Document Detail

Poorer results of mice with latent toxoplasmosis in learning tests: impaired learning processes or the novelty discrimination mechanism?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17445326     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The heteroxenous protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is transmitted from the intermediate host (any warm-blooded animal) to the definitive host (members of the felidae) by carnivory. The infected intermediate hosts develop several specific behavioural changes that are usually considered products of manipulative activity of the parasite aimed to increase the probability of its transmission to the definitive host. Among other changes, the infected rodents were shown to have impaired learning capability. All previous studies were done 2-6 weeks after the infection. Therefore, it was difficult to resolve whether the observed impairment of learning processes was a result of acute or latent toxoplasmosis, i.e. whether it was a side-effect of the disease or a product of manipulation activity. Here we studied the learning capability of Toxoplasma-infected mice in the static rod test and 8-arm radial maze test and their spontaneous activity in the wheel running test 10 weeks after the infection. The infected mice achieved worse scores in the learning tests but showed higher spontaneous activity in the wheel running test. However, a detailed study of the obtained results as well as of the data reported by other authors suggested that the differences between infected and control mice were a result of impaired ability to recognize novel stimuli rather than of impaired learning capacity in animals with latent toxoplasmosis.
H Hodkova; P Kodym; J Flegr
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-04-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Parasitology     Volume:  134     ISSN:  0031-1820     ISO Abbreviation:  Parasitology     Publication Date:  2007 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-08     Completed Date:  2008-10-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401121     Medline TA:  Parasitology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1329-37     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Parasitology, Charles University, Vinicná 7, Prague 128 44, Czech Republic.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Maze Learning
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Motor Activity
Toxoplasma / physiology*
Toxoplasmosis, Animal / parasitology*,  physiopathology*

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