Working memory deficits in transgenic rats overexpressing human adenosine A2A receptors in the brain

Lydia Gimenez-Llort, Serge Schiffmann, Tanja Shmidt, Laia Canela, Lluisa Camon, Monica Wassholm, Meritxell Canals, Anton Terasmaa, Albert Fernandez-Teruel, Adolf Tobena, Elena Popova, Sergi Ferre, Luigi Agnati, Francisco Ciruela, Emili Martinez, Jorgen Kruger, Carmen Lluis, Rafael Franco, Kjell Fuxe, Michael Bader

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Adenosine receptors in the central nervous system have been implicated in the modulation of different behavioural patterns and cognitive functions although the specific role of A(2A) receptor (A(2A)R) subtype in learning and memory is still unclear. In the present work we establish a novel transgenic rat strain, TGR(NSEhA2A), overexpressing adenosine A(2A)Rs mainly in the cerebral cortex, the hippocampal formation, and the cerebellum. Thereafter, we explore the relevance of this A(2A)Rs overexpression for learning and memory function. Animals were behaviourally assessed in several learning and memory tasks (6-arms radial tunnel maze, T-maze, object recognition, and several Morris water maze paradigms) and other tests for spontaneous motor activity (open field, hexagonal tunnel maze) and anxiety (plus maze) as modification of these behaviours may interfere with the assessment of cognitive function. Neither motor performance and emotional/anxious-like behaviours were altered by overexpression of A(2A)Rs. TGR(NSEhA2A) showed normal hippocampal-dependent learning of spatial reference memory. However, they presented working memory deficits as detected by performance of constant errors in the blind arms of the 6 arm radial tunnel maze, reduced recognition of a novel object and a lack of learning improvement over four trials on the same day which was not observed over consecutive days in a repeated acquisition paradigm in the Morris water maze. Given the interdependence between adenosinic and dopaminergic function, the present results render the novel TGR(NSEhA2A) as a putative animal model for the working memory deficits and cognitive disruptions related to overstimulation of cortical A(2A)Rs or to dopaminergic prefrontal dysfunction as seen in schizophrenic or Parkinson s disease patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42 - 56
Number of pages15
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this

Gimenez-Llort, L., Schiffmann, S., Shmidt, T., Canela, L., Camon, L., Wassholm, M., Canals, M., Terasmaa, A., Fernandez-Teruel, A., Tobena, A., Popova, E., Ferre, S., Agnati, L., Ciruela, F., Martinez, E., Kruger, J., Lluis, C., Franco, R., Fuxe, K., & Bader, M. (2007). Working memory deficits in transgenic rats overexpressing human adenosine A2A receptors in the brain. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 87(1), 42 - 56.