Electrical high frequency stimulation in the dorsal striatum: Effects on response learning and on GABA levels in rats

Anett Schumacher*, Anne Pereira de Vasconcelos, Lucas Lecourtier, Andreas Moser, Jean Christophe Cassel

*Corresponding author for this work
12 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical high frequency stimulation (HFS) has been used to treat various neurological and psychiatric diseases. The striatal area contributes to response learning and procedural memory. Therefore, we investigated the effect of striatal HFS application on procedural/declarative-like memory in rats. All rats were trained in a flooded Double-H maze for three days (4 trials/day) to swim to an escape platform hidden at a constant location. The starting place was the same for all trials. After each training session, HFS of the left dorsal striatum was performed over 4. h in alternating 20. min periods (during rest time, 10. a.m. to 3. p.m.). Nineteen hours after the last HFS and right after a probe trial assessing the rats' strategy (procedural vs. declarative-like memory-based choice), animals were sacrificed and the dorsal striatum was quickly removed. Neurotransmitter levels were measured by HPLC. Stimulated rats did not differ from sham-operated and control rats in acquisition performance, but exhibited altered behavior during the probe trial (procedural memory responses being less frequent than in controls). In stimulated rats, GABA levels were significantly increased in the dorsal striatum on both sides. We suggest that HFS of the dorsal striatum does not alter learning behavior in rats but influences the strategy by which the rats solve the task. Given that the HFS-induced increase of GABA levels was found 19. h after stimulation, it can be assumed that HFS has consequences lasting for several hours and which are functionally significant at a behavioral level, at least under our stimulation (frequency, timing, location, side and strength of stimulation) and testing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)368-374
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 23.09.2011

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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