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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Psychomotor and Spatial Memory Performance in Aging Male Fischer 344 Rats

Authors
item SHUKITT-HALE, BARBARA
item Mouzakis, George
item Joseph, James

Submitted to: Neurobiology of Aging
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 1998
Publication Date: May 5, 1998

Interpretive Summary: Motor and memory performance were measured in male rats that were 6, 12, 15, 18, and 22 months of age, to see what happens to these behaviors with age and to determine at what age these behaviors begin to deteriorate. Motor behaviors, such as walking on a rod or plank or suspension on a wire, declined steadily with age, with most tests being adversely affected as early as 12 to 15 months of age. Learning and memory performance showed decrements in working at 18 and 22 months of age, with some change noticeable as early as 12-15 months of age. Therefore, motor and memory behaviors show noticable declines early in the lifespan of the male fisher 344 rat. This information is important when planning for longitudinal studies where interventions are tested for their efficacy in preventing or restoring age-related behavioral deficits.

Technical Abstract: Psychomotor and spatial memory performance were assessed in male Fischer 344 rats that were 6, 12, 15, 18, and 22 months of age, to assess these parameters as a function of age and to determine at what age these behaviors begin to deteriorate. Complex motor behaviors, as meausred by rod walk, wire suspension, plank walk, inclined screen, and accelerating rotarod performance, declined steadily with age, with most tests being adversely affected as early as 12 to 15 months of age. Spatial learning and memory performance, as measured by the working memory version of the Morris water maze (MWM), showed decrements at 18 and 22 months of age (higher latencies on the working memory trail), with some change noticeable as early as 12-15 months of age (no improvement on the second trial following a 10 min retention interval); these differences were not due to swim speed. therefore, complex motor and spatial memory behaviors show noticeable declines early in the lifespan of the male Fisher 344 rat. This information is important when planning for longitudinal studies where interventions are tested for their efficacy in preventing or restoring age-related behavioral deficits.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014