Regina H Silva

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Estado do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

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Publications (22)65.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Studies have suggested that cognitive deficits can precede motor alterations in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, in general, classic animal models are based on severe motor impairment after one single administration of neurotoxins, and thereby do not express the progressive nature of the pathology. A previous study showed that the repeated administration with a low dose (0.1mg/kg) of the monoamine depleting agent reserpine induces a gradual appearance of motor signs of pharmacological parkinsonism in rats. Here, we showed this repeated treatment with reserpine induced a memory impairment (evaluated by the novel object recognition task) before the gradual appearance of the motor signs. Additionally, these alterations were accompanied by decreased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) striatal levels and reduced number of TH+ cells in substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). After 30 days without treatment, reserpine-treated animals showed normal levels of striatal TH, partial recovery of TH+ cells in SNpc, recovery of motor function, but not reversal of the memory impairment. Furthermore, the motor alterations were statistically correlated with decreased TH levels (GD, CA1, PFC and DS) and number of TH+ cells (SNpc and VTA) in the brain. Thus, we extended previous results showing that the gradual appearance of motor impairment induced by repeated treatment with a low dose of reserpine is preceded by short-term memory impairment, as well as accompanied by neurochemical alterations compatible with the pathology of PD.
    Behavioural brain research 07/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychopathologies with antidepressants can be associated with improvement of the cognitive deficits related to these disorders. Although the mechanisms of these effects are not completely elucidated, alterations in the extinction of aversive memories are believed to play a role in these psychopathologies. We have recently verified that female rats present low levels of extinction when submitted to the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task. In the present study, female rats were treated long term with clinically used antidepressants (fluoxetine, nortriptyline or mirtazapine) and subjected to the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task to evaluate learning, memory, extinction and anxiety-related behaviors as well as behavioral despair in the forced swimming test. All groups learned the task and exhibited retrieval. Chronic treatment with fluoxetine (but not with the other antidepressants tested) increased extinction of the discriminative task. In the forced swimming test, the animals treated with fluoxetine and mirtazapine showed decreased immobility duration. In conclusion, fluoxetine potentiated extinction, while both fluoxetine and mirtazapine were effective in ameliorating depressive-like behavior in the forced swimming test, suggesting a possible dissociation between the effects on mood and the extinction of aversive memories in female rats.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 04/2012; 37(1):33-40. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Animal models are widely used to study alterations caused by Parkinson's disease (PD). However, in general, pharmacological models do not express the progressive nature of the disease, being characterized by immediate severe motor impairment after a single dose of the drug. Reserpine administration in rodents has been suggested as a pharmacological model of PD based on the effects of this monoamine-depleting agent on motor activity. Here, we describe that repeated administration with a low dose (0.1 mg/kg) of reserpine in rats induces a gradual appearance of motor signs, evaluated by catalepsy behavior. Furthermore, these motor signs are accompanied by increased levels of striatal lipid peroxidation. However, treatment with reserpine failed to induce memory impairments (evaluated by novel object recognition and discriminative avoidance tasks) and alterations in hippocampal lipid peroxidation. Thus, repeated treatment with low doses of reserpine progressively induces alterations in motor function and an increase in striatal oxidative stress, indicating a possible application of this model in the study of the neuroprogressive nature of the motor signs in PD.
    Behavioural brain research 03/2012; 231(1):154-63. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies usually show better spatial learning in males and stronger emotional memory in females. Spatial memory differences could relate to diverse strategies, while dissimilar stress reactions could cause emotional memory differences. We compared male and female rats in two emotional (classical emotional conditioning and aversive discrimination memory) and two emotionally "neutral" tasks: (1) plus-maze discriminative avoidance, containing two open and two enclosed arms, one of which presenting aversive stimuli (light/noise). No differences were found in learning, retrieving, or basal emotional levels, while only male rats presented extinction of the task; (2) contextual fear conditioning--a cage was paired to mild foot shocks. Upon reexposure, freezing behavior was decreased in females; (3) spontaneous alternation--the animals were expected to alternate among the arms of a four-arm maze. No differences between genders were found and (4) open-field habituation was addressed in an arena which the rats were allowed to explore for 10 min. Habituation was similar between genders. Differences were found only in tasks with strong emotional contexts, where different fear responses and stress effects could be determinant. The lack of extinction of discriminative avoidance by females points out to stronger consolidation and/or impaired extinction of aversive memories.
