Title : Sensitivity to cholinergic drug treatments of aged rats with variable degrees of spatial memory impairment - Stemmelin_1999_Behav.Brain.Res_98_53
Author(s) : Stemmelin J , Cassel JC , Will B , Kelche C
Ref : Behavioural Brain Research , 98 :53 , 1999
Abstract :

As a first step, the present experiment aimed at characterizing learning and memory capabilities, as well as some motor and sensorimotor faculties, in aged (24-26.5 months) Long-Evans female rats. As a second step, a psychopharmacological approach was undertaken in order to examine the sensitivity of aged rats to muscarinic blockade and to cholinomimetic treatments. Young adult (3-5.5 months) and aged rats were tested for beam-walking performance, locomotor activity in the home cage and an open field, and spatial learning/memory performance in a water maze and a radial maze. Spontaneous alternation rates were assessed in a T-maze. Statistical analysis discriminated between aged rats showing moderate impairment (AMI) and those showing severe impairment (ASI) in the water maze test. Beside their different degrees of impairment in the water maze, AMI and ASI rats were similarly (no significant difference) impaired in beam-walking capabilities, home cage activity and radial maze performance. In the spontaneous alternation task aged rats were not impaired and, in the open-field test, AMI rats were hypoactive, but not as much as ASI rats. Neither of the cognitive deficits was correlated with a locomotor or a sensorimotor variable, or with the body weight. When tested in the radial maze, a low dose of scopolamine (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) produced memory impairments which were significant in AMI and ASI rats, but not in young rats. Combined injections of scopolamine and physostigmine (0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) or tacrine (THA, 3 mg/kg) showed physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg) to compensate for the scopolamine-induced impairments only in AMI rats. whereas THA was efficient in both AMI and ASI rats. The results indicate: (i) that rats with different degrees of spatial memory impairment in the water maze are similarly hypersensitive to muscarinic blockade when tested in a radial maze test; and (ii) that under the influence of a dose of scopolamine which is subamnesic in young rats, aged rats respond to anticholinesterase treatments according to the level of performance achieved in the water maze: moderately impaired rats are sensitive to both physostigmine and THA, whereas more severely impaired rats are sensitive only to THA.

PubMedSearch : Stemmelin_1999_Behav.Brain.Res_98_53
PubMedID: 10210522

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Citations formats

Stemmelin J, Cassel JC, Will B, Kelche C (1999)
Sensitivity to cholinergic drug treatments of aged rats with variable degrees of spatial memory impairment
Behavioural Brain Research 98 :53

Stemmelin J, Cassel JC, Will B, Kelche C (1999)
Behavioural Brain Research 98 :53