Monday, 4 November 2013

All New Barnes Maze Testing and Analysis Software to be released by HVS Image at SFN 2013

All New Barnes Maze Testing and Analysis Software to be released by HVS Image at SFN 2013.

The HVS Image 2014 system to be released at Society for Neuroscience this coming Saturday will feature a suite of all new Barnes Maze Testing and Analysis Software.


Over 300 publications cite the use of HVS Image and Barnes Maze and now the HVS Image 2014 makes it easier and more powerful.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Tracking Research: Protective effect of salicylic acid on Hg0 intoxication in mice

Tracking Research: Protective effect of salicylic acid on Hg0 intoxication in mice
C Ma, D Xie, L Huang, L Sun, Q Xu, G Li

Elemental mercury (Hg0) is a hazardous metal with significant human exposure through diverse sources. In this study, the role of salicylic acid (SA) was assessed against Hg0-induced injury in mice, with the aim of screening alternative clinical drugs to prevent or treat Hg0 poisoning. An exposure to Hg0 (1.0 mg/m3 in a glass box) for 2 h per day for successive 15 d significantly increased Hg accumulation in mouse brain and lung, inhibited the animal growth and altered the neurobehavior such as impairing the spatial learning and memory in the Barnes maze test. However, although oral SA (5.5 mg/kg body weight) during the Hg0 exposure did not reduce the Hg levels in these organs, it effectively counteracted the Hg0-induced growth inhibition, and improved the behavioral performance, accompanied by a series of ameliorations in the antioxidative defense and anti-inflammatory response. For instance, when compared with control, Hg0-inhaled animals had significant decreases in the activities of superoxide dismutase and peroxidase, and in the levels of reduced form of glutathione and the ratio to its oxidized form, concomitantly with a high accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde in the brain and lung. However, these values in Hg0 + SA-exposed animals were comparable with the basal levels in control. Likewise, interleukin-6 in the brain and lung of Hg0-exposed animals were dramatically elevated, whereas it was maintained to the basal level in Hg0 + SA-exposed animals. These data suggested that application of SA could protect mice against Hg0-induced injury.


Read More:  to Hg 0 (1.0 mg/m 3 in a glass box) for 2 h per day for successive 15 d significantly
increased Hg accumulation in mouse brain and lung, inhibited the animal growth and altered
the neurobehavior such as impairing the spatial learning and memory in the Barnes maze ...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Tracking Research: Hyperdynamic Microtubules, Cognitive Deficits, and Pathology Are Improved in Tau Transgenic Mice with Low Doses of the Microtubule-Stabilizing Agent BMS-241027Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492,

Hyperdynamic Microtubules, Cognitive Deficits, and Pathology Are Improved in Tau Transgenic Mice with Low Doses of the Microtubule-Stabilizing Agent BMS-241027

Donna M. Barten, Patrizia Fanara, Cathy Andorfer, Nina Hoque, P. Y. Anne Wong, Kristofor H. Husted2, Gregory W. Cadelina, Lynn B. DeCarr1, Ling Yang, Victoria Liu, Chancy Fessler, Joan Protassio, Timothy Riff, Holly Turner, Christopher G. Janus, Sethu Sankaranarayanan, Craig Polson, Jere E. Meredith, Gemma Gray, Amanda Hanna, Richard E. Olson, Soong-Hoon Kim, Gregory D. Vite, Francis Y. Lee, and Charles F. Albright

Abstract

Tau is a microtubule (MT)-stabilizing protein that is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies. It is hypothesized that the hyperphosphorylated, conformationally altered, and multimeric forms of tau lead to a disruption of MT stability; however, direct evidence is lacking in vivo. In this study, an in vivo stable isotope-mass spectrometric technique was used to measure the turnover, or dynamicity, of MTs in brains of living animals. We demonstrated an age-dependent increase in MT dynamics in two different tau transgenic mouse models, 3xTg and rTg4510. MT hyperdynamicity was dependent on tau expression, since a reduction of transgene expression with doxycycline reversed the MT changes. Treatment of rTg4510 mice with the epothilone, BMS-241027, also restored MT dynamics to baseline levels. In addition, MT stabilization with BMS-241027 had beneficial effects on Morris water maze deficits, tau pathology, and neurodegeneration. Interestingly, pathological and functional benefits of BMS-241027 were observed at doses that only partially reversed MT hyperdynamicity. Together, these data suggest that tau-mediated loss of MT stability may contribute to disease progression and that very low doses of BMS-241027 may be useful in the treatment of AD and other tauopathies.
 Tracking with HVS Image Barnes Maze

Monday, 5 August 2013

Tracking Research: Aging in the cerebellum and hippocampus and associated behaviors over the adult life span of CB6F1 mice

Tracking Research: Aging in the cerebellum and hippocampus and associated behaviors over the adult life span of CB6F1 mice

JA Kennard, KL Brown, DS Woodruff-Pak


Abstract
In the present study we examined the effects of normal aging in the hippocampus and cerebellum, as well as behaviors associated with these substrates. A total of 67 CB6F1 hybrid mice were tested at one of five ages (4, 8, 12, 18 or 25 months) on the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) modification of fear conditioning, rotorod, Barnes maze, acoustic startle, Morris water maze (MWM) and 500 ms trace eyeblink classical conditioning (EBCC). Behavioral tasks were chosen to increase the ability to detect age-related changes in learning, as trace EBCC is considered a more difficult paradigm (compared to delay EBCC) and the CPFE has been found to be more sensitive to hippocampus insults than standard contextual fear conditioning. To assess the effects of age on the brain, hippocampus volume was calculated and unbiased stereology was used to estimate the number of Purkinje neurons in the cerebellar cortex. A significant, age-related loss of Purkinje neurons was found—beginning at 12 months of age—and hippocampus volume remained stable over the adult life span. Age-related impairment was found, beginning at 12–18 months in the rotorod, and mice with fewer Purkinje neurons showed greater impairment in this task. CB6F1 mice retained auditory acuity across the life span and mice aged 25 months showed significant age-related impairment in the EBCC task; however, deficits were not associated with the loss of Purkinje neurons. Although the CPFE task is considered more sensitive to hippocampus insult, no age-related impairment was found. Spatial memory retention was impaired in the Barnes maze at 25 months, but no significant deficits were seen in the MWM. These results support the finding of differential aging in the hippocampus and cerebellum.


Trials ended if the mouse did not fall after 60 seconds, at which point a latency score
of 60 was given. Barnes Maze. Apparatus. ... Barnes Maze. Primary latency and primary distance
were evaluated with 5 (Age) x 4 (Training Day) Mixed Model ANOVAs. ...

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Tracking Research: TP O'Leary, RE Brown - … Genetics of the Mouse: Volume 1

Tracking Research: TP O'Leary, RE Brown - … Genetics of the Mouse: Volume 1, …, 2013 - books.google.com


In this chapter, we review the use of six different mazes for the study of strain
differences in learning and memory in mice: the Barnes maze, the holeboard, the T-maze, the
Y-maze, the Lashley type III, and Hebb-Williams mazes . ...

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tracking Research: Young APOE4 targeted replacement mice exhibit poor spatial learning and memory, with reduced dendritic spine density in the medial entorhinal cortex

Tracking Research: Young APOE4 targeted replacement mice exhibit poor spatial learning and memory, with reduced dendritic spine density in the medial entorhinal cortex

GA Rodriguez, MP Burns, EJ Weeber… - Learning & …, 2013 - learnmem.cshlp.org

Young APOE4 TR mice exhibit impaired spatial learning and memory in
the Barnes maze. ... However, E2 and E4 performance in a single probe trial was affected.
Eighteen-month-old APOE4 TR mice exhibit spatial learning deficits in the Barnes maze. ...

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tracking Research: Effects of Lactobacillus helveticus on murine behavior are dependent on diet and genotype and correlate with alterations in the gut microbiome

CL Ohland, L Kish, H Bell, A Thiesen, N Hotte
Animal weight and food eaten were monitored weekly. Intestinal immune function
was analysed for cytokine expression using the Meso Scale Discovery platform. Spatial memory
and anxiety-like behavior was assessed in a Barnes maze. ... 2.2. Barnes maze. ...

Monday, 22 July 2013

Tracking Research: Effect of voluntary physical exercise and post-training epinephrine on acquisition of a spatial task in the barnes maze

Tracking Research: Effect of voluntary physical exercise and post-training epinephrine on acquisition of a spatial task in the barnes maze

A Jacotte-Simancas, D Costa-Miserachs

Abstract

A number of experiments have shown that physical exercise improves acquisition and retention for a variety of learning tasks in rodents. Most of these works have been conducted with tasks associated with a considerable level of stress, physical effort and/or food deprivation that might interact with exercise, thus hindering the interpretation of the results. On the other hand, it is well established that post-training epinephrine is able to facilitate memory consolidation, but only a few works have studied its effect on the process of acquisition. The present work was aimed at studying whether 17 days of voluntary physical exercise (running wheels) and/or post-training epinephrine (0.01 or 0.05 mg/kg) could improve the acquisition of a spatial task in the Barnes maze, and whether the combination of the two treatments have additive effects. Our results showed that exercise improved acquisition, and 0.01 mg/kg of epinephrine tended to enhance it, by reducing the distance needed to find the escape hole. The combination of both treatments failed to further improve the acquisition level. We concluded that both treatments exerted their effect on acquisition by enhancing the process of learning itself, and that exercise is able to improve acquisition even using tasks with a low level of stress and physical effort.

