Single mild traumatic brain injury results in transiently impaired spatial long-term memory and altered search strategies

Linda Marschner, An Schreurs, Benoit Lechat, Jesper Mogensen, Anton Roebroek, Tariq Ahmed, Detlef Balschun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can lead to diffuse neurophysical damage as well as cognitive and affective alterations. The nature and extent of behavioral changes after mTBI are still poorly understood and how strong an impact force has to be to cause long-term behavioral changes is not yet known. Here, we examined spatial learning acquisition, retention and reversal in a Morris water maze, and assessed search strategies during task performance after a single, mild, closed-skull traumatic impact referred to as “minimal” TBI. Additionally, we investigated changes in conditioned learning in a contextual fear-conditioning paradigm. Results show transient deficits in spatial memory retention, which, although limited, are indicative of deficits in long-term memory reconsolidation. Interestingly, minimal TBI causes animals to relapse to less effective search strategies, affecting performance after a retention pause. Apart from cognitive deficits, results yielded a sub-acute, transient increase in freezing response after fear conditioning, with no increase in baseline behavior, an indication of a stronger affective reaction to aversive stimuli after minimal TBI or greater susceptibility to stress. Furthermore, western blot analysis showed a short-term increase in hippocampal GFAP expression, most likely indicating astrogliosis, which is typically related to injuries of the central nervous system. Our findings provide evidence that even a very mild impact to the skull can have detectable consequences on the molecular, cognitive and affective-like level. However, these effects seemed to be very transient and reversible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018

Fingerprint

Brain Concussion
Long-Term Memory
Skull
Fear
Task Performance and Analysis
Freezing
Central Nervous System
Western Blotting
Learning
Recurrence
Water
Wounds and Injuries
Spatial Memory
Retention (Psychology)
Conditioning (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Concussion
  • Contextual fear conditioning
  • Immunoblotting
  • Morris water maze
  • Spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Single mild traumatic brain injury results in transiently impaired spatial long-term memory and altered search strategies. / Marschner, Linda; Schreurs, An; Lechat, Benoit; Mogensen, Jesper; Roebroek, Anton; Ahmed, Tariq; Balschun, Detlef.

In: Behavioural Brain Research, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marschner, Linda ; Schreurs, An ; Lechat, Benoit ; Mogensen, Jesper ; Roebroek, Anton ; Ahmed, Tariq ; Balschun, Detlef. / Single mild traumatic brain injury results in transiently impaired spatial long-term memory and altered search strategies. In: Behavioural Brain Research. 2018.
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