, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 355–368 | Cite as

The effect of α-amanitin on passive and active avoidance acquisition in mice

  • P. D. Thut
  • R. E. Hruska
  • A. Kelter
  • J. Mizne
  • T. J. Lindell
Animal Studies


α-Amanitin, a specific and potent inhibitor of form II DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, produced greater than 98% inhibition of the enzyme in mouse brain within 2 h of intracerebroventricular (icv.) injection. Mice were given one trial passive avoidance training and retested on the task 4 h later. Mice treated with α-amanitin 2 h before training or immediately after training demonstrated a retention deficit when compared to non-injected or saline injected controls.

Active avoidance was trained for 1 h using a Sidman schedule with a drumturning response. Performance during the last 15 min of training was compared to performance in the first 15 min of a retesting session, 4 h after training. α-Amanitin, 2 h prior to training reduced the number of responses, per cent escapes and per cent avoidances in the retesting session. Post-training injection of α-amanitin significantly reduced the number of responses and per cent avoidances.

Rotarod and spontaneous motor activity were not affected by α-amanitin. Whole body temperature was slightly and transiently reduced in icv. administration of α-amanitin.

Key words

α-Amanitin RNA Polymerase Active Avoidance Passive Avoidance Memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Thut
    • 1
  • R. E. Hruska
    • 1
  • A. Kelter
    • 1
  • J. Mizne
    • 1
  • T. J. Lindell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Arizona Medical CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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