Shortened conditioned eyeblink response latency in male but not female Wistar-Kyoto hyperactive rats.

Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0134, USA.
Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 2.63). 07/2009; 123(3):650-64. DOI: 10.1037/a0015567
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reductions in the volume of the cerebellum and impairments in cerebellar-dependent eyeblink conditioning have been observed in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recently, it was reported that subjects with ADHD as well as male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a strain that is frequently employed as an animal model in the study of ADHD, exhibit a parallel pattern of timing deficits in eyeblink conditioning. One criticism that has been posed regarding the validity of the SHR strain as an animal model for the study of ADHD is that SHRs are not only hyperactive but also hypertensive. It is conceivable that many of the behavioral characteristics seen in SHRs that seem to parallel the behavioral symptoms of ADHD are not solely due to hyperactivity but instead are the net outcome of the interaction between hyperactivity and hypertension. We used Wistar-Kyoto Hyperactive (WKHA) and Wistar-Kyoto Hypertensive (WKHT) rats (males and females), strains generated from recombinant inbreeding of SHRs and their progenitor strain, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, to compare eyeblink conditioning in strains that are exclusively hyperactive or hypertensive. We used a long-delay eyeblink conditioning task in which a tone conditioned stimulus was paired with a periorbital stimulation unconditioned stimulus (750-ms delay paradigm). Our results showed that WKHA and WKHT rats exhibited similar rates of conditioned response (CR) acquisition. However, WKHA males displayed shortened CR latencies (early onset and peak latency) in comparison to WKHT males. In contrast, female WKHAs and WKHTs did not differ. In subsequent extinction training, WKHA rats extinguished at similar rates in comparison to WKHT rats. The current results support the hypothesis of a relationship between cerebellar abnormalities and ADHD in an animal model of ADHD-like symptoms that does not also exhibit hypertension, and suggest that cerebellar-related timing deficits are specific to males.

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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has suggested that the Wistar-Kyoto Hyperactive (WKHA) rat strain may model some of the behavioral features associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We have shown that, in cerebellar-dependent eyeblink conditioning, male WKHAs emit eyeblink CRs with shortened onset latencies. To further characterize the shortened CR onset latencies seen in male WKHA rats, we examined 750-ms delay conditioning with either a tone conditional stimulus (CS) or a light CS, we extended acquisition training, and we included Wistar rats as an additional, outbred control strain. Our results indicated that WKHAs learned more quickly and showed a shortened CR onset latency to a tone CS compared to both Wistar-Kyoto Hypertensive (WKHT) and Wistars. WKHAs and Wistars show a lengthening of CR onset latency over conditioning with a tone CS and an increasing confinement of CRs to the later part of the tone CS (inhibition of delay). WKHAs learned more quickly to a light CS only in comparison to WKHTs, and showed a shortened CR onset latency only in comparison to Wistars. Wistars showed an increasing confinement of CRs to the late part of the light CS over conditioning. We used unbiased stereology to estimate the number of Purkinje and granule cells in the cerebellar cortex of the three strains. Our results indicated that WKHAs have more granule cells than Wistars and WKHTs and more Purkinje cells than Wistars. Results are discussed in terms of CS processing and cerebellar cortical contributions to EBC. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2013; · 2.63 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Cancer - EUR J CANCER. 01/2011; 47.
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    ABSTRACT: Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are thought to have fundamental deficits in the allocation of attention for information processing. Furthermore, it is believed that these children possess a fundamental difficulty in motoric timing, an assertion that has been explored recently in adults and children. In the present study we extend this recent work by fully exploring the classic Wing and Kristofferson (1973) analysis of timing with typically developing children (n=24) and children with ADHD (n=27). We provide clear evidence that not only do children with ADHD have an overall timing deficit, they also time less consistently when using a similar strategy to typically developing children. The use of the Wing and Kristofferson approach to timing, we argue, will result in the discovery of robust ADHD-related timing differences across a variety of situations.
    Human movement science 01/2012; 31(1):255-65. · 2.15 Impact Factor


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