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Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2012 Jun;4(2):93-9. doi: 10.1007/s12402-012-0076-4. Epub 2012 May 15.

The effects of the neurotoxin DSP4 on spatial learning and memory in Wistar rats.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of DSP4-induced noradrenaline depletion on learning and memory in a spatial memory paradigm (holeboard). Since Harro et al. Brain Res 976:209-216 (2003) have demonstrated that short-term effects of DSP4 administration include both noradrenaline depletion and changes in dopamine and its metabolites-with the latter vanishing within 4 weeks after the neurotoxic lesion-the behavioural effects observed immediately after DSP4 administration cannot solely be related to noradrenaline. In the present study, spatial learning, reference memory and working memory were therefore assessed 5-10 weeks after DSP4 administration. Our results suggest that the administration of DSP4 did not lead to changes in spatial learning and memory when behavioural assessment was performed after a minimum of 5 weeks following DSP4. This lack of changes in spatial behaviour suggests that the role of noradrenaline regarding these functions may be limited. Future studies will therefore have to take into account the time-course of neurotransmitter alterations and behavioural changes following DSP4 administration.

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