Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 1-8

Long-term effects of neonatal MK-801 treatment on spatial learning and cortical plasticity in adult rats

  • Hajnalka NémethAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Hedvig VargaAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Tamás FarkasAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Zsolt KisAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , László VécseiAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, University of Szeged, POB 71, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Szatmár HorváthAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Krisztina BodaAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, University of Szeged, Korányi fasor 9, 6720 Szeged, Hungary
  • , Joachim R. WolffAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, University of Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 36, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
  • , József ToldiAffiliated withDepartment of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, POB 533, 6701 Szeged, Hungary

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Abstract.

Rationale and objectives: The long-term effects of neonatal treatment with MK-801 on spatial learning and cortical plasticity were investigated in adult rats. Methods: Rat pups were injected twice daily with MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) on postnatal days 7–19, participated in water maze testing between postnatal days 90 and 102, and were then studied electrophysiologically. Results: Treatment with MK-801 in such a low dose resulted in a very slight impairment of performance in the water maze task, but not in the visual cue response. Besides the slight learning impairment, the electrophysiological study revealed a reduction in the capacity for plasticity in the primary motor cortex of the treated animals, which was pronounced in the controls. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that even a slight impairment in learning and memory function may be accompanied by a cortical plasticity deficiency that is detectable electrophysiologically.

Spatial learning Water maze MK-801 NMDA receptor Cortical plasticity Evoked potential Primary motor cortex Disinhibition