Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2005
Publication Date: 11/12/2005
Citation: Carrihill-Knoll, K.L., Maloney, B.K., Rabin, B.M., Shukitt Hale, B., Joseph, J.A., Carey, A.N. 2005. Effects of age and exposure to gound-based models of cosmic rays on elevated plus maze performance in rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings. Abstract No. 656.10.
Interpretive Summary: NOT NEEDED
Technical Abstract: As astronauts travel beyond the protection of the earth’s magnetic shield, they will be exposed to doses and types of radiation not experienced in low earth orbit where the Space Station and shuttle operate. Little is known about how the exposure to radiation in space will affect an astronaut’s ability to handle life-threatening situations under these conditions. In addition, previous research has shown that older organisms are more susceptible to the deleterious effects of exposure to this type of radiation. The elevated plus-maze (EPM) is a widely used tool to investigate the psychological and behavioral basis of anxiety. The present experiments were designed to evaluate the effects of age and type of radiation on the development of anxiety measured using the EPM. The subjects were F-344 rats 2, 7, 12 and 17 months old exposed to 56Fe (1 GeV/n; 0.25-2.0 Gy) and 2 month old S-D male rats exposed to either 28Si (0 Gy – 3.0 Gy; 600 MeV/n) or 56Fe (0 Gy – 1.5 Gy; 600 MeV/n) particles using the NASA Space Research Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The results indicated that there were significant differences between the type of radiation and the amount of time spent in the open arms of the EPM. Rats exposed to 0.5Gy – 1.5Gy of 28Si particles spent significantly more time in the open arms of the maze. The effect of exposure to 56Fe particles for both the S-D and F-344 rats was to decrease the amount of time spent in the open arms of the maze. In addition, there was an interaction between age and irradiation in the F-344 rats, such that lower doses of 56Fe particles were needed to affect performance in older rats. There were no significant differences in photocell breaks (activity) as a function of age and type or dose of radiation. These results show that both the type of radiation and age of the organism can influence performance on the EPM.