Kindling of the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus: effects on learning performance in rats

Physiol Behav. 1997 Dec;62(6):1265-71. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(97)00303-x.


The hippocampus represents a heterogeneous structure which has been associated with different functions. It has been suggested that it plays an important role in both learning and memory and epileptogenesis. Thus, it is not surprising that seizure activity generated in the hippocampal formation interferes with memory storage. Little is known about the functional differentiation between the dorsal (DH) and ventral hippocampus (VH). To study this functional differentiation, we kindled Wistar rats either in the DH or in the VH by electrical stimulation. Afterwards, learning performance of these rats was tested in three different models, i.e., response to change (short-term memory), shuttle box (two-way active avoidance), and Y-chamber (brightness discrimination reaction). It was found that VH-kindled rats reached higher seizure scores than DH-kindled rats, but there was no difference in seizure duration. Kindling induced in the VH significantly impaired shuttle box learning, whereas DH-kindled rats showed a dramatically worsened acquisition in the brightness discrimination task. Different anatomical projections probably account, in part, for these differences.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Kindling, Neurologic / physiology*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Light
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar