Impaired Decision Making and Loss of Inhibitory-Control in a Rat Model of Huntington Disease

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): El Massioui N, Lamirault C, Yague S, Adjeroud N, Garces D, Maillard A, Tallot L, Yu-Taeger L, Riess O, Allain P, Huu Phuc Nguyen , von Hörsten S, Doyere V
Journal: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication year: 2016
Volume: 10
ISSN: 1662-5153


Cognitive deficits associated with Huntington disease (HD) are generally dominated by executive function disorders often associated with disinhibition and impulsivity/compulsivity. Few studies have directly examined symptoms and consequences of behavioral disinhibition in HD and its relation with decision-making. To assess the different forms of impulsivity in a transgenic model of HD (tgHD rats), two tasks assessing cognitive/choice impulsivity were used: risky decision-making with a rat gambling task (RGT) and intertemporal choices with a delay discounting task (DD). To assess waiting or action impulsivity the differential reinforcement of low rate of responding task (DRL) was used. In parallel, the volume as well as cellular activity of the amygdala was analyzed. In contrast to WT rats, 15 months old tgHD rats exhibited a poor efficiency in the RGT task with difficulties to choose advantageous options, a steep DD curve as delays increased in the DD task and a high rate of premature and bursts responses in the DRL task. tgHD rats also demonstrated a concomitant and correlated presence of both action and cognitive/choice impulsivity in contrast to wild type (WT) animals. Moreover, a reduced volume associated with an increased basal cellular activity of the central nucleus of amygdala indicated a dysfunctional amygdala in tgHD rats, which could underlie inhibitory dyscontrol. In conclusion, tgHD rats are a good model for impulsivity disorder that could be used more widely to identify potential pharmacotherapies to treat these invasive symptoms in HD.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

von Hörsten, Stephan Prof. Dr.
Professur für Experimentelle Biomedizin

Additional Organisation

External institutions with authors

Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) d'Angers
City University of New York CUNY
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
University of Paris 11 - Paris-Sud / Université Paris XI Paris-Sud

How to cite

El Massioui, N., Lamirault, C., Yague, S., Adjeroud, N., Garces, D., Maillard, A.,... Doyere, V. (2016). Impaired Decision Making and Loss of Inhibitory-Control in a Rat Model of Huntington Disease. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10.

El Massioui, Nicole, et al. "Impaired Decision Making and Loss of Inhibitory-Control in a Rat Model of Huntington Disease." Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10 (2016).


Last updated on 2019-19-07 at 09:47