Intracranial Self-Stimulation (ICSS) at the medial forebrain bundle consistently facilitates learning and memory in rats when administered post-training or when administered non-concurrent to training, but its scope regarding remote memory has not yet been studied. The present work aims to test whether the combination of these two forms of ICSS administration can cause a greater persistence of the facilitating effect on remote retention and affect neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Rats were trained in active avoidance conditioning and tested in two retention sessions (10 and 90 days) and later extinction. Subjects received an ICSS session after each of the five avoidance acquisition sessions (post-training treatment) and half of them also received ten additional ICSS sessions during the rest period between retention tests (non-concurrent treatment). All the stimulated groups showed a higher performance in acquisition and retention sessions, but only the rats receiving both ICSS treatments showed greater resistance to extinction. Remarkably, at seven months, rats receiving the non-concurrent ICSS treatment had a greater number of DCX-positive cells in the DG as well as a higher amount of new-born cells within the granular layer compared to rats that did not receive this additional ICSS treatment. Our present findings significantly extend the temporal window of the facilitating effect of ICSS on active avoidance and demonstrate a neurogenic effect of rewarding medial forebrain bundle stimulation.
- Active avoidance
- Deep brain stimulation
- Intracranial self-stimulation
- Long-term memory
- Medial forebrain bundle