A number of experiments have shown that physical exercise improves 
acquisition and retention for a variety of learning tasks in rodents. Most of these works have 
been conducted with tasks associated with a considerable level of stress, physical effort ...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Tracking Research: Developmental treatment with bisphenol A causes few alterations on measures of postweaning activity and learning

Recent Paper by Sherry A. Ferguson, , C. Delbert Law , Jordan S. Abshire Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, 3900 NCTR Road, Jefferson, AR 72079, United States

Abstract

Widespread bisphenol A (BPA) exposure necessitates increased knowledge of its potential effects for better risk assessment and regulatory guidance. Here, female Sprague–Dawley rats, reared in low exogenous estrogen environments and bred at adulthood, were gavaged on gestational days 6–21 with vehicle (VEH), 2.5 or 25.0 μg/kg/day BPA, or 5.0 or 10.0 μg/kg/day ethinyl estradiol (EE2). Offspring were orally treated on postnatal days (PNDs) 1–21 with the same dose their dam received. A naïve control group (NC) was not gavaged. Post-weaning, one offspring/sex/litter (n = 11–12/sex/group) was assessed for the typical behaviors measured in developmental neurotoxicology studies. At PND 29, novelty preference was unaffected by treatment; however, relative to the VEH group, males and females of both EE2 groups were more active. VEH males appeared somewhat hypoactive in open field assessments at PNDs 40–42 and, as a result, males of the BPA and EE2 groups were significantly more active. Latency to locate the Barnes maze escape box at PNDs 47–50 was increased in males and females of the 5.0 μg/kg/day EE2 group. Relative to other male groups, VEH males exhibited an increased startle response on the first trial block at PND 54 and thus, males of both BPA groups and the 10.0 μg/kg/day EE2 group exhibited a significantly decreased startle response. PNDs 43–44 motor coordination and PNDs 75–79 water maze performance were unaffected by treatment. These results indicate few consistent or dose-related effects resulting from developmental treatment with BPA at these doses. Few of these behaviors, however, were sexually dimorphic which may prove more sensitive.

Highlights

► Pregnant rats were gavaged with 2.5 or 25 BPA or 5 or 10 μg/kg ethinyl estradiol on GDs 6–21. ► Pups were orally treated with the same dose on postnatal days 1–21 and behaviorally assessed. ► No treatment effects on motor coordination, water maze, or novelty preference scores. ► No consistent effects of BPA treatment on Barnes maze, acoustic startle, or open field activity.  Tracking with HVS Image Barnes Maze


Figures and tables from this article:
Full-size image (38 K)
Fig. 1. PND 29 novelty preference test. Top: activity (sum of entry frequencies into each area) (mean ± SE) during the first and second 10 min of the session for both sexes. *Pairwise comparisons of the significant treatment effect during the second 10 min indicated that the low (5.0 μg/kg/day) and high (10.0 μg/kg/day) EE2 groups were significantly more active than the vehicle control group. Bottom: novelty preference (total duration in novel chamber/total duration in familiar chamber) for both sexes (mean ± SE). Pairwise comparisons of the significant treatment effect during the first 10 min did not indicate that any group was significantly different from the vehicle control group.
Full-size image (19 K)
Fig. 2. PNDs 40–42 open field activity (mean ± SE). Activity was first summed for the twelve 5-min intervals/session to obtain total activity/session and the three consecutive daily sessions were then averaged for each subject. Pairwise comparisons of the significant treatment × sex interaction did not indicate any significant differences between the BPA and EE2 female groups and the same-sex vehicle control group. *However, males of the BPA (2.5 and 25.0 μg/kg/day) and EE2 (5.0 and 10.0 μg/kg/day) groups were significantly more active than the vehicle control males. Males of the vehicle control and naïve control groups did not differ significantly.
Full-size image (20 K)
Fig. 3. PNDs 47–50 Barnes maze latency (mean ± SE). Sexes are shown separately as there was a significant effect of sex, although this did not interact with treatment. Latencies were averaged over the four consecutive daily sessions for each subject. *Pairwise comparisons of the significant treatment effect indicated that the 5.0 EE2 group exhibited a significantly longer latency to locate the escape box than the vehicle control group.
Full-size image (44 K)
Fig. 4. PND 54 maximum acoustic startle response by trial block (mean ± SE). Top: males. Bottom: females. *Pairwise comparisons of the significant treatment × sex × trial block interaction indicated that males of the naïve control, 2.5 BPA, 25.0 BPA, and 10.0 EE2 groups exhibited significantly less startle response on trials 1–5 than males of the vehicle control group. There were no significant differences between the BPA and EE2 female groups and the same-sex vehicle control group.
Full-size image (35 K)
Fig. 5. PNDs 75–79 water maze latency (mean ± SE). Top: males. Bottom: females. Points are slightly offset from the x axis for increased clarity. There were no significant effects of BPA or EE2 treatment on latency to locate the platform.


