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An animal model for cognitive deficit following brain damage

Zhang Shi-yi, The Research Institute of Preclinical Medicine,The Chinese Academy of Medical Science, 100005  
It is believed that the medial frontal cortex of rats is comparable to the prefrontal cortex of primates both structually and functionally. This brain area is probably involved in modulation of cognitive ability. Experiment 1:Wistar rats were trained to learn and consolidate an operating conditioning. Then, ablation of the bilateral medial frontal cortex was conducted in rats (M group). After surgery, the retention level of the conditioning in M group was significantly lower than that in the sham operated (S) group. No recovery was detected in 4 weeks. Exper iment 2: Wistar rats were subjected to surgery of M, S or bilateral ablation of the lateral frontal cortex (L).One week later, the animals were trained in a passive avoidance and then in an active avoidance task. Memory retention of passive avoidance was impaired and poor learning of active avoidance was seen in the M group vs. S group. There was no significant difference of behavioral response in the two tasks between the L and S group rats. All rats in experiment 1 and 2 kept normal health and motor ability. The rats could survive for a long time. Present study introduced the model for learning and memory deficit following lesion of medial frontal cortex in rats. The advantage of this model was discussed.
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