Reactivation treatment prevents the memory-impairing effects of scopolamine in preweanling rats.
The authors report that the expression of a conditioned odor aversion is impaired in preweanling rats when they are conditioned on Postnatal Day 12 and tested under the influence of scopolamine hydrobromide (0.2 or 0.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) after a 48-hr, but not after a 2-hr, retention interval (Experiment 1). This effect of scopolamine is not dependent on maturation of the cholinergic system between Days 12 and 14 (Experiment 2), nor is it due to peripheral mechanisms (Experiment 3). When pups are reexposed to the unconditioned stimulus (footshock) before drug administration, performance on the 48-hr retention test is not impaired by scopolamine (Experiment 4). These findings demonstrate that the cholinergic system may be critical for the retrieval and expression of long-term or weak memories in young rats. However, the expression of active memories (recent or recently reactivated) may not be dependent on the cholinergic system to the same extent as is the expression of inactive memories.
Sandstrom, NJ; Arnold, HM; Williams, CL
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