Behavioral changes with age in control and schizophrenia-like Wisket rats
Impairments in motor activity and cognitive performance have been revealed in schizophrenia but their treatment is poorly effective. The aim of this study was to follow the age-related alterations in motor activity and learning capacity in control and WISKET rats, furthermore, to investigate the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and metformin combination for different behavioral parameters.Male Wistar and WISKET rats were involved in a 10‑month long study. Between the age of 5 to 14 months (referred to 16-34 years’ human age) rats were tested monthly in the AMBITUS system, which is a semi-automatic, appetitively‑motivated cognitive test. During the last two months the NAC (800 mg/l) and metformin (1000mg/l) combination was administered in drinking water.Constantly low locomotor and exploratory activities and learning capacity were observed in WISKET rats during the whole investigated period. However, in the control group the locomotion started to decrease at the age of 9 months, while the learning capacity declined from month 11. NAC and metformin treatment increased the exploratory activity in both groups, and improved the learning capacity in WISKET animals. Our results proved that the general activity decreases with age in control young adult rats. The WISKET animals showed behavioral abnormalities characteristic for negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Treatment with NAC and metformin showed beneficial effects on several parameters, especially in the WISKET group. Supports: GINOP 2.3.3-15-2016-00031 and ÚNKP-18-3-III-PTE-374.