Comparative analysis of the persistence of a conditioned passive avoidance reflex in rats with different forms of inherited hypertension

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The characteristics of anxiety behavior and reproduction of a conditioned passive avoidance reflex acquired in response to a single combination with an unconditioned aversive stimulus were studied in NISAG rats with inherited stress-sensitive arterial hypertension and spontaneously hypertensive SHR rats. SHR rats were characterized by hyperactive behavior, very low levels of anxiety, and poor reproduction of the conditioned reflex as compared with NISAG and control Wistar and WAG rats. Intermediate-anxiety NISAG rats showed no difficulties in acquiring and subsequently retaining the conditioned reflex. These differences in the ability to undergo single-combination learning in rats with different forms of hypertension suggest that memory processes are independent of elevated arterial blood pressure. The effects of the genetic characteristics of behavior and emotional status of these animals on memory are discussed.

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