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Phencyclidine affects memory in a nitric oxide-dependent manner: working and reference memory

Journal article
Authors Caroline Wass
Trevor Archer
Erik Pålsson
Kim Fejgin
A. Alexandersson
Daniel Klamer
Jörgen Engel
Lennart Svensson
Published in Behav Brain Res
Volume 174
Issue 1
Pages 49-55
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Psychology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 49-55
Language en
Keywords Analysis of Variance, Animals, Behavior, Animal/drug effects, Drug Interactions, Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology, Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists/*pharmacology, Male, Maze Learning/drug effects, Memory/*drug effects, NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester/pharmacology, Nitric Oxide/*physiology, Phencyclidine/*pharmacology, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Reaction Time/drug effects, Spatial Behavior/drug effects, Swimming
Subject categories Physiology


Phencyclidine (PCP), a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, was used to model schizophrenia-like cognitive dysfunctions of learning and memory in rats using the Morris water maze model for spatial memory. A protocol introduced by Baldi and co-workers was used to distinguish working memory from reference memory. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered PCP (2.0 mg/kg) before the first swimming trial on each of five spatial memory acquisition days, either alone or after pre-treatment with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, L-NAME (10 mg/kg). Probe tests for memory were conducted before and after each acquisition session. The results showed that PCP disrupted the acquisition of both working and reference memory. Pre-treatment with L-NAME reversed both these effects of PCP. L-NAME treatment by itself did not significantly alter either acquisition or retention of spatial memory.

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