Chronic stress impairs rat spatial memory on the Y maze, and this effect is blocked by tianeptine pretreatment

Cheryl D. Conrad, Liisa A.M. Galea, Yasukazu Kuroda, Bruce S. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

589 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic restraint stress causes significant dendritic atrophy of CA3 pyramidal neurons that reverts to baseline within a week. Therefore, the authors assessed the functional consequences of this atrophy quickly (within hours) using the Y maze. Experiments 1-3 demonstrated that rats relied on extrinsic, spatial cues located outside of the Y maze to determine arm location and that rats with hippocampal damage (through kainic acid, colchicine, or trimethyltin) had spatial memory impairments. After the Y maze was validated as a hippocampally relevant spatial task, Experiment 4 showed that chronic restraint stress impaired spatial memory performance on the Y maze when rats were tested the day after the last stress session and that tianeptine prevented the stress-induced spatial memory impairment. These data are consistent with the previously demonstrated ability of tianeptine to prevent chronic stress-induced atrophy of the CA3 dendrites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1334
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume110
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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