, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 33–39 | Cite as

Nootropic effect of nicotine on carbon monoxide (CO)-induced delayed amnesia in mice

  • Masayuki Hiramatsu
  • Hisae Satoh
  • Tsutomu Kameyama
  • Toshitaka Nabeshima
Original Investigations


The effects of nicotine on carbon monoxide (CO)-induced amnesia in mice were investigated using a step-down type passive avoidance task. Mice were exposed to CO 3 times at 1-h intervals, 7 days before the first training and retention test and 24 h after the first training session. Memory deficiency occurred in mice when training commenced more than 3 days after CO exposure (delayed amnesia): the median step-down latency in the retention test of the CO-exposed group was significantly shorter than that of the control group. Administration of (−)-nicotine (15.6 and 31.3 nmol/kg, IP) 15 min before the first training session prolonged the step-down latency in the CO-exposed group, but (+)-nicotine did not. To determine whether this effect of (−)-nicotine was mediated via nicotinic cholinergic receptors, we attempted to block its action using a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist (mecamylamine). Mecamylamine (1.25 µmol/kg) blocked the effect of (−)-nicotine (31.3 nmol/kg) on delayed amnesia. Administration of (−)-nicotine (15.6–62.5 nmol/kg) immediately after the first training session failed to ameliorate learning ability in the CO-exposed group. These results suggest that (−)-nicotine potentiates the nicotinic cholinergic neuronal system and may potentiate acquisition of memory.

Key words

(−)-Nicotine (+)-Nicotine Cholinergic neuronal system Carbon monoxide Delayed amnesia Learning Mecamylamine Passive avoidance Stereoisomer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Hiramatsu
    • 1
  • Hisae Satoh
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Kameyama
    • 1
  • Toshitaka Nabeshima
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesMeijo UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Hospital PharmacyNagoya University School of MedicineNagoyaJapan

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