HD mouse models reveal clear deficits in learning to perform a simple instrumental response

PLoS Curr. 2011 Nov 30;3:RRN1282. doi: 10.1371/currents.RRN1282.


Mouse models of Huntington's disease (HD) were trained to acquire one of two simple instrumental responses (a lever press or a nosepoke) to obtain food reinforcement. Animals from several HD strains revealed apparently progressive deficits in this task, being significantly less able than littermate controls to perform the required responses, at ages where motor function is only mildly affected. These data could provide a simple way to measure learning deficits in these mouse models, likely related to the characteristic pattern of neural damage observed in HD mouse models.