Evaluation of learning and memory mechanisms employing elevated plus-maze in rats and mice

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1. The effect of drugs affecting learning and memory was investigated using transfer latency (TL) as parameter for acquisition and retention of memory process on elevated plus-maze both in rats and mice. Further the validity of the procedure was envisaged. 2. The results provide an evidence for utility of shortened TL on 2nd days trial in old rats and mice as a parameter for retention or consolidation of memory, while treatment of drugs 30 min prior to 1st day may also be utilised for acquisition related action of drugs. 3. The drugs producing acquisition deficits namely scopolamlne (0.1-0.5 mg/kg) and MK 801 (0.05-0.1 mg/kg) did not affect the shortened TL on elevated plus-maze in rats while nootropics, like piracetam (150 mg/kg) and captopril (30 mg/kg) reduced the shortened TL. The memory enhancing effect of these agent was reversed by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg) and MK 801 (0.1 mg/kg) both in rats and mice. The results suggested the acquisition affecting drugs, however, did not show any effect on retention parameter (shortened TL) but can reverse the retention facilitatory action of nootropics. The results also provide indirect evidence for participation of cholinergic and NMDA-receptor blockade in the mechanism of these drugs. 4. Scopolamine and MK 801 produced acquisition deficits in mice, as they increased the TL on 1st and 2nd day trial while physostigmine (0.05 mg/kg) decreased the 2nd day TL. Physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg) reversed scopolamine and MK 801 induced acquisition deficits suggested participation of cholinergic and NMDA- receptor in learning process. 5. The results validate the utility of the elevated plus-maze for evaluation of possible nootropic action of drugs. © 1992.

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Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry





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This article was published in Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 117-125.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0278-5846(92)90014-6.

Copyright © 1992.

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