    Brain and Cognition 11/2010; 74(2):145-51. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The plus-maze discriminative avoidance paradigm has been used to study the relationship between aversive memory and anxiety. The present study aims to verify if the elevated plus-maze can provide information about appetitive memory and anxiety-like behavior, through a task motivated by food reward. Animals were allowed to explore an elevated plus-maze and received reinforcement in one of the enclosed arms. In a test session performed 24h later, in the absence of reward, rats showed preference for the previously rewarded enclosed arm over the neutral enclosed arm. The administration of diazepam and pentylenetetrazole before training induced, respectively, anxiolytic and anxiogenic effects (as evaluated by open-arm exploration). Both drugs induced amnestic effects, i.e., lack of preference for the rewarded arm in the test session. The results suggest that appetitive memory can be influenced by anxiety levels as well. The plus-maze appetitive discrimination task seems to be a useful model to investigate the relationship between memory and anxiety.
    Journal of neuroscience methods 09/2009; 185(1):82-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of psychostimulant abuse observed in schizophrenic patients may be related to the development of mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity (MDS) or nigrostriatal dopaminergic supersensitivity (NDS) in response to the chronic blockade of dopamine receptors produced by typical neuroleptic treatment. We compared the effects of withdrawal from long-term administration of the typical neuroleptic haloperidol (Hal) and/or the atypical agent risperidone (Ris) on MDS and NDS, behaviorally evaluated by amphetamine-induced locomotor stimulation (AILS) and apomorphine-induced stereotypy (AIS) in mice, respectively. We further evaluated the duration of MDS and investigated the specific role of dopamine D2 receptors in this phenomenon by administering the D2 agonist quinpirole (Quin) to mice withdrawn from long-term treatment with these neuroleptics. Withdrawal (48 hours) from long-term (20 days) Hal (0.5 mg/kg i.p.) (but not 0.5 mg/kg Ris i.p.) treatment potentiated both AILS and AIS. Ris co-administration abolished the potentiation of AILS and AIS observed in Hal-withdrawn mice. Ten days after withdrawal from long-term treatment with Hal (but not with Ris or Ris + Hal), a potentiation in AILS was still observed. Only Hal-withdrawn mice presented an attenuation of locomotor inhibition produced by Quin. Our data suggest that the atypical neuroleptic Ris has a pharmacological property that counteracts the compensatory MDS and NDS developed in response to the chronic blockade of dopamine receptors imposed by Ris itself or by typical neuroleptics such as Hal. They also indicate that MDS may be long lasting and suggest that an upregulation of dopamine D2 receptors in response to long-term treatment with the typical neuroleptic is involved in this phenomenon.
    Addiction Biology 04/2009; 14(3):283-93. · 5.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently verified that the monoamine-depleting drug reserpine--at doses that do not modify motor function--impairs memory in a rodent model of aversive discrimination. In this study, the effects of reserpine (0.1-0.5 mg/kg) on the performance of rats in object recognition, spatial working memory (spontaneous alternation) and emotional memory (contextual freezing conditioning) tasks were investigated. While object recognition and spontaneous alternation behavior were not affected by reserpine treatment, contextual fear conditioning was impaired. Together with previous studies, these results suggest that low doses of reserpine would preferentially induce deficits in tasks involved with emotional contexts. Possible relationships with cognitive and emotional processing deficits in Parkinson disease are discussed.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 06/2008; 32(6):1479-83. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) for 96 h on the learning/memory processes in rats submitted to the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PM-DAT), which simultaneously evaluates learning, memory, anxiety and motor function. Four experiments were performed in which rats were submitted to: (1) post-training and pre-test PSD; (2) post-training or pre-test PSD; (3) pre-training PSD or pre-training paradoxical sleep (PS) rebound (24 h) and (4) pre-test PSD rebound. Concerning Experiment I, post-training and pre-test PSD induced memory deficits, an anxiolytic-like behavior and an increase in locomotor activity. In Experiment II, both post-training PS-deprived and pre-test PS-deprived groups showed memory deficits per se. However, only the pre-test PS-deprived animals presented anxiolytic-like behavior and increased locomotor activity. In Experiment III, pre-training PS-deprived rats showed learning and memory deficits, anxiolytic-like behavior and increased locomotor activity. A 24 h-sleep recovery period after the PSD abolished the learning and memory deficits but not anxiety and locomotor alterations. Finally, sleep rebound did not modify acquisition (Experiment III) and retrieval (Experiment IV). This study strengthened the critical role of paradoxical sleep (but not sleep rebound) in all the phases of learning and memory formation. In addition, it suggests that PSD effects on acquisition and consolidation do not seem to be related to other behavioral alterations induced by this procedure.
    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 01/2008;
  • Schizophrenia Research - SCHIZOPHR RES. 01/2008; 102(1):66-66.
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have described memory deficits following sleep deprivation. There is also evidence that the absence of sleep increases brain oxidative stress. The present study investigates the effects of a pro-oxidant agent--3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP)--on hippocampal oxidative stress and passive avoidance performance of sleep-deprived mice. Mice were repeatedly treated i.p. with saline or 5 or 15 mg/kg 3-NP and sleep-deprived for 24 h by the multiple platform method--groups of 4-5 animals placed in water tanks, containing 12 platforms (3 cm in diameter) surrounded by water up to 1 cm beneath the surface or kept in their home cage (control groups). The results showed that: (1) neither a 24 h sleep deprivation period nor 3-NP repeated treatment alone were able to induce memory deficits and increased hippocampal lipid peroxidation; (2) this same protocol of sleep deprivation, combined with 15 mg/kg 3-NP repeated treatment, induced memory deficits and an increase in hippocampal lipid peroxidation. The results support the involvement of hippocampal oxidative stress in the memory deficits induced by sleep deprivation and the hypothesis that normal sleep would prevent oxidative stress.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 02/2007; 31(1):65-70. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of reserpine (0.1-0.5 mg/kg) on the performance of mice in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (DAVT), which simultaneously evaluates memory and motor activity. All doses induced memory impairment (increased aversive arm time) but only 0.5 mg/kg reserpine decreased locomotion (entries in enclosed arms). The results suggest that the DAVT evaluation in reserpine-treated mice can be a useful model for studying cognitive deficits accompanied by motor impairments.
    Brain Research 12/2006; 1122(1):179-83. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study verifies the effects of bovine brain phosphatidylserine (PS) on passive avoidance (PA) and contextual fear conditioning (CFC) tests in scopolamine-treated mice. Mice received daily i.p. 50 mg/kg PS or 0.2 M Tris pH 7.4 (TRIS) for 5 days. On day 6, mice received saline (TRIS-SAL and PS-SAL) or 1 mg/kg SCO (TRIS-SCO and PS-SCO) i.p. After 20 min, the animals were submitted to PA (experiment 1) or CFC (experiment 2) training sessions, and tests were performed 24 h later. Latency in entering the dark chamber of the PA apparatus presented by TRIS-SCO (but not PS-SCO) group in the test was significantly higher than those presented by controls. Except for TRIS-SCO, all the groups presented higher latencies in the test compared to the training session. In experiment 2, the TRIS-SCO (but not PS-SCO) group presented significantly lower freezing duration than that presented by the TRIS-SAL group in the test. Animals treated with PS alone presented higher freezing duration than that presented by the TRIS-SAL group. The results demonstrate that PS attenuates SCO-induced amnesia in both PA and CFC tests. In addition, PS per se improves retention in the CFC test.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 08/2006; 30(5):881-6. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the dose-dependent stimulant effect of ethanol (ETOH) on the open-field behavior of female and male mice. Sleep-deprived (48 h, multiple platforms method) or home-cage control female mice were treated with saline (SAL) or 1.4, 1.8 or 2.2g/kg ETOH 5 min before behavioral testing. ETOH produced a dose-dependent increase in open-field locomotor behavior. This locomotor stimulant effect did not reflect a general stimulation in motor activity, since it was accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in rearing frequency as well as by no modification in immobility duration. The effects of ETOH on these three behavioral parameters were specifically modified by SD: the locomotor stimulant effect was abolished, the rearing inhibitory effect was potentiated and the lack of effect on immobility was changed to increase in immobility. Similar results were obtained for male mice although the effects of SD had a lower magnitude. The present findings demonstrate that the acute effect of ETOH on mice's motor activity are behaviorally complex and can be specifically modulated by SD.
