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Brain Res. 2007 Sep 12;1169:77-86. Epub 2007 Jul 14.

Repeated treatment with N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonists in neonatal, but not adult, rats causes long-term deficits of radial-arm maze learning.

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  • 1Graduate School of Literature and Human Sciences, Osaka City University, Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka 558-8585, Japan.


Brain glutamatergic system is involved in synaptic plasticity as a base for learning and neural development. This study investigated the effects of neonatal and adult chronic antagonism of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, a subtype of glutamate receptors, on learning and/or memory. Rats were trained in the radial-maze learning, which is known as a measure of spatial working memory capacities, in adulthood after neonatal or adult repeated treatment of MK-801 (dizocilpine; 5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]-cyclohepten-5,10-imine), a non-competitive antagonist, or neonatal repeated treatment of CGS 19755 (cis-4-phosphonomethyl-2-piperadine carboxilic acid), a competitive antagonist. Neonatal repeated treatment of MK-801 or CGS 19755 markedly impaired the radial-arm maze learning. In addition, the treatment altered activities differently in the radial-maze and in the open-field. On the other hand, adult repeated treatment with MK-801 affected neither the radial-maze learning nor activities. Results suggest that chronic blockade of NMDA receptors in a neonatal stage may produce long-lasting deteriorative effects on spatial working memory in adulthood.

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