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Exposure to chronic psychosocial stress and corticosterone in the rat: effects on spatial discrimination learning and hippocampal protein kinase Cgamma immunoreactivity.

Authors: Krugers, HJ  Douma, BR  Andringa, G  Bohus, B  Korf, J  Luiten, PG 
Citation: Krugers HJ, etal., Hippocampus. 1997;7(4):427-36.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:9287082
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1098-1063(1997)7:4<427::AID-HIPO8>3.0.CO;2-F

Previous reports have demonstrated a striking increase of the immunoreactivity of the gamma-isoform of protein kinase C (PKCgamma-ir) in Ammon's horn and dentate gyrus (DG) of rodent hippocampus after training in a spatial orientation task. In the present study, we investigated how 8 days of psychosocial stress affects spatial discrimination learning in a hole board and influences PKCgamma-ir in the hippocampal formation. The acquisition of both reference memory and working memory was significantly delayed in the stressed animals during the entire training period. With respect to cellular plasticity, the training experience in both nonstressed and stressed groups yielded enhanced PKCgamma-ir in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the posterior hippocampus but not in subfields of the anterior hippocampus. Stress enhanced PKCgamma-ir in the DG and CA3 pyramidal cells of the anterior hippocampus. In stressed animals that were subsequently trained, the PKCgamma-ir was increased in the posterior CA1 region to the same level as that found in nonstressed trained animals. Stress apparently abrogated the PKCgamma-ir training response in the CA3 region. In a second experiment, the elevation of plasma corticosterone levels to values that are found during stress did not significantly influence reference memory scores but slightly and temporarily affected working memory. The training-induced enhancement of PKCgamma-ir in the CA1 region was similar in trained and corticosterone-treated trained animals, but the learning-induced PKCgamma-ir response in the posterior CA3 area was absent after corticosterone pretreatment. These results reveal that prolonged psychosocial stress causes spatial learning deficits, whereas artificial elevation of corticosterone levels to the levels that occur during stress only mildly affects spatial memory performance. The spatial learning deficits following stress are reflected only in part in the redistribution of hippocampal PKCgamma-ir following training.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 8554746
Created: 2014-05-08
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2014-05-08
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.