Nzb mouse: Hippocampal mossy fiber patterns and behavioral profiles of young and older animals
Drug Dev. Res.. 1988-01-01; 15(2-3): 297-305
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New Zealand Black mice (NZB) are widely used as a model for presenile dementia, because an autoimmune disease induces early senescence in these animals. Since some of the behavioral properties of NZB might also be related to normal, nonpathologic variations in brain morphology, NZB of different age groups were tested in a number of hippocampus‐dependent tasks. As control strain we used the non‐autoimmune strain C57BL/6. In addition to behavioral testing, we measured the sizes of the hippocampal regio inferior (CA3 + CA4) and the intra‐ and infrapyramidal mossy fiber terminal fields. NZB mice were inferior to C57BL/6 in active one‐way avoidance and performed poorly in a radial maze. For learning scores in other behavioral paradigms NZB mice showed performance levels comparable to other fair‐ to well‐performing strains. Slight age‐related declines in NZB, but not in C57BL/6, mice could be observed in most learning tasks. The hippocampal regio inferior is larger in NZB than in C57BL/6, whereas the latter mice have much larger infrapyramidal mossy fiber (iip‐MF) terminal fields. From this and from previous data it appears that at least some of the behavioral differences between NZB and C57BL/6 may reflect an influence of a factor related to the iip‐MF projection. The inclusion of strain DBA/2 in future studies is suggested.