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Neuroreport. 2003 Jul 18;14(10):1375-9.

Cellular prion protein ablation impairs behavior as a function of age.

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Centro de Memória, Departmento de Bioquímica, ICBS, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Ramiro Barcelos 2600, Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Cellular prion protein (PrPc) has been associated with some physiological functions in recent reports. Here we investigate behavioral parameters in 3- and 9-month-old mice lacking PrPc protein (Prnp0/0) and in rats after intrahippocampal administration of affinity purified anti-PrPc IgG (0.09 microg/side). No differences were observed between 3-month-old animals. However, 9-month-old Prnp0/0 mice and rats infused with anti-PrPc antibody showed a clear impairment of short- and long-term memory retention of a step-down inhibitory avoidance task. A decreased locomotor activity during exploration of an open field was also observed. These results suggest that systems involved in memory formation become more susceptible to mechanisms that require PrPc between the ages of 3 and 9 months in both mice and rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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