Peripheral lipopolysaccharide administration impairs two-way active avoidance conditioning in C57BL/6J mice. Physiol Behav
Peripheral administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or interleukin-1 (IL-1) may lead to alterations of CNS function and behavioral changes designated "sickness behavior." Further, some experiments show evidence of LPS- and cytokine-mediated alterations in learning and memory. The current series of experiments examined the effects of a single or repeated intraperitoneal LPS injections, at a number of doses and time points before or after test sessions, on behavior in a two-way active avoidance conditioning paradigm. Subjects were able to avoid the mild shock stimulus, escape it, or fail to respond to it. Subjects treated with LPS at many, but not all, of the time points sampled showed impaired learning, by exhibiting significantly fewer avoidance responses than controls. Furthermore, an LPS-induced increase in non-cued inter-trial interval crossings was observed during the later days of testing, suggesting that a greater percentage of their avoidance responses was not conditioned and their behavior was less efficient. Taken together, the results suggest that LPS-treated animals showed a diminished association between conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US). These results support the theory that peripheral immune stimuli may induce deleterious effects on learning, and extend the work to a negatively reinforced operant procedure.
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