Author(s): Chin VS, Van Skike CE, Berry RB, Kirk RE, DiazGranados J,
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Abstract The effects of ethanol differ in adolescent and adult rats on a number of measures. The evidence of the effects of ethanol on spatial memory in adolescents and adults is equivocal. Whether adolescents are more or less sensitive to ethanol-induced impairment of spatial memory acquisition remains unclear; with regard to the effects of acute ethanol on spatial memory retrieval there is almost no research looking into any age difference. Thus, we examined the effects of acute ethanol on spatial memory in the Morris Watermaze in adolescents and adults. Allopregnanolone (ALLO) is a modulator of the GABA(A) receptor and has similar behavioral effects as ethanol. We sought to also determine the effects of allopreganolone on spatial memory in adolescent and adults. Male adolescent (post natal [PN]28-30) and adult (PN70-72) rats were trained in the Morris Watermaze for 6 days and acute doses of ethanol (saline, 1.5 and 2.0 g/kg) or ALLO (vehicle, 9 and 18 mg/kg) were administered on Day 7. A probe trial followed on Day 8. As expected, there were dose effects; higher doses of both ethanol and ALLO impaired spatial memory. However, in both the ethanol and ALLO conditions adolescents and adults had similar spatial memory impairments. The current results suggest that ethanol and ALLO both impair hippocampal-dependent spatial memory regardless of age in that once learning has occurred, ethanol or ALLO does not differentially impair the retrieval of spatial memory in adolescents and adults. Given the mixed results on the effect of ethanol on cognition in adolescent rats, additional research is needed to ascertain the factors critical for the reported differential results. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy