Yoder RM, Pang KCH (2002) Effects of gabaergic or cholinergic medial septal lesions on anxiety. Neuroscience 2002 Abstracts 378.1. Society for Neuroscience, Orlando, FL.
Summary: The hippocampus (HPC) is a structure important for spatial learning and memory. GABAergic and cholinergic neurons in the medial septal area (MSA) provide the two major projections to HPC. Complete destruction of HPC or MSA impairs spatial memory. MSA lesions have an anxiolytic effect, and rats with MSA damage appear be more exploratory. Spatial learning and memory may therefore be influenced by anxiety information reaching HPC through MSA. The present study assessed the effects of MSA GABAergic or cholinergic lesions on anxiety in the elevated plus maze and open-field task. Control rats received intraseptal saline; GABAergic lesions were induced by intraseptal domoic acid; cholinergic lesions were induced by intraseptal 192 IgG-saporin. An elevated plus maze was constructed with 2 open arms and 2 closed arms. Following habituation, each rat was placed in the center of the maze, then observed for 5 minutes. Time spent in the open vs. closed arms and number of entries into open vs. closed arms were compared between groups. The open-field task utilized a square arena with center and outer sections delineated on the floor. Following habituation, each rat was placed into the outer section, then observed for 5 minutes, during which the number of line crossings and amount of time spent in center vs. outer sections were calculated for comparison between groups. In both tasks, frequency of freezing, rearing, head dips, stretched-attend posture, grooming, and defecation was also compared between groups. Results of the present study may help elucidate the role of MSA in the effects of anxiety on learning and memory.
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