Chronic administration of quinolinic acid in the rat striatum causes spatial learning deficits in a radial arm water maze task

Deborah A. Shear, Jie Dong, Kristi L. Haik-Creguer, Terence J. Bazzett, Roger L. Albin, Gary L. Dunbar

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46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic intrastriatal administration of quinolinic acid (QA) in the rat produces a pattern of neurodegeneration similar to that seen in Huntington's disease (HD). Although these changes have been related to transient motor abnormalities, the effects of chronic QA administration on cognitive abilities have not been assessed. The present study investigated whether the striatal deterioration observed during chronic QA administration produces cognitive impairments in this animal model of HD by testing the effects of chronic administration of QA on spatial learning ability of rats in a radial arm water maze (RAWM) task. Rats were given bilateral implantation of a chronic dialysis probe apparatus which delivered either vehicle or QA (20 mM) into the striatum. Beginning 1 day after implantation, the rats were tested daily for 3 weeks in the RAWM. Nocturnal activity levels were also assessed at 1-, 3-, 5-, 7-, 14-, and 21-days following probe implantation. Results of behavioral testing indicated that chronic exposure to QA causes spatial learning deficits in the RAWM task with only a transient increase in activity levels. Collectively, these results suggest that chronic striatal exposure to QA mimics some aspects of the cognitive deficits observed in HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume150
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1998

Keywords

  • Dialytic apparatus
  • Huntington's disease
  • Neostriatum
  • Quinolinic acid
  • Reference memory errors
  • Spatial learning
  • Working memory errors

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