Behavioral comparisons were made between rats of the Brattleboro strain with hereditary hypothalamic diabetes insipidus (DI) and normal Long-Evans rats. Measurements were made of activity behavior in a lighted open field and in a darkened activity chamber. Subtle measurement specific differences in the activity behavior of DI rats were found which suggested altered emotion, motivation and/or attention in the DI rats. In terms of learned behavior, DI and normal rats displayed a similar degree of habituation to all within-session activity measures in both the open field and darkened activity chamber. In a passive avoidance test, DI rats exhibited a degree of avoidance behavior equivalent to that of normal animals. Thus, these studies provide evidence that the vasopressin-deficient rat is not defective in learning and memory processes. The data can be interpreted as suggesting that vasopressin may influence memory tasks by extrinsic modulation of related states of emotionality, motivation and/or attention rather than by direct involvement in the retrieval and consolidation of information.
- Brattleboro rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience