Event Title

Rodents prenatally exposed to alcohol display sex-dependent differences in spatial extinction learning

Start Date

8-11-2017 8:30 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 12:30 PM

Description

Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is associated with structural and physiological changes that impact the central nervous system and can result in persistent negative consequences in a broad spectrum of cognitive and behavioral domains including deficits in motor behavior, social behavior, and behavioral flexibility [1]. Previous studies have characterized the influence of PAE on spatial navigation acquisition and extinction through various behavioral paradigms including the Morris water task (MWT) [2]. The current study focuses on examining the behavioral consequences of PAE on spatial extinction behavior through the use of the MWT. Pregnant rat dams voluntarily consumed saccharin (SAC) water containing 0% or 5% ethanol (EtOH) for 4 hours per day during the entire gestational period. Male and female pups matured and were tested in the MWT in adulthood (>90 days old). In order to assess extinction behavior the animals were tested in a 5-day hidden platform protocol. Days 1-4 of the hidden protocol consisted of 12 training trials. At the end of day 4, the animals were tested in 3 consecutive no-platform probe trials to assess extinction behavior. Day 5 began with one no-platform probe trial to assess spontaneous recovery followed by 12 retraining trials. All of the animals successfully learned the hidden platform goal location during the initial training period. All of the male animals (PAE and controls) failed to extinguish, which was evident by the consistent short latency to reach the learned target location. The control females successfully extinguished, but the ethanol exposed females failed to extinguish the learned behavior. These outcomes suggest that animals exposed to moderate levels of ethanol during gestation have intact spatial acquisition abilities, but may have distinct extinction behaviors that may be sex specific and can be influenced by PAE.

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Nov 8th, 8:30 AM Nov 8th, 12:30 PM

Rodents prenatally exposed to alcohol display sex-dependent differences in spatial extinction learning

Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is associated with structural and physiological changes that impact the central nervous system and can result in persistent negative consequences in a broad spectrum of cognitive and behavioral domains including deficits in motor behavior, social behavior, and behavioral flexibility [1]. Previous studies have characterized the influence of PAE on spatial navigation acquisition and extinction through various behavioral paradigms including the Morris water task (MWT) [2]. The current study focuses on examining the behavioral consequences of PAE on spatial extinction behavior through the use of the MWT. Pregnant rat dams voluntarily consumed saccharin (SAC) water containing 0% or 5% ethanol (EtOH) for 4 hours per day during the entire gestational period. Male and female pups matured and were tested in the MWT in adulthood (>90 days old). In order to assess extinction behavior the animals were tested in a 5-day hidden platform protocol. Days 1-4 of the hidden protocol consisted of 12 training trials. At the end of day 4, the animals were tested in 3 consecutive no-platform probe trials to assess extinction behavior. Day 5 began with one no-platform probe trial to assess spontaneous recovery followed by 12 retraining trials. All of the animals successfully learned the hidden platform goal location during the initial training period. All of the male animals (PAE and controls) failed to extinguish, which was evident by the consistent short latency to reach the learned target location. The control females successfully extinguished, but the ethanol exposed females failed to extinguish the learned behavior. These outcomes suggest that animals exposed to moderate levels of ethanol during gestation have intact spatial acquisition abilities, but may have distinct extinction behaviors that may be sex specific and can be influenced by PAE.