Schizophrenia-like syndrome inducing agent phencyclidine failed to impair memory for temporal order in rats.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Neurobiol Learn Mem, Volume 80, Issue 2, p.158-67 (2003)


Animals, Hallucinogens, Male, Maze Learning, Memory, Phencyclidine, Rats, Rats, Long-Evans, Schizophrenia, Time Perception


<p>Although subchronic phencyclidine (PCP) administration is recognized as a probative method to model schizophrenia-like symptoms in animals, only a few sets of data support the hypothesis of a cognitive prefrontal cortex (PFc) dysfunction in PCP-treated monkeys and rodents. Two experiments were here conducted to further test the integrity of prefrontal function in two versions of a memory for temporal order (MTO) task administered to rats. Original versions of this task elaborated by Kesner repeatedly yielded moderate to severe performance deficits in PFc lesioned rats. MTO assessment in an eight-arm radial maze consisted in a recency discrimination between two arms previously explored in the context of sequential forced choices. In Experiment 1, 16 naive Long-Evans rats were pre-trained on a variable version of the MTO task involving randomly re-mixed sequences until they reached a group criterion. Then, rats were treated daily for 21 days with PCP (10mg/kg) or saline vehicle and were tested on the same task approximately 20 h after an injection. The performance of the groups did not differ. In Experiment 2, 16 naive Long-Evans rats untrained prior to treatment received 27 daily injections of either PCP (10mg/kg) or saline vehicle and were tested, 20 h after each injection, on a constant version of the MTO task. This time, a fixed set of four sequences of successive arm entries was repeated within each daily session as well as across days. Again, prolonged PCP exposure failed to impair discrimination of temporal order despite the stability of sequential information over time. These negative results are not consistent with long-lasting hypofrontality, a major landmark of human schizophrenia, in the PCP rat model.</p>

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