5,7-DHT lesion of the dorsal raphe nuclei impairs object recognition but not affective behavior and corticosterone response to stressor in the rat.

C.K.J. Lieben*, H.P.J. Steinbusch, A. Blokland

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous studies with acute tryptophan depletion, leading to transient central 5-HT reductions, showed no effects on affective behavior but impaired object memory. In the present study, the behavioral effects of a 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) lesion in the dorsal raphe were evaluated in animal models of anxiety (open field test), depression (forced swimming test), behavioral inhibition (discrete fixed interval test) and cognition (object recognition task). The corticosterone response to a stress condition was examined at several intervals after 5,7-DHT treatment. The substantial reduction in neuronal 5-HT markers in the dorsal raphe did not affect anxiety-related, depressive-like or impulsive behavior. Compared to the SHAM group, the lesioned rats showed a lower response latency to obtain a reward, indicating a quick and accurate reaction to a stimulus. No differences were found in the progressive ratio test for food motivation. A marked impairment in object recognition was found. The 5,7-DHT treatment did not affect the corticosterone response to a stressful situation. Overall, these results corroborate studies with acute tryptophan depletion suggesting a role of 5-HT in object memory, but not affective behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-207
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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