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Title: Neonatal exposure to monosodium glutamate disrupts place learning ability in adult rats
Author: Olvera-Cortes, E.
Lopez-Vazquez, M.A.
Beas-Zárate, Carlos
Gonzalez-Burgos, I.
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: The activation of glutamatergic NMDA receptors of the hippocampus is closely associated with expression of place learning. Neonatal exposure to monosodium glutamate leads to abnormal expression of NMDA receptor subunits in the hippocampus, but its effect on place learning is unknown. Place learning acquisition and retrieval were assessed in mature adult rats after subcutaneous injection of monosodium glutamate (4 mg/g body weight) in eight neonatal rat pups at postnatal days one, three, five, and seven. Eight untreated rats were used as controls. At four months of age, the rats were challenged over a period of nine days with a place learning task. The task used an acquisition-retrieval paradigm in a Morris maze. Place learning acquisition was impaired in the experimental rats, which were unable to reduce their escape latencies during the nine training days. Controls improved between the fifth and ninth days of training. Test trials showed that retrieval of spatial information was also impaired in the experimental animals. These results show that both place learning acquisition and retrieval abilities in mature rats are impaired by neonatal treatment with monosodium glutamate. These findings may be related to the abnormal expression of NMDA receptor subunits in the hippocampus. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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