Lesions of the Dorsal Medial Hippocampus induce different forms of Repetitive Behaviour in the rat
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The dorsal dentate gyrus (DDG) of the hippocampus plays a role in the expression of different forms of flexible behaviour mainly due to its ability to sustain neurogenesis throughout life. In the present thesis, we examined the role that the DDG and its adjacent areas, both collectively referred to as dorsal medial hippocampus (DMH), play in flexible, adaptive behaviour and cognitive processing. We used the neurotoxin, colchicine, to induce lesions of the DDG, which were found to affect neighbouring areas. Thus these lesions will be referred to as lesions of the DMH. In the first experiment, rats were tested for (1) perseverative behaviour before and after receiving chronic methamphetamine (METH) treatment, (2) METH-induced locomotor activity and stereotypy in an open field, and (3) working memory in a T-maze. The results showed that rats with lesions of the DMH exhibited perseveration and supersensitivity to the locomotor- and stereotypy-inducing effects of METH (0, 0.1, 0.3, 1 mg/kg i.p.) as well as increased long-term METH sensitization. Rats with DMH lesions also showed significant working memory deficits. Taken together, these results reveal specific forms of behavioural inflexibility in rats with lesions of the DMH that are mainly associated with perseveration, drug-related behaviours, including stimulant motor supersensitivity and drug sensitization, and impaired working memory functions.