AMPA-receptor mediated plasticity within the rat spinal cord

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Title: AMPA-receptor mediated plasticity within the rat spinal cord
Author: Hoy, Kevin Corcoran
Abstract: Previous research from our laboratory has demonstrated that the spinal cord is capable of a simple form of instrumental learning . In this instrumental learning paradigm , rats typically receive a complete spinal transection at the second thoracic vertebra , and are tested 24 hours after surgery . Subjects that receive shock to a hind leg quickly learn to maintain the leg in a flexed position , reducing net shock exposure whenever that leg is extended (controllable shock ) . Subjects that receive shock that is independent of leg position do not exhibit an increase in flexion duration (uncontrollable shock ) . This behavioral deficit can be induced with shock to the leg or tail and as little as 6 minutes of uncontrollable shock impairs learning for up to 48 hours . The present thesis explores how the related ? -amino -3 -hydroxy -5 -methyl -4 - isoxazole propionic acid -receptor (AMPAR ) ionotropic glutamate receptor affects spinal instrumental learning . Experiment 1 showed that inactivation of the AMPAR by administration of an antagonist blocks the acquisition of instrumental learning in a dose dependant fashion . Experiment 2 demonstrated that blocking the AMPAR after the acquisition of the instrumental response subsequently blocked the maintenance of that response . Experiment 3 revealed that antagonizing the AMPAR during uncontrollable shock blocked the acquisition of the learning deficit . Experiments 4 -6 demonstrated that the activation of the AMPAR at high levels could acutely block the acquisition spinal instrumental learning . Understanding how the AMPAR influences learning in the spinal cord will lead us to develop therapeutic strategies for recovery of function after spinal cord injury .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3056
Date: 2009-05-15


AMPA-receptor mediated plasticity within the rat spinal cord. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3056 .

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