Neonatal 6-Hydroxydopamine Alters the Behavior of Enriched-Impoverished Rats in a Novel Test Environment

Matti J. Saari*, John N. Armstrong, Jose N. Nobrega, Bruce A. Pappas, Donald V. Coscina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The hypothesis that neonatal norepinephrine (NE) depletion lessens the behavioral consequences of differential housing was tested. Male Wistar rats were injected with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or vehicle twice within 24 hr of birth, weaned at 25 days, and reared under either impoverished (IC) or enriched conditions (EC) for 30 days. In 3 experiments, rats were tested in the Morris water maze, the colony-intruder test, and 2 tests of dominance. 6-OHDA treatment reduced cortical and hypothalamic NE concentrations and increased brainstem NE concentrations. EC housing increased cortical dopamine (DA). Behavioral differences caused by postweaning enrichment-isolation were reduced by neonatal NE depletion, primarily in early test trials. The authors conclude that forebrain NE afferents from the locus coeruleus are important for housing-related behavioral changes and responsivity to novel testing environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-437
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume104
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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