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J Neurotrauma. 1998 Oct;15(10):799-811.

Traumatic brain injury in the developing rat: effects of maturation on Morris water maze acquisition.

Author information

1
Division of Neurosurgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Abstract

Previous work has demonstrated that postnatal and adult rats show different physiological responses to lateral fluid percussion (FP) brain injury. Compared to adult animals, the younger rats showed longer apnea and shorter unconsciousness, and sustained hypotension at all injury severities, with higher mortality following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). To determine if these younger rats exhibit differential cognitive impairments, the Morris water maze (MWM) was used to compare the degree of spatial learning deficits between moderately injured postnatal day 17 (P17), P28, and adult rats, as well as their age-matched controls. Comparisons between shams of different ages showed a maturational time course for MWM acquisition, where adult rats learned the task 34-58% faster than younger age groups. Injured adults showed escape latency deficits throughout the entire training period, took 39% fewer direct paths to the platform during training, took 24% longer to reach criterion performance, and showed poor probe trial performance than adult shams. Injured P28s exhibited escape latency deficits during the first week, with 23% more trials to criterion and 24% fewer direct paths compared to P28 shams. In contrast, injured P17 rats showed no significant difference from age-matched controls in terms of escape latency, number of direct paths taken, or time to criterion performance. This work suggests that, upon surviving the insult, P17 injured rats show remarkable sparing compared to P28 and adult injured animals.

PMID:
9814636
DOI:
10.1089/neu.1998.15.799
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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