Neuronal activity regulated pentraxin (Narp) is a secreted neuronal product which clusters AMPA receptors and regulates excitatory synaptogenesis. Although Narp is selectively enriched in brain, its role in behavior is not known. As Narp is expressed prominently in limbic regions, we examined whether Narp deletion affects performance on tasks used to assess motivational consequences of food-rewarded learning. Narp knock-out (KO) mice were unimpaired in learning simple pavlovian discriminations, instrumental lever pressing, and in acquisition of at least two aspects of pavlovian incentive learning, conditioned reinforcement and pavlovian-instrumental transfer. In contrast, Narp deletion resulted in a substantial deficit in the ability to use specific outcome expectancies to modulate instrumental performance in a devaluation task. In this task, mice were trained to respond on two levers for two different rewards. After training, mice were prefed with one of the two rewards, devaluing it. Responding on both levers was then assessed in extinction. Whereas control mice showed a significant preference in responding on the lever associated with the nondevalued reward, Narp KO mice responded equally on both levers, failing to suppress responding on the lever associated with the devalued reward. Both groups consumed more of the nondevalued reward in a subsequent choice test, indicating Narp KO mice could distinguish between the rewards themselves. These data suggest Narp has a selective role in processing sensory-specific information necessary for appropriate devaluation performance, but not in general motivational effects of reward-predictive cues on performance.
- Conditioned reinforcement
- Immediate early gene
- Pavlovian to instrumental transfer
- Reinforcer devaluation
ASJC Scopus subject areas