, Volume 114, Issue 4, pp 651–656 | Cite as

Effects of (R)-α-methylhistamine and scopolamine on spatial learning in the rat assessed using a water maze

  • C. P. S. Smith
  • A. J. Hunter
  • G. W. Bennett
Original Investigations


The effects of (R)-α-methylhistamine ((R)-α-MeHA, a selective H3-receptor agonist) and scopolamine (SCOP, a muscarinic antagonist) were investigated on spatial learning and memory in the rat (Hooded Lister) using a water maze (WM). (R)-α-MeHA treatment (6.3 and 10 mg/kg IP) had no apparent effect on spatial learning but did result in enhanced spatial recall at the higher dose, assessed by a transfer (probe) test after training. In contrast, SCOP (0.5 mg/kg IP) induced a learning and memory deficit measured both during and after training. In animals treated with (R)-α-MeHA and SCOP, (R)-α-MeHA partially (6.3 mg/kg) and completely (10 mg/kg) reversed the SCOP-induced deficit during the training phase, while in the post-training transfer test, (R)-α-MeHA (10 mg/kg) significantly reduced the SCOP-induced memory deficit. None of the treatments described resulted in impaired visual acuity as demonstrated by a raised platform test. These results are consistent with a role for histamine in cognitive processes and suggest a possible interaction between central histamine and cholinergic mechanisms associated with rodent spatial learning and memory.

Key words

(R)-α-Methylhistamine Scopolamine Histamine Cognition Water maze Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. P. S. Smith
    • 1
  • A. J. Hunter
    • 2
  • G. W. Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyMedical School, Queen's Medical CentreNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Smith Kline Beecham, Medicinal Research CentreHarlowUK

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