Comparison of spatial learning in the partially baited radial-arm maze task between commonly used rat strains: Wistar, Spargue-Dawley, Long-Evans, and outcrossed Wistar/Sprague-Dawley

Gokcek-Sarac, Cigdem
Wesierska, Malgorzata
Jakubowska-Dogru, Ewa
Strain-related differences in animals' cognitive ability affect the outcomes of experiments and may be responsible for discrepant results obtained by different research groups. Therefore, behavioral phenotyping of laboratory animals belonging to different strains is important. The aim of the present study was to compare the variation in allothetic visuospatial learning in most commonly used laboratory rat strains: inbred Wistar (W) and Sprague-Dawley (SD), outcrossed Wistar/Sprague-Dawley (W/SD), and outbred Long Evans (LE) rats. All rats were trained to the arbitrary performance criterion of 83 % correct responses in the partially baited 12-arm radial maze allowing for simultaneous evaluation of both working and reference memory. In the present study, testing albino versus pigmented and inbred versus outcrossed rats revealed significant strain-dependent differences with the inbred SD rats manifesting lower performance on all learning measures compared to other strains. On the other hand, the outcrossed W/SD rats showed a lower frequency of reference memory errors and faster rate of task acquisition compared to both LE and W rats, with W rats showing a lower frequency of working memory errors compared to other strains. In conclusion, albinism apparently did not reduce the animals' performance in the allothetic visuospatial learning task, while outcrossing improved the spatial learning. A differential effect of strain on the contribution of each error type to the animals' overall performance was observed. The strain-dependent differences were more pronounced between subpopulations of learning-deficient individuals ("poor" learners), and generally the reference memory errors contributed more to the final behavioral output than did the working memory errors.


Relationship between the hippocampal expression of selected cytochrome P450 isoforms and the animal performance in the hippocampus-dependent learning task
Gjota-Ergin, Sena; Gokcek-Sarac, Cigdem; Adalı, Orhan; Jakubowska-Dogru, Ewa (2018-04-23)
Despite very extensive studies on the molecular mechanisms of memory formation, relatively little is known about the molecular correlates of individual variation in the learning skills within a random population of young normal subjects. The role of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in the brain also remains poorly understood. On the other hand, these enzymes are known to be related to the metabolism of substances important for neural functions including steroids, fatty acids, and retinoic acid. In the present ...
Correlation between hippocampal levels of neural, epithelial and inducible NOS and spatial learning skills in rats
Gokcek-Sarac, Cigdem; Karakurt, Serdar; Adalı, Orhan; Jakubowska-Dogru, Ewa (2012-12-01)
In the present study, to better understand the role of different nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms in hippocampus-dependent forms of learning, we examined the expression of neural, endothelial, and inducible NOS in the hippocampus of young-adult rats classified as "poor" and "good" learners on the basis of their performance in the partially baited 12-arm radial maze. Taking into consideration strain-dependent differences in learning skills and NOS expression, experiments were performed on two different l...
Analysis of immunoreactivity of NOS isoforms (nNOS, eNOS, iNOS) in hippocampus of young rats classified as good and poor learners
Keçecioğlu, Ekin; Jakubowska Doğru, Ewa; Department of Biology (2012)
Despite very extensive studies on molecular mechanisms of learning and memory formation it is little known about individual variation in the learning skills within a random animal population and about the differences in the brain biochemistry behind this variation. In the present study, we have focused on the expression and distribution of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), one of the molecules implemented in activity-dependent neuroplasticity, in the rat hippocampus, the structure critical for episodic memory in...
Study on the molecular basis of individual variation in spatial memory in rats
Gökçek Saraç, Çiğdem; Jakubowska Doğru, Ewa; Adalı, Orhan; Department of Biology (2012)
Despite very extensive studies related to molecular processes underlying memory formation, still little known about the potential differences in the brain biochemistry between “good” and “poor” learners belonging to a random population of young animals. In the present study, an attempt was taken to correlate the individual variation in short- and long-term spatial memory in three different lines of young, healthy rats: inbred Wistar (W), outcrossed Wistar/Spraque Dawley (W/S) and pigmented Long-Evans rats, ...
Individual variation in the spatial reference and working memory assessed under allothetic and idiothetic orientation cues in rat
Jakubowska-Dogru, E; Gumusbas, U; Kara, F (2003-01-01)
The present study was designed to examine which kind of memory: reference or working, better correlates with individual variation in rats' spatial learning abilities. To answer this question two groups of rats were trained to an arbitrary criterion in a partially baited 12-arm radial maze under two different experimental conditions: with or without allothetic cues. After 10 days break, rats were examined under the same conditions for memory retention. Within- and between-group variation in the length of tra...
Citation Formats
C. Gokcek-Sarac, M. Wesierska, and E. Jakubowska-Dogru, “Comparison of spatial learning in the partially baited radial-arm maze task between commonly used rat strains: Wistar, Spargue-Dawley, Long-Evans, and outcrossed Wistar/Sprague-Dawley,” LEARNING & BEHAVIOR, pp. 83–94, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: