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Hippocampus. 1993 Apr;3(2):153-63.

An examination of the relations between hippocampal long-term potentiation, kindling, afterdischarge, and place learning in the water maze.

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Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


Two approaches were used to study the relations between the acquisition of place learning in the Morris water maze and long-term potentiation (LTP), kindling, and afterdischarge (AD). In the first, the possibility of behavioral LTP in the dentate gyrus field potential evoked by stimulation of the perforant path was evaluated in rats that showed robust place learning in the water maze. There was no effect of place learning on the field potential, and field potential measures did not correlate with place learning acquisition measures. In the second approach, the effect of bilateral saturation of LTP on subsequent place learning in the water maze task, begun within 5 minutes of the last LTP session, was evaluated. The effect of kindled seizures evoked bilaterally from the perforant path, or of a single unilateral AD, on acquisition of the water maze task (begun within 10 minutes) were also evaluated. Bilateral LTP saturation did not affect place learning, and the bilateral LTP group learned as readily as controls. In contrast, the kindled and AD groups were severely impaired in their performance of the place learning task. A second day of training in the water maze without any further electrical stimulation indicated that these groups had acquired considerable information on the first day of maze training and were not distinguishable from controls on the second day of training. This indicated that the deficit in these groups on the first day of training was temporary and likely resulted from a temporary perturbation of normal brain function due to the seizures. The results indicate that bilateral saturation of LTP in the dentate gyrus does not affect place learning in the water maze. They also indicate that recent hippocampal seizures, but not kindling, disrupt place learning in this task.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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