Impaired cued delayed alternation behavior in adult rat offspring following exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on gestation day 15

Vincent P. Markowski, Christopher Cox, Raymond Preston, Bernard Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This investigation used random ratio (RR) and cued delayed alternation procedures to examine the operant behavior of adult male and female rats following prenatal 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Offspring were exposed to a single maternal dose of 0.0, 0.06, 0.18 or 0.54 μg/kg po of TCDD on gestation day (GD) 15. For RR, adult subjects were trained to respond on one lever in a two-lever chamber for food reinforcement. The response requirement was increased across sessions. Male offspring responded at higher rates than females regardless of RR value and prenatal exposure history. For delayed alternation, animals were required to alternate responses on both apparatus levers and to inhibit responding during randomly interpolated delay intervals. The performance of male and female offspring exposed to 0.18-μg/kg TCDD was significantly less accurate and this group committed more errors by responding during the delay intervals than the other exposure groups. A similar trend was observed in the 0.54-μg/kg group. Overall, response accuracy during the delayed alternation procedure was inversely related to delay length and tended to improve with experience. Interpretations of these outcomes include the possibility that TCDD interfered with the development of attentional processes, impaired response inhibition or promoted response perseveration despite the presence of cues, indicating changes in reinforcement contingencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Delayed alternation
  • Nonmonotonic dose-response
  • Operant behavior
  • Prenatal TCDD
  • Random ratio
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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