Effects of intracerebroventricular administration of beta-amyloid on the dynamics of learning in purebred and mongrel rats

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The effects of intracerebroventricular administration of the beta-amyloid peptide fragment Aβ(25-35) on the dynamics of the acquisition of a conditioned reflex in a Y maze were studied in Wistar and mongrel rats. The dynamics of decreases in the number of errors were assessed using an exponential mathematical model describing the transfer function of a first-order system in response to stepped inputs using non-linear regression analysis. This mathematical model provided a good approximation to the learning dynamics in inbred and mongrel mice. In Wistar rats, beta-amyloid impaired learning, with reduced memory between the first and second training sessions, but without complete blockade of learning. As a result, learning dynamics were no longer approximated by the mathematical model. At the same time, comparison of the number of errors in each training sessions between the control group of Wistar rats and the group given beta-amyloid showed no significant differences (Student's t test). This result demonstrates the advantage of regression analysis based on a mathematical model over the traditionally used statistical methods. In mongrel rats, the effect of beta-amyloid was limited to an a slowing of the process of learning as compared with control mongrel rats, with retention of the approximation by the mathematical model. It is suggested that mongrel animals have some kind of innate, genetically determined protective mechanism against the harmful effects of beta-amyloid.

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