    Brain Research Bulletin 05/2006; 69(3):332-7. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have described that GABA mimetic drugs present the ability to inhibit the expression of reserpine-induced oral movements. In this respect, oral movements is associated with important neuropathologies. This study investigates the effects of an acute or a repeated treatment of different doses of the GABA(B) agonist baclofen, as well as withdrawal from these treatments, on the development and/or expression of reserpine-induced vacuous chewing movements (VCM). Male mice received two injections of vehicle or of 1mg/kg reserpine separated by 48 h. In the first experiment, 24h later, animals were acutely treated with vehicle or baclofen (1, 2 or 4 mg/kg). In the second experiment, animals were treated with vehicle or baclofen (1 or 4 mg/kg) for four consecutive days receiving a concomitant injection of 1mg/kg reserpine (or vehicle) on Days 2 and 4. Twenty-four hours later, animals received vehicle or baclofen. Thirty minutes after the last injection, they were observed for quantification of VCM and open-field general activity. The acute administration of all the doses of baclofen abolished the manifestation of reserpine-induced VCM. Repeated treatment with 1mg/kg baclofen induced tolerance to the ability of an acute injection of this dose to reduce VCM. Treatment with baclofen (4 mg/kg) did not modify spontaneous VCM. Acute administration of the highest dose induced a decrease in general motor activity and a potentiation of the reserpine-induced decrease in general activity. These results reinforce the involvement of GABAergic hypofunction in the expression of oral movements and suggest that a repeated treatment with baclofen induces compensatory changes in GABAergic transmission that can attenuate its acute property to decrease VCM.
    Brain Research Bulletin 03/2006; 68(6):436-41. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The differential outcomes of social isolation and crowding environment on the effects of single or repeated administration of ethanol on open-field behavior were examined in female mice. Whereas housing conditions did not alter the increase in locomotor activity induced by ethanol single administration, behavioral sensitization (a progressive increase of a drug effect following repeated drug administration) to the locomotor activating effect of ethanol was significantly greater in crowded mice as compared to isolated and control groups. Single administration of ethanol significantly decreased rearing frequency and increased immobility duration, there being tolerance to these ethanol behavior effects after repeated treatment. Social isolation attenuated the increase in immobility behavior induced by single administration of ethanol and potentiated the tolerance of ethanol-induced rearing decrease, verified after repeated treatment. These results point out that both sensitization and tolerance to the behavioral effects of ethanol can be critically influenced by housing conditions.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 10/2005; 82(1):40-5. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A biphasic effect of morphine on locomotion has been extensively described. Nevertheless, the effects of this opioid on other behavioral parameters have been overlooked. The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of different doses of morphine on motor behaviors observed in an open-field. Adult female mice were injected with saline or morphine (10, 15 and 20 mg/kg, i.p.) and observed in an open-field for quantification of locomotor and rearing frequencies as well as duration of immobility and grooming. The lowest dose of morphine decreased locomotion (and increased immobility duration) while the highest dose increased it. All doses tested decreased rearing and grooming. Thus, the effects of morphine on locomotion do not parallel to its effects on rearing and grooming. Our results indicate that locomotion not always reflects the effect of drugs on motor activity, which can be better investigated when other behavioral parameters are concomitantly taken into account.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 09/2005; 81(4):923-7. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently we have described the antidyskinetic property of the GABA mimetic drugs valproic acid and topiramate on reserpine-induced oral dyskinesia. In this respect, oral dyskinesia has been associated with important neuropathologies. The present study investigates the effects of different doses of the GABA(A) agonist tetrahydroisoxazolopyridine (THIP), of the GABA(B) agonist baclofen as well as of the GABA(A) modulator diazepam on the manifestation of reserpine-induced orofacial dyskinesia. Male Wistar rats received two injections of vehicle or of 1mg/kg reserpine separated by 48 h. Twenty-four hours later, animals were acutely treated with vehicle or THIP (2, 4 or 8 mg/kg), baclofen (1, 2 or 4 mg/kg) or diazepam (1, 2 or 4 mg/kg) and were observed for quantification of oral dyskinesia and open-field general activity. In order to verify the effects of these drugs per se on spontaneous oral movements, male Wistar rats were acutely treated with vehicle, 8 mg/kg THIP, 4 mg/kg baclofen or 4 mg/kg diazepam and observed for quantification of oral dyskinesia. The two highest doses of THIP or of baclofen abolished the manifestation of reserpine-induced oral dyskinesia while the lowest dose of baclofen attenuated it. Diazepam did not modify reserpine-induced oral dyskinesia at any dose tested. The highest doses of these drugs did not modify spontaneous oral movements. Reserpine-induced decrease in open-field general activity was not modified by any of the doses of THIP and diazepam or by the two lowest doses of baclofen. The highest dose of baclofen potentiated the increase in the duration of immobility induced by reserpine. These results reinforce the involvement of GABAergic hypofunction in the expression of oral dyskinesias, and support the potential therapeutic use of THIP and baclofen in the treatment of oral dyskinesias.
