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Metabolites underlying brain function and pathology are not as well understood as genes. Here, we applied a novel metabolomics approach to further understand the mechanisms of memory processing in sleep. As hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons are known to consolidate contextual fear memory, we analyzed real-time changes in metabolites in the dentate gyrus in different sleep–wake states in mice. Throughout the study, we consistently detected more than > 200 metabolites. Metabolite profiles changed dramactically upon sleep–wake state transitions, leading to a clear separation of phenotypes between wakefulness and sleep. By contrast, contextual fear memory consolidation induced less obvious metabolite phenotypes. However, changes in purine metabolites were observed upon both sleep–wake state transitions and contextual fear memory consolidation. Dietary supplementation of certain purine metabolites impaired correlations between conditioned fear responses before and after memory consolidation. These results point toward the importance of purine metabolism in fear memory processing during sleep.
Koyanagi, I., Sonomura, K., Naoi, T., Ohnishi, T., Kaneko, N., Sawamoto, K., … Sakaguchi, M. (2021). Metabolic fingerprints of fear memory consolidation during sleep. Molecular Brain, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-021-00733-6