Péter Pelsőczi, György Lévay - Laboratory of Cognitive Pharmacology, Gedeon Richter Plc., Budapest, Hungary
INTRODUCTION: Automated home-cage monitoring systems are now widely recognized and used tools in cognitive neuroscience. However, few of these studies cover pharmacological interventions. Scopolamine, an anticholinergic memory disrupting agent is frequently used to study learning behavior.
AIMS: We studied the impact of scopolamine treatment in a relevant dose-range on activity, drinking behavior and reversal learning of C57BL/6J mice in a homecage-like, social environment, using the IntelliCage.
METHOD: Visits, nosepokes, lick numbers and durations were recorded. Mice were then trained to distinguish between water rewarded correct corner and punished, incorrect corners. In the reversal learning phase, the assigned correct corner was rotated clockwise every 24 hours.
RESULTS: Upon s.c. administration of scopolamine general activity represented by visit and nosepoke numbers increased, but their durations were shorter. Surprisingly, general activity and lick behavior were drastically altered. Scopolamine also significantly reduced the ability to perform a reversal learning task.
CONCLUSION: Donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor frequently used as palliative treatment in AD patients, successfully reversed the memory impairing effect of scopolamine in our reversal learning paradigm in mice. We characterized the behavioral traits of scopolamine on reversal learning in IntelliCage. Using donepezil, reversal learning performance significantly improved. With a new, automated homecage system we established a pharmacological model resembling cognitive dysfunction symptoms in mice.
Doctoral School: Pharmacological Sciences
Program: Experimental and clinical pharmacology
Supervisor: Dr. György Lévay
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