Male Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with bilateral intracerebral guide cannulae were trained in the standard hidden platform version of the Morris water maze and given immediate posttraining infusions of the D2 dopamine receptor antagonist sulpiride (10.0 or 100.0 ng/side) or saline vehicle into the posteroventral caudate-putamen. Retention was tested 2 days later with a probe trial. Sulpiride-treated rats spent less time swimming near the trained platform location and more time in the periphery of the maze than controls, although their latency to reach the trained platform location was not significantly affected. The pattern of results suggests that whereas the posteroventral caudate-putamen seems to be involved in consolidation of memory in the Morris water maze, it may be involved in memory for procedural aspects of the task in a manner distinct from that of other brain regions such as the hippocampus.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.