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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Prior Parity Positively Regulates Learning and Memory in Young and Middle-Aged Rats

Zimberknopf, Erica [1] ; Xavier, Gilberto F. [2] ; Kinsley, Craig H. [3] ; Felicio, Luciano F. [4]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Ctr Univ Fundacao Ensino Octavio Bastos, Sch Vet Med, Physiol & Pharmacol Lab, Sao Joao Da Boa Vista - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Sch Vet Med, Dept Physiol, Biosci Inst, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Univ Richmond, Dept Psychol, Richmond, VA 23173 - USA
[4] Univ Sao Paulo, Sch Vet Med, Dept Pathol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: COMPARATIVE MEDICINE; v. 61, n. 4, p. 366-377, AUG 2011.
Web of Science Citations: 7

Reproductive experience in female rats modifies acquired behaviors, induces long-lasting functional neuroadaptations and can also modify spatial learning and memory. The present study supports and expands this knowledge base by employing the Morris water maze, which measures spatial memory. Age-matched young adult (YNG) nulliparous (NULL; nonmated) and primiparous (PRIM; one pregnancy and lactation) female rats were tested 15 d after the litter's weaning. In addition, corresponding middle-aged (AGD) PRIM (mated in young adulthood so that pregnancy, parturition, and lactation occurred at the same age as in YNG PRIM) and NULL female rats were tested at 18 mo of age. Behavioral evaluation included: 1) acquisition of reference memory (platform location was fixed for 14 to 19 d of testing); 2) retrieval of this information associated with extinction of the acquired response (probe test involving removal of the platform 24 h after the last training session); and 3) performance in a working memory version of the task (platform presented in a novel location every day for 13 d, and maintained in a fixed location within each day). YNG PRIM outperformed NULL rats and showed different behavioral strategies. These results may be related to changes in locomotor, mnemonic, and cognitive processes. In addition, YNG PRIM exhibited less anxiety-like behavior. Compared with YNG rats, AGD rats showed less behavioral flexibility but stronger memory consolidation. These data, which were obtained by using a well-documented spatial task, demonstrate long lasting modifications of behavioral strategies in both YNG and AGO rats associated with a single reproductive experience. (AU)