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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 919276, 9 pages
Research Article

Forepaw Sensorimotor Deprivation in Early Life Leads to the Impairments on Spatial Memory and Synaptic Plasticity in Rats

1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Xin Hua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China
2Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics of Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, China
3Shanghai Institute of Brain Functional Genomics, The Key Laboratories of Ministry of Education (MOE) of China and Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (STCSM), East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
4Department of Environmental Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

Received 27 March 2009; Accepted 8 October 2009

Academic Editor: Kanury Rao

Copyright © 2009 Yuanyuan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To investigate the influence of forepaw sensorimotor deprivation on memory and synaptic plasticity, Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups: a sham-operated group and a group deprived of forepaw sensorimotor function by microsurgical operation at postnatal day 13 (PN13). Behavioral and electrophysiological studies were performed at PN25, PN35, PN45, and PN60. Open field test was used to assess the spontaneous locomotor activity. Morris water maze was used to evaluate spatial reference learning and memory. The long-term potentiation (LTP) in the medial perforant path—dentate gyrus (MPP-DG) pathway was examined with hippocampal slices. We found that forepaw sensorimotor deprivation did not affect spontaneous activity of the rats. However, spatial reference learning and memory were significantly impaired in their early life (PN25, PN35, and PN45). In accordance with the behavior results, LTP in MPP-DG pathway was significantly suppressed in their early life. These data demonstrated that forepaw sensorimotor deprivation led to the impairments on spatial memory via inducing pronounced deficits in the MPP-DG pathway to exhibit LTP, one of the major cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory.