Impaired Response to Mismatch Novelty in the Li2+-Pilocarpine Rat Model of TLE: Correlation with Hippocampal Monoaminergic Inputs

Biomedicines. 2024 Mar 12;12(3):631. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines12030631.


Novelty detection, crucial to episodic memory formation, is impaired in epileptic patients with mesial temporal lobe resection. Mismatch novelty detection, that activates the hippocampal CA1 area in humans and is vital for memory reformulation and reconsolidation, is also impaired in patients with hippocampal lesions. In this work, we investigated the response to mismatch novelty, as occurs with the new location of known objects in a familiar environment, in the Li2+-pilocarpine rat model of TLE and its correlation with hippocampal monoaminergic markers. Animals showing spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRSs) for at least 4 weeks at the time of behavioural testing showed impaired spatial learning in the radial arm maze, as described. Concurrently, SRS rats displayed impaired exploratory responses to mismatch novelty, yet novel object recognition was not significantly affected in SRS rats. While the levels of serotonin and dopamine transporters were mildly decreased in hippocampal membranes from SRS rats, the levels on the norepinephrine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-β-hydroxylase were enhanced, hinting for an augmentation, rather than an impairment in noradrenergic function in SRS animals. Altogether, this reveals that mismatch novelty detection is particularly affected by hippocampal damage associated to the Li2+-pilocarpine model of epilepsy 4-8 weeks after the onset of SRSs and suggests that deficits in mismatch novelty detection may substantially contribute to cognitive impairment in MTLE. As such, behavioural tasks based on these aspects of mismatch novelty may prove useful in the development of cognitive therapy strategies aiming to rescue cognitive deficits observed in epilepsy.

Keywords: 5-HT; catecholamines; epilepsy; hippocampus; learning and memory; mismatch novelty.