Lesions of the anterior thalamic nuclei and intralaminar thalamic nuclei: place and visual discrimination learning in the water maze
Brain Struct Funct. 2012-04-29; 218(3): 657-667
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1. Brain Struct Funct. 2013 May;218(3):657-67. doi: 10.1007/s00429-012-0419-0. Epub
2012 Apr 29.
Lesions of the anterior thalamic nuclei and intralaminar thalamic nuclei: place
and visual discrimination learning in the water maze.
Moreau PH(1), Tsenkina Y, Lecourtier L, Lopez J, Cosquer B, Wolff M,
Dalrymple-Alford J, Cassel JC.
(1)Laboratoire d’Imagerie et Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR 7237, Université de
Strasbourg, CNRS, IFR 37 Neurosciences, GDR CNRS 2905, 12 Rue Goethe, 67000
Medial thalamic damage produces memory deficits in humans (e.g., Korsakoff’s
syndrome) and experimental animals. Both the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and
rostral intralaminar plus adjacent lateral thalamic nuclei (ILN/LT) have been
implicated. Based on the differences in their main connections with other neural
structures, we tested the prediction that ATN lesions would selectively impair
acquisition of spatial location discrimination, reflecting a hippocampal system
deficit, whereas ILN/LT lesions would impair acquisition of visual pattern
discrimination, reflecting a striatal system deficit. Half the rats were first
trained in a spatial task in a water maze before switching to a visual task in
the same maze, while the remainder were tested with the reverse order of tasks.
Compared with sham-operated controls, (1) rats with ATN lesions showed impaired
place learning, but normal visual discrimination learning, (2) rats with ILN/LT
lesions showed no deficit on either task. Rats with ATN lesions were also
hyperactive when their home cage was placed in a novel room and remained more
active than ILN/LT or SHAM rats for the subsequent 21 h, especially during the
nocturnal phase. These findings confirmed the influence of ATN lesions on spatial
learning, but failed to support the view that ILN/LT lesions disrupt
PMID: 22543509 [Indexed for MEDLINE]