Acute restraint stress and corticosterone transiently disrupts novelty preference in an object recognition task

Viviana Vargas-López, Angélica Torres-Berrio, Lina González-Martínez, Alejandro Múnera, Marisol R. Lamprea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The object recognition task is a procedure based on rodents' natural tendency to explore novel objects which is frequently used for memory testing. However, in some instances novelty preference is replaced by familiarity preference, raising questions regarding the validity of novelty preference as a pure recognition memory index. Acute stress- and corticosterone administration-induced novel object preference disruption has been frequently interpreted as memory impairment; however, it is still not clear whether such effect can be actually attributed to either mnemonic disruption or altered novelty seeking. Seventy-five adult male Wistar rats were trained in an object recognition task and subjected to either acute stress or corticosterone administration to evaluate the effect of stress or corticosterone on an object recognition task. Acute stress was induced by restraining movement for 1 or 4. h, ending 30. min before the sample trial. Corticosterone was injected intraperitoneally 10. min before the test trial which was performed either 1 or 24. h after the sample trial. Four-hour, but not 1-h, stress induced familiar object preference during the test trial performed 1. h after the sample trial; however, acute stress had no effects on the test when performed 24. h after sample trial. Systemic administration of corticosterone before the test trial performed either 1 or 24. h after the sample trial also resulted in familiar object preference. However, neither acute stress nor corticosterone induced changes in locomotor behaviour. Taken together, such results suggested that acute stress probably does not induce memory retrieval impairment but, instead, induces an emotional arousing state which motivates novelty avoidance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume291
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute stress
  • Corticosterone
  • Memory retrieval
  • Novelty
  • Object recognition task
  • Rat

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