Monday, 8 July 2013

Tracking Research: The impact of enriched environment and transplantation of murine cortical embryonic stem cells on recovery from controlled cortical contusion injury

Tracking Research: The impact of enriched environment and transplantation of murine cortical embryonic stem cells on recovery from controlled cortical contusion injury

ST Peruzzaro, J Gallagher, J Dunkerson

The effectiveness of embryonic stem cell (eSC) therapy has been explored in many models of neurological disease and several research groups have shown that eSC treatment leads to improved outcomes in pre-clinical models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Though functional recovery occurs, few surviving eSCs appear to develop neuronal characteristics; instead the majority of the surviving eSC express glial phenotypes. Additionally, researchers have shown that enriching the post-surgical environment of the subject promotes functional recovery following TBI. The purpose of the current project was to determine if post-surgical environmental enrichment (EE) impacts the survival, migration, and integration of eSCs in a rodent model of TBI and if the presence of these cells lead to improved outcomes. Methods: In the current study, the medial frontal cortex (MFC) of rats was injured using a controlled cortical impact (CCI) device. Immediately following injury the rats were placed into either EE or standard environment (SE) housing and then seven days post-injury rats received either murine cortical eSC or media. Behavioral testing consisted of the Morris water maze (MWM), Barnes Maze (BM), and Rotarod tasks (RR). Results: On the MWM task, TBI/eSC/EE animals performed as well as the Sham/SE and Sham/EE groups. The TBI/eSC/SE, TBI/Media/EE, and TBI/Media/SE groups were impaired compared to the controls. By the end of training on the BM there were no differences between the Sham, TBI/Media/EE, and TBI/eSC/EE groups. On the RR task all animals placed in the EE performed equally well and significantly better than their SE housed counterparts. By the end of training on the RR task, the TBI/eSC/EE group performed as well as the sham counterparts, and though not significant they also surpassed the performance of the injured animals that received enrichment or eSC treatment alone. Conclusions: Combing therapeutic strategies with enriching the post-injury environment is likely to be an important addition to determining the efficacy of pre-clinical therapies.

Behavioral testing consisted of the Morris water maze (MWM), Barnes
Maze (BM), and Rotarod tasks (RR). Results: On the MWM task, TBI/eSC/EE animals
performed as well as the Sham/SE and Sham/EE groups. The ... 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tracking Research: Chronic Intermittent Fasting Improves Cognitive Functions and Brain Structures in Mice

Tracking Research:  Chronic Intermittent Fasting Improves Cognitive Functions and Brain Structures in Mice
L Li, Z Wang, Z Zuo 


Obesity is a major health issue. Obesity started from teenagers has become a major health concern in recent years. Intermittent fasting increases the life span. However, it is not known whether obesity and intermittent fasting affect brain functions and structures before brain aging. Here, we subjected 7-week old CD-1 wild type male mice to intermittent (alternate-day) fasting or high fat diet (45% caloric supplied by fat) for 11 months. Mice on intermittent fasting had better learning and memory assessed by the Barnes maze and fear conditioning, thicker CA1 pyramidal cell layer, higher expression of drebrin, a dendritic protein, and lower oxidative stress than mice that had free access to regular diet (control mice). Mice fed with high fat diet was obese and with hyperlipidemia. They also had poorer exercise tolerance. However, these obese mice did not present significant learning and memory impairment or changes in brain structures or oxidative stress compared with control mice. These results suggest that intermittent fasting improves brain functions and structures and that high fat diet feeding started early in life does not cause significant changes in brain functions and structures in obese middle-aged animals.

The effects of various feeding protocols on leaning and memory.

