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Phenotyping

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Y-maze spontaneous alternation

Purpose

This test allows evaluation of working memory. When placed in the Y-maze, mice tend to alternate visits between the three arms. A mouse with impaired working memory cannot remember which arm it just visited and thus shows decreased spontaneous alternation.

Equipment

Home-made equipment made of PVC.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Pavlovian fear conditioning

Purpose

This is an associative learning paradigm for measuring emotional learning and memory. A neutral conditioned stimulus (CS, tone) is paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US, foot-shock). After conditioning, the CS or the spatial context alone elicits a central state of fear expressed as reduced locomotor activity or total lack of movement (freezing).

Equipment

4 automated cages (Coulbourn Instruments, Whitehall, USA)

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Object recognition

Purpose

The object recognition task is based on the natural tendency of rodents to explore a novel object / environment in comparison to a familiar one. This test allows evaluation of recognition memory to characterize potential memory defects. 

Equipment

Automated openfield arenas (Panlab, Barcelone, Spain) and different objects (marble, dice…) are required. 

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Morris water maze

Purpose

This test is used to evaluate spatial reference memory in rodents. Mice are trained to escape from water by swimming to a submerged platform using only distal extra-maze cues.

Equipment:

2 rooms dedicated to water maze test and videotracking systems are used.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Active/passive avoidance

Purpose

These tests are used for evaluation of emotional learning and memory processes. In the active avoidance test, a conditioned stimulus (CS, light/tone) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US, aversive foot-shock).  The animals can avoid the foot-shock actively by leaving the compartment where they are in the interval-time between the CS onset and the US occurrence. In the passive task, mice receive a foot shock in a dark compartment. After conditioning, they can passively avoid, by staying in the light side where they are placed.

Equipment

4 automated cages (Panlab, barcelona, Spain).

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Scopolamine-induced amnesia

Purpose

The scopolamine model is based on the fact that cholinergic system is altered in amnesic syndromes like Alzheimer's disease. Administration of scopolamine cause memory deficits in several tests.

Equipment

Any equipment needed in tests used for evaluation of learning and memory.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

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