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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of glutamate receptors in nucleus accumbens core and shell in spatial behaviour of rats.

The nucleus accumbens (NAC) is considered to be an important neural interface between corticolimbic and motor systems of the brain. Several studies have shown that the NAC is not only involved in motivation and reward-related processes but also in spatial behavior. We here investigated the involvement of different glutamate receptor subclasses within NAC core and shell subregions on behavior in a radial-maze. Rats were first trained in a four-arm-baited eight-arm radial maze task for baseline performance. Thereafter, the effects of microinjection of the nonselective glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenic acid (4.5 microg), the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (1 microg) and the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (0.75 microg) in NAC core and shell were tested on reference memory errors (RME) and working memory errors (WME). Moreover, the choice pattern of entries and duration of arm-entries were evaluated. Microinjection of all drugs increased RME. Additionally, non-NMDA receptor blockade in NAC shell but not core increased WME. After microinjection of all drugs into NAC core and shell rats preferentially choose the arms next to the previously visited arm. This work shows that glutamate receptors in both NAC subregions are important for spatial behavior. The deficits seen after glutamate receptor blockade may not be working- or reference memory-related but caused by a switch from a memory-dependent allocentric strategy to an egocentric response strategy.[1]


  1. Role of glutamate receptors in nucleus accumbens core and shell in spatial behaviour of rats. Klein, S., Hadamitzky, M., Koch, M., Schwabe, K. Neuroscience (2004) [Pubmed]
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