, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 207–210

Effects of zolpidem, a new imidazopyridine hypnotic, on the acquisition of conditioned fear in mice

Comparison with triazolam and CL 218,872


  • D. J. Sanger
    • Laboratoires d'Etudes et de Recherches Synthélabo (L.E.R.S.)
  • D. Joly
    • Laboratoires d'Etudes et de Recherches Synthélabo (L.E.R.S.)
  • B. Zivkovic
    • Laboratoires d'Etudes et de Recherches Synthélabo (L.E.R.S.)
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00181243

Cite this article as:
Sanger, D.J., Joly, D. & Zivkovic, B. Psychopharmacology (1986) 90: 207. doi:10.1007/BF00181243


Benzodiazepines and other compounds which act at benzodiazepine binding sites have been shown previously to attenuate the acquisition of conditioned fear in rodents when administered before the acquisition session, an effect which may parallel the disruption of human memory produced by anxiolytics and sedatives. Such an action is usually, but not invariably, produced by doses which have direct behavioural depressant effects. The present study was carried out to extend previous work by investigating the effects of the hypnotic benzodiazepine triazolam and the nonbenzodiazepines zolpidem and CL 218,872 on the acquisition of learned fear in mice. All these drugs reduced locomotor activity shortly after injection. They also produced disruptions of the acquisition of learned fear. Triazolam exerted behavioural effects similar to those found previously with other benzodiazepines, the doses which disrupted the acquisition of conditioned fear being similar to, or lower than, the doses which depressed locomotion. In contrast, the results indicated that zolpidem was more potent at reducing locomotion than at interfering with fear conditioning, a result which may reflect the preferential sedative action of zolpidem.

Key words

ZolpidemTriazolamCL 218,872Fear conditioningMemoryMice

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986