Seven-week old male mice had free access to regular chow or high fat diet or were allowed to have free access to regular chow every other day (intermittent fasting) for 11 months. They were then subjected to Barnes maze, fear conditioning and rotarod tests. The results in the training sessions and memory phase of the Barnes maze are presented in panels A and B. The fear conditioning and rotarod results are shown in panels C and D, respectively. Results are means ± S.E.M (n = 15 – 35). * P<0.05 compared with mice on regular chow ad libitum.


 HDL: high density lipoprotein; LDL: low density lipoprotein.  The time for mice in all three groups to get into the target box in the Barnes maze
test became shorter with increased training sessions. ... Barnes maze. ...

Monday, 1 July 2013

Tracking Research: Longitudinal behavioral changes in the APP/PS1 transgenic Alzheimer's Disease model

Longitudinal behavioral changes in the APP/PS1 transgenic Alzheimer's Disease model

Latest Paper  by Sherry A. Ferguson, , Sumit Sarkar, Larry C. Schmued
Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, 3900 NCTR Road, Jefferson, AR 72079, United States

Abstract

The APP/PS1 double transgenic mouse is an Alzheimer's Disease-like model. However, cognitive deficits measured at one age do not necessarily indicate age-related progressions. Further, results of the most widely used behavioral assessment, water maze performance, are generally limited to 1–2 endpoints. Here, male APP/PS1 and noncarrier wildtypes (n = 11/group) were assessed at 7–15 months of age for water maze, open field, and motor coordination performance. Body weights and motor coordination were comparable for both groups throughout. Beginning at approximately 9 months of age, the transgenic group exhibited hypoactivity in the open field which continued throughout. Latency to locate the platform and swim path length were longer in the transgenic group; however, these appeared to be more related to increased floating and thigmotactic behavior and only partially related to a cognitive impairment. Age-related decrements in performance were not substantial; however, substantial plaque numbers were measured in six representative 16-month-old transgenic mice. The stability of water maze performance may be related to the longitudinal testing and repetitive experience, which previous research has demonstrated can confer beneficial effects on behavior and plaque deposition in transgenic Alzheimer's Disease models. These results emphasize the importance of measuring multiple water maze endpoints and demonstrate the feasibility of longitudinal assessments in this model.

Highlights
► APP/PS1 mice were assessed longitudinally for coordination, activity & learning. ► Motor coordination was normal in APP/PS1 mice and did not seem to decrease with age. ► From 9 months of age until study end, open field activity of APP/PS1 mice was ↓. ► Longer water maze latency and path length were related to ↑ floating/thigmotaxis. ► Lack of age ↓ in water maze may relate to longitudinal testing & repeated experience. Tracking with HVS Image Barnes Maze

Thursday, 6 June 2013

A Wet Barnes Maze?

Robert M.J. Deacon from the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford has just published a paper on Shallow Water (Paddling) Variants of Water Maze Tests in Mice. The aim is to remove passively floating or diving while retaining the water as an escape motivation (and possible removing scent trails). Looks as though the data will be difficult to compare with standard MWM as the escape paradigm is closer to Barnes maze with escape being through exits oat the sides. Its seems surprising at first indications actually that they don't just see thigmotaxis or al least carry out a serial search of the apparently visible exits. These are just first observations - not detailed reviews though.

What are your thoughts? The paper reference is Deacon, R. M. J. Shallow Water (Paddling) Variants of Water Maze Tests in Mice. J. Vis. Exp. (76), e2608, doi:10.3791/2608 (2013) and its being discussed on the LinkedIn water maze group at present 

The Jove reference ("movie of the paper") is at http://www.jove.com/video/2608/shallow-water-paddling-variants-of-water-maze-tests-in-mice

Figure 1

Monday, 21 January 2013

New tracking and analysis module for Barnes Maze from HVS Image


HVS Image have announces a new tracking and analysis module for Barnes Maze as part of the HVS Image 2013. Like the previous HVS Image 2020,2100 and 2012 systems, the 2013 has full backwards compatibility so you will be able to Capture and analyze more spatial learning data yet retain your experiments and user training, but now it's a software package that you can use a generic web cam with  on a standard off the shelf laptop. This keeps the cost right down, lower in fact than any of the rival systems.

The HVS Image Barnes Maze Module has powerful context sensitive help that allows inexperienced users to be up and running in minutes rather than days. It shares a simplified UI (user interface) with the other new HVS Image 2013 software which also supports Morris Water Maze, T-Maze, Y-Maze, Radial arm and Open Field. We'll post new pictures of the system here as we get them.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Barnes Maze Cartoon Caption

Here is Joseph Frost's interpretation of the Barnes Maze Cartoon (in rhyme of course!)
Joseph Frost's interpretation of the Barnes Maze Cartoon
Don't be shy - feel free to post in your suggested captions too!