Recently encoded information can be lost in the presence of new information, a process called 'retrograde interference'. Retrograde interference has been extensively described for more than a century; however, little is known about its underlying mechanisms. Different approaches agree on the need of the synthesis of plasticity related proteins (PRPs) to consolidate a long-term memory (LTM). Our hypothesis is that when PRPs are limited, interference of a task over LTM formation of another may be due to the utilization of protein resources common to both tasks. Here, by combining the tasks of inhibitory avoidance (IA) and open field (OF) exploration in rats, we show that memory traces compete for their stabilization if PRPs are limited. As a result, LTM is formed for only one of the tasks with a consequent decrease in the memory for the other. Furthermore, infusing Arc antisense oligonucleotide into the dorsal hippocampus, we found that Arc is necessary for LTM formation of these two types of learning tasks and is one of the PRPs that can be shared between them when animals are trained in both OF and IA. In sum, these findings suggest that under conditions of reduced protein availability, a learning task interferes with LTM formation of another by using the available PRPs.