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Using the Morris water maze to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice.

Barnhart CD, Yang D, Lein PJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed.While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains.These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Mouse models have been indispensable for elucidating normal and pathological processes that influence learning and memory. A widely used method for assessing these cognitive processes in mice is the Morris water maze, a classic test for examining spatial learning and memory. However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed. While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains. Here, we present experimental evidence that weanling mice can be trained in the Morris water maze beginning on postnatal day 24. Maze-trained weanling mice exhibit significant improvements in spatial learning over the training period and results of the probe trial indicate the development of spatial memory. There were no sex differences in the animals' performance in these tasks. In addition, molecular biomarkers of synaptic plasticity are upregulated in maze-trained mice at the transcript level. These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Weanling mice exhibit spatial memory after MWM training.Spatial memory was assessed in a probe trial administered on training day 8 with respect to: (A) percentage of time or (B) percentage of path length spent in the target quadrant relative to non-target quadrants. Data in panels A and B are presented as the mean ± SEM (n = 16 animals). Significantly different from target quadrant at ap < 0.05, cp < 0.001 as determined by repeated measures ANOVA with the Greenhouse-Geisser correction for LSD post hoc tests. Effect sizes: partial η2 for % time = 0.66; partial η2 for % path length = 0.68. Observed power: 100% for % time; 100% for % path length.
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pone.0124521.g002: Weanling mice exhibit spatial memory after MWM training.Spatial memory was assessed in a probe trial administered on training day 8 with respect to: (A) percentage of time or (B) percentage of path length spent in the target quadrant relative to non-target quadrants. Data in panels A and B are presented as the mean ± SEM (n = 16 animals). Significantly different from target quadrant at ap < 0.05, cp < 0.001 as determined by repeated measures ANOVA with the Greenhouse-Geisser correction for LSD post hoc tests. Effect sizes: partial η2 for % time = 0.66; partial η2 for % path length = 0.68. Observed power: 100% for % time; 100% for % path length.

Mentions: To assess spatial memory, a probe trial was administered on training day 8. Data were normally distributed. Repeated measures two-way ANOVA revealed no significant sex-dependent effects, so data from male and female weanlings were combined. After correcting for a violation of sphericity using the Greenhouse-Geisser correction, it was determined using a repeated measures one-way ANOVA that weanling mice spent a significantly increased percentage of time (F(1.5, 21.7) = 29.5, p < 0.0001) and path length (F(1.7, 25.8) = 32.1, p < 0.0001) in the target quadrant relative to the other non-target quadrants (Fig 2A and 2B, respectively). The effect sizes for both parameters were large (for time, partial η2 = 0.66; for % path length, partial η2 = 0.68). Observed power calculated by SPSS was 100% for both endpoints.


Using the Morris water maze to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice.

Barnhart CD, Yang D, Lein PJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Weanling mice exhibit spatial memory after MWM training.Spatial memory was assessed in a probe trial administered on training day 8 with respect to: (A) percentage of time or (B) percentage of path length spent in the target quadrant relative to non-target quadrants. Data in panels A and B are presented as the mean ± SEM (n = 16 animals). Significantly different from target quadrant at ap < 0.05, cp < 0.001 as determined by repeated measures ANOVA with the Greenhouse-Geisser correction for LSD post hoc tests. Effect sizes: partial η2 for % time = 0.66; partial η2 for % path length = 0.68. Observed power: 100% for % time; 100% for % path length.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401674&req=5

pone.0124521.g002: Weanling mice exhibit spatial memory after MWM training.Spatial memory was assessed in a probe trial administered on training day 8 with respect to: (A) percentage of time or (B) percentage of path length spent in the target quadrant relative to non-target quadrants. Data in panels A and B are presented as the mean ± SEM (n = 16 animals). Significantly different from target quadrant at ap < 0.05, cp < 0.001 as determined by repeated measures ANOVA with the Greenhouse-Geisser correction for LSD post hoc tests. Effect sizes: partial η2 for % time = 0.66; partial η2 for % path length = 0.68. Observed power: 100% for % time; 100% for % path length.
Mentions: To assess spatial memory, a probe trial was administered on training day 8. Data were normally distributed. Repeated measures two-way ANOVA revealed no significant sex-dependent effects, so data from male and female weanlings were combined. After correcting for a violation of sphericity using the Greenhouse-Geisser correction, it was determined using a repeated measures one-way ANOVA that weanling mice spent a significantly increased percentage of time (F(1.5, 21.7) = 29.5, p < 0.0001) and path length (F(1.7, 25.8) = 32.1, p < 0.0001) in the target quadrant relative to the other non-target quadrants (Fig 2A and 2B, respectively). The effect sizes for both parameters were large (for time, partial η2 = 0.66; for % path length, partial η2 = 0.68). Observed power calculated by SPSS was 100% for both endpoints.

Bottom Line: However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed.While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains.These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Mouse models have been indispensable for elucidating normal and pathological processes that influence learning and memory. A widely used method for assessing these cognitive processes in mice is the Morris water maze, a classic test for examining spatial learning and memory. However, Morris water maze studies with mice have principally been performed using adult animals, which preclude studies of critical neurodevelopmental periods when the cellular and molecular substrates of learning and memory are formed. While weanling rats have been successfully trained in the Morris water maze, there have been few attempts to test weanling mice in this behavioral paradigm even though mice offer significant experimental advantages because of the availability of many genetically modified strains. Here, we present experimental evidence that weanling mice can be trained in the Morris water maze beginning on postnatal day 24. Maze-trained weanling mice exhibit significant improvements in spatial learning over the training period and results of the probe trial indicate the development of spatial memory. There were no sex differences in the animals' performance in these tasks. In addition, molecular biomarkers of synaptic plasticity are upregulated in maze-trained mice at the transcript level. These findings demonstrate that the Morris water maze can be used to assess spatial learning and memory in weanling mice, providing a potentially powerful experimental approach for examining the influence of genes, environmental factors and their interactions on the development of learning and memory.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus