Hippocampal CA3-region is crucial for acquisition and memory consolidation in Morris water maze task in mice

Behav Brain Res. 2004 Oct 5;154(2):365-74. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2004.03.003.


This experiment investigated the involvement of the dorsal hippocampal CA3-region in the different phases of learning and memory in spatial and non-spatial tasks. To do so, we temporarily inactivated the CA3-subfield by a focal injection of diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) which chelates most of the heavy metals present in this region. The effects of temporary inactivation of the CA3-region were examined in an associative task, the Morris water maze (MWM). To study the different phase of memory we used a new behavioural massed-procedure founded on four massed training sessions in the spatial and the non-spatial (cue) version of this task. In the spatial version, we showed that a bilateral injection of DDC into the CA3-region impairs the acquisition but not the recall of spatial information. The main result of this study is that the same injection performed immediately after the training session also perturbed memory consolidation. In the cue version of the MWM, we found no difference between the DDC-injected mice and their controls in acquisition or memory consolidation of non-spatial information. These results suggest that the hippocampal CA3-region is essential for spatial memory processes and specifically in memory consolidation of spatial information.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Cues
  • Ditiocarb / pharmacology
  • Escape Reaction / drug effects
  • Escape Reaction / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Spatial Behavior / drug effects
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Chelating Agents
  • Ditiocarb