Studies of the Reproduction of Long-Term Memory During Exposure to Kainic Acid


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Abstract

The effects of the neurotoxin kainic acid on a food-producing habit were studied in Wistar rats in an experimental chamber. Single doses of kainic acid at a subconvulsive dose (8 mg/kg, i.p.) were found to impair the habit, onset of impairment being delayed by several weeks rather than immediate. Conversely, administration of the neurotoxin at the convulsive dose (10 mg/kg) impaired reproduction of the habit with onset within several hours after treatment and persistence for periods of up to 10 days, though this dose did not prevent the acquisition of a new food-procuring habit. These defects in the reproduction of long-term memory traces were explained in terms of the characteristics of the effects of kainic acid on the hippocampal system, which is the most susceptible to systemic administration of the neurotoxin.

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