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

Immediate and long-lasting effects of MK-801 on motor activity, spatial navigation in a swimming pool and EEG in the rat.

In a series of experiments, rats received the noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist MK-801 and measures were made of motor behavior, spatial navigation in a swimming pool, and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. High doses (0.25-10 mg/kg IV) produced somnolence and akinesia, impaired food consumption, locomotion and swimming, and also impaired navigation to a hidden platform but complete recovery on all measures was obtained between 3 and 5 days postinjection. Lower doses (0.05-0.10 mg/kg, IV) impaired acquisition of a new place response in a swimming pool and produced hyperactivity but did not impair performance on a new cue response or on a well-learned place response. Two forms of hippocampal EEG activity, atropine-sensitive and atropine-resistant EEG were present with the low doses. The results demonstrate that a single dose of MK-801 causes changes in motor behavior and learning lasting a few days, but complete recovery occurs within 5 days of administration of even very high doses of MK-801. They further demonstrate that low doses of the drug selectively impair acquisition of new place responses. Although the general changes in behavior produced by MK-801 suggest that NMDA receptors are involved in many aspects of the control of behavior, the results additionally suggest that NMDA receptors are important for place learning.[1]


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