Sontag, Thomas A. and Hauser, Joachim and Tucha, Oliver and Lange, Klaus W.
Effects of DSP4 and methylphenidate on spatial memory performance in rats.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders : ADHD 3 (4), pp. 351-358.
In this experiment, we have investigated the spatial memory performance of rats following a central noradrenaline depletion induced by three different doses of the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4) and following administration of three different doses of methylphenidate (MPH). The rats were required to find food pellets hidden on a holeboard. The sole administration of DSP4 induced only minor cognitive deficits. However, the treatment with MPH increased the reference memory error, the impulsivity and the motor activity of the DSP4-treated rats. Since the noradrenergic terminals in a DSP4-treated rat are significantly reduced, the administration of MPH has little effect on the noradrenergic system and increases dopaminergic rather than noradrenergic activity, resulting in an imbalance with relatively high dopaminergic and low noradrenergic activities. It is suggested that a reduction of noradrenaline and an increase of dopamine induce ADHD-related deficits and that the depletion of noradrenaline is not sufficient for an appropriate rat model of ADHD.