    Behavioural Brain Research 06/2005; 160(1):51-9. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we have described the antidyskinetic property of the GABA mimetic drug valproic acid on reserpine-induced oral dyskinesia, an animal model that has been related to tardive as well as acute dyskinesias, which are associated with important neuropathologies. The present study investigates the effects of different doses of the GABA mimetic anticonvulsant topiramate on the manifestation of reserpine-induced orofacial dyskinesia. Female EPM-M1 mice received two injections of control solution or of 0.5 mg/kg reserpine separated by 48 h. Twenty-four hours after the second reserpine or control solution injection, animals were acutely treated with control solution or topiramate (1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg) and were observed for quantification of oral dyskinesia or general activity in an open-field. In order to verify the effects of topiramate per se on oral dyskinesia or general activity, female EPM-M1 mice were acutely treated with control solution or 1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg topiramate and observed for quantification of oral dyskinesia and general activity. The highest dose of topiramate completely abolished the manifestation of reserpine-induced oral dyskinesia whereas the doses of 3 and 10 mg/kg significantly attenuated it. None of the doses of the anticonvulsant modified spontaneous locomotion frequency or oral movements, whereas spontaneous rearing frequency was decreased by 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg topiramate. The highest dose of topiramate did not modify general activity in reserpine-treated mice. These results support the potential therapeutic use of topiramate in the treatment of oral dyskinesias.
    Brain Research Bulletin 01/2005; 64(4):331-7. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several clinical studies demonstrate that the absence of periods of sleep is closely related to occurrence of anxiety symptoms. However, the basis of these interactions is poorly understood. Studies performed with animal models of sleep deprivation and anxiety would be helpful in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying this relationship, but some animal studies have not corroborated clinical data, reporting anxiolytic effects of sleep deprivation. The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of different protocols of sleep deprivation in mice tested in the elevated plus-maze and to assess the effect of chlordiazepoxide and clonidine. Three-month-old male mice were sleep-deprived for 24 or 72 h using the methods of single or multiple platforms in water tanks. Mice kept in their home cages were used as controls. Plus-maze behavior was observed immediately after the deprivation period. Mice that were sleep-deprived for 72 h spent a lower percent time in the open arms of the apparatus than control animals. This sleep deprivation-induced anxiety-like behavior was unaffected by treatment with chlordiazepoxide (5.0 and 7.5 mg/kg IP), but reversed by an administration of 5 or 10 microg/kg IP clonidine. The results indicate that under specific methodological conditions sleep deprivation causes an increase in anxiety-like behavior in mice exposed to the elevated plus-maze.
    Psychopharmacology 12/2004; 176(2):115-22. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GABAergic hypofunction in the basal ganglia is stated as an important mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of tardive dyskinesia. The present study investigates the effects of the GABA-mimetic drug valproic acid (VA) on the manifestation of reserpine-induced orofacial movements, an animal model of tardive dyskinesia. Male Wistar rats received two injections of control solution or of 1 mg/kg reserpine separated by 48 h. Twenty-four hours later, animals were acutely treated with 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg VA or control solution and were observed for quantification of orofacial movements and of open-field general activity. The highest dose of VA inhibited the manifestation of reserpine-induced orofacial movements but none of the VA doses modified reserpine-induced decrease in open-field general activity. These results support the potential of VA as an effective pharmacological tool in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia.
    Behavioural Brain Research 07/2003; 142(1-2):229-33. · 3.33 Impact Factor