Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Behav Brain Res. 2014 Mar 15;261:249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.12.009. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

An automated maze task for assessing hippocampus-sensitive memory in mice.

Author information

1
Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Eli Lilly & Co Ltd, Erl Wood Manor, Windlesham, Surrey, UK; Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
2
Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
3
Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Eli Lilly & Co Ltd, Erl Wood Manor, Windlesham, Surrey, UK.
4
Lilly Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Eli Lilly & Co Ltd, Erl Wood Manor, Windlesham, Surrey, UK. Electronic address: Dix_Sophie@lilly.com.
5
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK.
6
Department of Comparative Medicine, (and by courtesy) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 287 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5410, USA.

Abstract

Memory deficits associated with hippocampal dysfunction are a key feature of a number of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. The discrete-trial rewarded alternation T-maze task is highly sensitive to hippocampal dysfunction. Normal mice have spontaneously high levels of alternation, whereas hippocampal-lesioned mice are dramatically impaired. However, this is a hand-run task and handling has been shown to impact crucially on behavioural responses, as well as being labour-intensive and therefore unsuitable for high-throughput studies. To overcome this, a fully automated maze was designed. The maze was attached to the mouse's home cage and the subject earned all of its food by running through the maze. In this study the hippocampal dependence of rewarded alternation in the automated maze was assessed. Bilateral hippocampal-lesioned mice were assessed in the standard, hand-run, discrete-trial rewarded alternation paradigm and in the automated paradigm, according to a cross-over design. A similarly robust lesion effect on alternation performance was found in both mazes, confirming the sensitivity of the automated maze to hippocampal lesions. Moreover, the performance of the animals in the automated maze was not affected by their handling history whereas performance in the hand-run maze was affected by prior testing history. By having more stable performance and by decreasing human contact the automated maze may offer opportunities to reduce extraneous experimental variation and therefore increase the reproducibility within and/or between laboratories. Furthermore, automation potentially allows for greater experimental throughput and hence suitability for use in assessment of cognitive function in drug discovery.

KEYWORDS:

Automated; Hippocampus; Maze; Mouse

PMID:
24333574
PMCID:
PMC3923974
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2013.12.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center