Comparison of the amnestic effects of NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 and nitric oxide synthase inhibitors: L-NAME and L-NOARG in goldfish

X Xu, W Boshoven, B Lombardo, J Spranger
Behavioral Neuroscience 1998, 112 (4): 892-9
Investigations indicate that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) may be mediated by postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and that the maintenance of LTP may be initiated by nitric oxide (NO), a retrograde messenger carrying signals backward from the postsynaptic to the presynaptic neuron. The present study compared amnestic effects of dizocilpine maleate (MK-801), an NMDA receptor antagonist, and nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME) and N-nitro-L-arginine (L-NOARG), nitric oxide (NO) inhibitors, in goldfish, using active-avoidance conditioning as the learning paradigm. The results showed that MK-801 and NO inhibitors produced anterograde amnesia at doses that did not impair performance processes necessary for learning to occur. Furthermore, MK-801 did not produce retrograde amnesia, whereas L-NAME did, suggesting that MK-801 impaired learning whereas NO inhibitors impaired memory consolidation and possibly also learning.

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