Author(s): McKay BE, Lado WE, Martin LJ, Galic MA, Fournier NM
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Abstract Agmatine, a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, was examined for its role in water maze place learning, contextual and auditory-cued (discrete) fear learning and conditioned taste aversion learning, when administered systemically. Male Wistar rats were given saline or 1, 5, 10 or 50 mg/kg agmatine ip 20 min prior to or 30 min following daily training sessions in a hidden-platform (place learning) water maze task. Agmatine did not affect latencies to find the hidden platform or preference for the training quadrant during probe trials. When administered 20 min prior to contextual or auditory-cued fear-conditioning sessions, these doses of agmatine evoked a linear dose-dependent impairment in the magnitude of learned fear to the contextual stimuli when assessed during extinction trials 24 h later, but had no effect on the magnitude of learned fear to the auditory stimulus. Inferences of baseline motor activity and ability to respond to the presentation of footshock stimuli were not affected by the treatment. Injections of 50 mg/kg agmatine concurrently with a malaise-evoking agent following presentations to a novel sucrose solution abolished learned taste aversions; this agent did not evoke conditioned taste aversions alone. These studies indicate that systemically administered agmatine selectively impairs behavioral inferences of specific types of learning and memory.
This article was published in Pharmacol Biochem Behav
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacological Reports