Effects of neonatal ganglioside GM1 administration on memory in adult and old rats

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Silva, Regina H. [UNIFESP]
Bergamo, Marcelo [UNIFESP]
Frussa-Filho, Roberto [UNIFESP]
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Numerous investigations have been reporting the involvement of GM1 ganglioside in central nervous system development and memory formation. the effects of neonatal treatment with GM1 ganglioside on the performance of adult rats in a plus-maze discriminative avoidance task and old rats in a step-down passive avoidance task were investigated. Rats were injected subcutaneously from day 3 to 15 after birth with 10 mg/kg GM1 or saline. GM1 treatment did not modify indicative landmarks of physical and motor development. Behavioural tasks were carried out when the animals were 4 (discriminative avoidance) or 24 (passive avoidance) months old. Discriminative avoidance conditioning was performed in a modified elevated plus-maze. During the training session, the animals received aversive stimulation (light and hot air blow) in one of the enclosed arms. Tests were performed 7, 14 and 21 days after conditioning (tests 1, 2 and 3), in the absence of the aversive stimulation. in all tests, GM1-treated animals spent less time in the aversive arm than in the non-aversive enclosed arm. Control animals, however, spent a shorter time in the aversive arm only in tests 1 and 2. Passive avoidance conditioning was performed in an acrylic box with a grid floor, that was partially covered by an inclined platform. Animals were placed on the platform and received a 0,5 mA foot shock when stepped down. A test was performed 48 hr later. Latency to step down presented by GM1-treated animals was significantly higher in the test session, whereas no significant increase in latency to step down was found for control animals. the results suggest a possible action of GM1 on the maturation of the central nervous system that persists during adulthood and ageing.
Pharmacology & Toxicology. Copenhagen: Munksgaard Int Publ Ltd, v. 87, n. 3, p. 120-125, 2000.