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Effects of medetomidine, anα-2 adrenoceptor agonist, and atipamezole, anα-2 antagonist, on spatial memory performance in adult and aged rats

Authors
Journal
Behavioral and Neural Biology
0163-1047
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
58
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0163-1047(92)90327-z

Abstract

The effects of a novel, highly selective α-2 agonist, medetomidine, and its antagonist, atipamezole, were studied on the working memory of rats performing a spatial delayed alternation task. Testing was performed in two stages, at the age of 8.3 months (mean) and again when the rats were 17.6 months (mean). A low dose (3 μg/kg) and a high dose (30 μg/kg) of medetomidine improved the performance of the old rats in the memory task but had no effect on the young rats. The dose—response curve of medetomidine resembles that of guanfacine, another α-2 agonist. At the low dose of medetomidine (3 μg/kg) the animals showed no signs of sedation. Since medetomidine even at a low dose has a beneficial effect on the memory performance of old rats, it could be a good candidate for the treatment of age-associated memory dysfunction.

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