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Type: Journal article
Title: Impact of adolescent sucrose access on cognitive control, recognition memory, and parvalbumin immunoreactivity
Author: Reichelt, A.
Killcross, S.
Hambly, L.
Morris, M.
Westbrook, R.
Citation: Learning and Memory, 2015; 22(4):215-224
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1072-0502
Statement of
Amy C Reichelt, Simon Killcross, Luke D. Hambly, Margaret J. Morris and R. Fred Westbrook
Abstract: In this study we sought to determine the effect of daily sucrose consumption in young rats on their subsequent performance in tasks that involve the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. High levels of sugar consumption have been associated with the development of obesity, however less is known about how sugar consumption influences behavioral control and high-order cognitive processes. Of particular concern is the fact that sugar intake is greatest in adolescence, an important neurodevelopmental period. We provided sucrose to rats when they were progressing through puberty and adolescence. Cognitive performance was assessed in adulthood on a task related to executive function, a rodent analog of the Stroop task. We found that sucrose-exposed rats failed to show context-appropriate responding during incongruent stimulus compounds presented at test, indicative of impairments in prefrontal cortex function. Sucrose exposed rats also showed deficits in an on object-in-place recognition memory task, indicating that both prefrontal and hippocampal function was impaired. Analysis of brains showed a reduction in expression of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, indicating that sucrose consumption during adolescence induced long-term pathology, potentially underpinning the cognitive deficits observed. These results suggest that consumption of high levels of sugar-sweetened beverages by adolescents may also impair neurocognitive functions affecting decision-making and memory, potentially rendering them at risk for developing mental health disorders.
Keywords: Hippocampus
Prefrontal Cortex
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Dietary Sucrose
Motor Activity
Conditioning (Psychology)
Recognition (Psychology)
Discrimination (Psychology)
Neuropsychological Tests
Extinction, Psychological
Executive Function
GABAergic Neurons
Rights: © 2015 Reichelt et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press This article is distributed exclusively by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the first 12 months after the full-issue publication date (see After 12 months, it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International), as described at
DOI: 10.1101/lm.038000.114
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