, Volume 141, Issue 2, pp 111-117

Ganglioside GM1 attenuates scopolamine-induced amnesia in rats and mice

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 Some experimental evidence suggests that the beneficial effects of monosialoganglioside GM1 on learning and memory could be related to an improving effect in central cholinergic function. The present study investigates the effects of GM1 on the memory impairment induced by scopolamine in rats or mice tested in passive (PA) and discriminative avoidance (DA) tasks, respectively. Wistar EPM-1 male rats and Swiss EPM-M1 male mice were treated daily IP with 50 mg/kg GM1 or saline for 7 or 14 days, respectively. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, GM1-treated animals received 1 mg/kg scopolamine (GM1-SCO) and saline-treated animals received 1 mg/kg scopolamine (SAL-SCO) or saline (SAL-SAL) IP. Twenty minutes later, the animals were submitted to PA or DA conditioning, and tests were performed 24 h later. The latency in entering the dark chamber of the PA apparatus (LD) presented by SAL-SCO rats was significantly decreased when compared to that presented by SAL-SAL animals. GM1-SCO animals showed an increased LD when compared to SAL-SCO animals and were not significantly different from SAL-SAL rats. GM1-SCO and SAL-SAL (but not SAL-SCO) mice spent significantly less time in the aversive enclosed arm of the discriminative avoidance apparatus when compared to the time spent in the non-aversive enclosed arm. The results are consistent with the interpretation that GM1 attenuates scopolamine-induced amnesia. Although not eliminating the participation of other transmitter systems, the present study indicates a possible role of central cholinergic transmission in the action of this compound on learning and memory.

Received: 21 October 1997 / Final version: 8 June 1998