Advancing the Spontaneous Hypertensive Rat Model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

K. M. Kantak, T. Singh, K. A. Kerstetter, K. A. Dembro, M. M. Mutebi, R. C. Harvey, C. F. Deschepper, L. P. Dwoskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


To advance the spontaneous hypertensive rat (SHR) model of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), experiments examined the SHR in tasks recognized to assess functioning of the prefrontal cortex or dorsal striatal. Tasks included odor-delayed win-shift (nonspatial working and reference memory), win-stay (habit learning), and attentional set-shifting (attention and behavioral flexibility). In Experiment 1, the SHR strain was compared with Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and Wistar-Kyoto Hypertensive (WKHT) strains on the first 2 tasks. In Experiment 2, oral methylphenidate (1.5 mg/kg) and vehicle (water) were evaluated on all 3 tasks in SHR and WKY strains. Results demonstrated that the SHR made significantly more errors in the odor-delayed win-shift, win-stay, and attentional set-shifting tasks compared with the WKY. Similar performances in the WKY and WKHT indicated that deficits observed in the SHR were not related solely to hypertension. Treating the SHR with methylphenidate eliminated strain differences in all 3 tasks. These findings provide evidence that the SHR is a valid model for studying ADHD-associated neurocognitive deficits. Moreover, the current behavioral approach is appropriate to assess novel medications developed to target ADHD-associated neurocognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-357
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • SHR
  • WKHT
  • WKY
  • attentional set-shifting
  • habit leaning
  • methylphenidate
  • nonspatial working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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