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Behav Brain Res. 2009 Sep 14;202(2):198-209. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2009.03.044. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

Neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions in male and female rats: effects on water maze, locomotor activity, plus-maze and prefrontal cortical GABA and glutamate release in adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Queen's University, 62 Arch Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada.


Schizophrenia is characterized by diverse behavioural and neurochemical abnormalities that may be differentially expressed in males and females. Male rats with neonatal ventral hippocampal lesions (nVHL) have commonly demonstrated behavioural and neurochemical abnormalities similar to those in schizophrenia. Fewer studies have used female rats. We investigated the hypothesis that male and female nVHL rats will demonstrate behavioural abnormalities accompanied by decreased GABA and l-glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). On postnatal day (P) 7 rats received VH injections of ibotenate (3.0 microg/0.3 microl/side; n=18) or saline (n=21) or no injections (n=22). On P56, rats began water-maze, locomotor activity and elevated plus maze testing, and were then sacrificed for potassium-evoked GABA and l-glutamate release from PFC slices. nVHL rats showed impaired performance in water maze acquisition and match-to-sample tasks, increased spontaneous and amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and increased percent open-arm time. These behavioural changes were similar in males and females. These effects were accompanied by significantly reduced potassium-evoked l-glutamate release in male and female nVHL rats relative to controls, and non-significantly lower GABA release. Findings support the notion that behavioural abnormalities in post-pubertal male and female nVHL rats are associated with decreases in PFC neurotransmitter release.

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