampus. We aimed to characterize possible behavioral adaptations of these mice by using a Pavlovian fear conditioning approach. This type of fear conditioning, in which both the hippocampus and amygdala are critically involved, allows studying the formation and extinction of fear related memories. We here report on the behavioral adaptations of two distinct transgenic lines: one with high levels of CARP in the hippocampus and amygdala, whilst the other has high levels of CARP in the hippocampal formation, but not in the amygdala. We tested both mouse lines separately by comparing them to their wild-type littermate controls. We provide evidence suggesting consolidation of contextual fear memories is strengthened in mice of both transgenic lines.