Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the insular cortex disrupts taste aversion and spatial memory formation

Gutierrez, Humberto, Hernández-Echeagaray, E, Ramírez-Amaya, V and Bermúdez-Rattoni, F (1999) Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the insular cortex disrupts taste aversion and spatial memory formation. Neuroscience, 89 (3). pp. 751-8. ISSN 0306-4522

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The present experiments examined the effects of direct intracortical microinjections of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid directly into the insular cortex of rats, before or immediately after training of conditioned taste aversion and the water maze spatial learning task. In the first series of experiments animals received bilateral injections of 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid prior to taste aversion conditioning or spatial training. A strong disruptive effect was found in the acquisition of training tasks. To determine the possible involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the early post-training processes taking place in the cortex during both learning paradigms, in a second series of experiments, animals received bilateral 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid microinjections 30, 60 or 120 min after the acquisition trial, and 15 min before the retention test. For spatial learning successive treatments were independently done either starting at the onset of the asymptotic phase of the learning curve, 0, 30 or 120 min after finishing the training session, as well as 15 min before the retention test trial. The conditioned taste aversion task remained sensitive to N-methyl-D-aspartate blockade during a period of at least 2 h after the first presentation of the gustatory stimulus, while in the case of the spatial learning task, a gradually decreasing effect was observed from the onset of the asymptotic phase onwards. Taken together, these results provide direct evidence for N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor involvement in cortical regulation of memory formation. Furthermore, our results suggest that in the same cortical region, a different time-course for the activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate-dependent mechanisms occurs during the early formation of cortically mediated memories, depending on the particular behavioural task.

Keywords:Learning and memory
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:7866
Deposited On:23 Mar 2013 17:16

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