, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 266–271 | Cite as

Cholinergic modulation of memory in rats

  • Vahram Haroutunian
  • Edward Barnes
  • Kenneth L. Davis
Original Investigations


Central cholinergic systems have long been implicated in the modulation of learning and memory processes in animals and man. Drugs that affect the central cholinergic system have been found either to enhance or to hinder performance in tests of learning and memory. Few studies have evaluated the effects of different cholinergic drugs within a single experimental paradigm and with a relatively wide dose range. The studies reported here investigated the effects of cholinergic drugs with diverse modes of action on the retention of a passive avoidance response. Physostigmine, arecoline, oxotremorine, nicotine, and 4-aminopyridine were administered IP immediately following the acquisition of a one-trial passive avoidance task. All of the drugs were found to enhance 72-h retention of passive avoidance; however, the effective doses were different for each of the drugs studied.

Key words

Cholinergic Avoidance Memory Physostigmine Arecoline Oxotremorine Nicotine 4-Aminopyridine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahram Haroutunian
    • 1
  • Edward Barnes
    • 1
  • Kenneth L. Davis
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryBronx VA Medical CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Psychiatry and PharmacologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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