Alterations of behavior and spatial learning after unilateral entorhinal ablation of rats

Life Sci. 2006 May 1;78(23):2683-8. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2005.10.014. Epub 2005 Nov 28.


The entorhinal cortex (EC) is the key input and output structure of the hippocampus. It plays a crucial role in sensory processing, memory and learning, as well as in mechanisms of epileptic seizures. Our previous studies on the 4-aminopyridin induced epilepsy model of rats showed that ablation of unilateral EC prompted weakening of limbic seizure manifestation, thus the possibility of therapeutical benefit of this kind of surgery can be risen. Open field, elevated plus-maze and Morris water-maze test were performed to analyze changes of the basal activity level, exploratory behavior, and spatial memory capacity, respectively, of adult Wistar rats having undergone left EC excision. Compared with the sham-operated control group, rats with lesions of the EC showed enhanced locomotor activity in the open-field test. The elevated plus-maze test revealed higher frequency of entries and more time spent in the open arms. Morris water-maze test suggested impairment of the spatial learning capacity following left lateral EC lesion. Therefore, our data showed that EC lesions induced hyperactivity, increased exploratory behavior, and impaired spatial learning. Entorhinal cortex ablation, as a potential method for controlling epileptic seizures has multiple effects on animals' behavior and spatial learning. To determine the cost-benefit ratio of a potential surgical intervention needs further experimental and human investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Denervation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / surgery
  • Escape Reaction / physiology*
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar