We trained BALB/c Byllco (C), CD-1, SV 129/SvPasCr1 (129 SV), C57BL/6 (B6) and DBA/2J (D2) mice using the olfactory tubing maze with the hope of gaining insight into behavioral genetics related to learning and memory processes. All strains of mice acquired the odor-reward associations using this new task except the D2 strain. The C, CD-1, and 129 SV consistently remembered the associations from the sixth 20-trial training session, reaching 80% +/- 5 correct responses in session seven. The B6 mice required one more session to reach 76%, while the D2 mice never learned the correct odor-reward associations. All mice learned the paradigm and the timing of the task, although the 129 SV mice decreased slower the inter-trial intervals across sessions. With this new task, D2 mice, with a deficit totally devoted to an impairment on learning and memory, can be used as a model of hippocampal dysfunction, in some respects like that observed in human amnesic patients whose selective hippocampal-dependent memory is deeply impaired. The high-scoring strains (C, CD-1, and 129 SV) seem to be ideal in this task to study a gene-targeting mutation postulated to reduce behavioral performance, and inversely, for D2 mice. The moderate-scoring strain, B6, should be ideal for allowing gene-targeting to go either way. In addition, this new task, which enables automated training of odor associations, could be used for studying the phenomenon of transitivity in mice, as described in rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience