Dissociation of spatial navigation and visual guidance performance in Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mice

Charles R. Goodlett, Kristin Hamre, James R. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spatial learning in rodents requires normal functioning of hippocampal and cortical structures. Recent data suggest that the cerebellum may also be esential. Neurological mutant mice with dysgenesis of the cerebellum provide useful models to examine the effects of abnormal cerebellar function. Mice with one such mutation, Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd), in which Purkinje cells degenerate between the third and fourth postnatal weeks, were evaluated for performance of spatial navigation learning and visual guidance learning in the Morris maze swim-escape task. Unaffected littermates and C57BL/6J mice served as controls. Separate groups of pcd and control mice were tested at 30, 50 and 110 days of age. At all ages, pcd mice had severe deficits in distal-cue (spatial) navigation, failing to decrease path lengths over training and failing to express appropriate spatial biases on probe trials. On the proximal-cue (visual guidance) task, whenever performance differences between groups did occur, they were limited to the initial trials. The ability of the pcd mice to perform the proximal-cue but not the distal-cue task indicates that the massive spatial navigation deficit was not due simply to motor dysfunction. Histological evaluations confirmed that the pcd mutation resulted in Purkinje cell loss without significant depletion of cells in the hippocampal formation. Teese data provide further evidence that the cerebellum is vital for the expression of behavior directed by spatial cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Purkinje Cells
Cues
Cerebellum
Neurologic Mutant Mice
Mutation
Aptitude
Task Performance and Analysis
Spatial Navigation
Inbred C57BL Mouse
Rodentia
Hippocampus
Learning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Dissociation of spatial navigation and visual guidance performance in Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mice. / Goodlett, Charles R.; Hamre, Kristin; West, James R.

In: Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 47, No. 2, 10.04.1992, p. 129-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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