Section 9
Chapter 8,599

Embryonic entorhinal transplants partially ameliorate the deficits in spatial memory in adult rats with entorhinal cortex lesions

Zhou, W.; Jiang, D.; Raisman, G.; Zhou, C.

Brain Research 792(1): 97-104


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-8993
PMID: 9593841
DOI: 10.1016/s0006-8993(98)00125-5
Accession: 008598577

Our previous studies have demonstrated that axons from grafts of embryonic entorhinal cortex (EC) can reinnervate the deafferented zones in the hippocampus and form synaptic connections with the host dentate gyrus in adult mice and rats deprived of their own entorhinal inputs. Here, we have examined the ability of the EC grafts to ameliorate deficits in spatial memory. Three months after transplantation, the grafted rats and control animals were subjected to Morris water maze testing followed by histological examination. According to the exact position of grafts in the host brain, the rats with lesion and EC transplants were divided into two groups, one with EC grafts contacting both the hippocampus and overlying neocortex (n = 7, EC1) and another with EC grafts confined within the hippocampus (n = 6, EC2). While EC2 rats were still as impaired as those with lesion and transplants of non-entorhinal cortex (n = 10, NEC) or with lesions only (n = 7, LES), the EC1 rats performed better than the LES group. In a spatial memory trial, the EC1 group made more crossings over platform site and showed more focused search behavior than EC2, LES, NEC groups. The data suggest that EC grafts could partially ameliorate the deficit in spatial learning behavior in the EC-lesioned adult rats. The requirement for the graft to contact both the neocortex and the hippocampus suggests that the functional effects may be exerted by the formation of new neocortical-EC graft-hippocampal circuits.

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