Neurobiology of learning and memory

Role of muscarinic M1 receptors in inhibitory avoidance and contextual fear conditioning.

PMID 16647280


The objective of the present study was to observe the effects of pre-training or post-training administration of dicyclomine, a M1 muscarinic antagonist, on inhibitory avoidance (IA) and contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and to investigate if the effects observed with the pre-training administration of dicyclomine are state-dependent. For each behavioral procedure (IA and CFC) groups of Wistar male rats were treated with saline or dicyclomine either 30 min before training (pre-training), immediately after training or 30 min before training/30 min before test (pre-training/pre-test). The animals were tested 24 h after training. The acquisition of IA and CFC was impaired by pre-training administration of dicyclomine. The consolidation of both tasks was not affected by dicyclomine given immediately after training. Pre-training/pre-test administration of dicyclomine impaired both tasks, an effect similar to that observed in the group which only received pre-training administration. Pre-test treatment induced dissociation between both tasks, impairing CFC retrieval, without interfering with the animals avoidance response. These results show that the dicyclomine did not affect IA and CFC consolidation, suggesting specific involvement of M1 muscarinic receptor only in acquisition these tasks, and these effects was not state-dependent. However, it is possible that the retrieval of these tasks may be mediated, at least in part, by different neurochemical mechanisms and may be dissociated by dicyclomine.

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Dicyclomine hydrochloride, ≥99% (TLC), powder
C19H35NO2 · HCl