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Behav Brain Res. 2000 Dec 20;117(1-2):127-36.

Spatial learning, contextual fear conditioning and conditioned emotional response in Fmr1 knockout mice.

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Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behaviour, Born-Bunge Foundation, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium.

Erratum in

  • Behav Brain Res 2001 Nov 29;126(1-2):219.


Fmr1 knockout mice are an animal model for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of heritable mental retardation in humans. Fmr1 knockout mice exhibit macro-orchidism and cognitive and behavioural deficits reminiscent of the human phenotype. In the present study additional behavioural and cognitive testing was performed. Knockouts and control littermates were subjected to a spatial learning test using a plus-shaped water maze. Animals had to learn the position of a hidden escape platform during training trials. The position of this platform was changed during subsequent reversal trials. Previously reported deficits in reversal learning were replicated, but we also observed significant differences during the acquisition trials. A plus-shaped water maze experiment with daily changing platform positions failed to provide clear evidence for a working memory impairment, putatively underlying the spatial learning deficits. Two different test settings were used to examine the reported deficit of Fmr1 knockout mice in fear conditioning. Conditioned fear responses were observed in a contextual fear test, and the ability to acquire an emotional response was tested by means of response suppression in a conditioned emotional response procedure. Neither protocol revealed significant differences between controls and knockouts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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