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Impaired learning in rats in a 14-unit T-maze by 7-nitroindazole, a neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, is attenuated by the nitric oxide donor, molsidomine



Impaired learning in rats in a 14-unit T-maze by 7-nitroindazole, a neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, is attenuated by the nitric oxide donor, molsidomine



European Journal Of Pharmacology. 341(1): 17-22,. 2



In previous experiments, it was demonstrated that systemic or central administration of the nitric oxide synthase (NO synthase) inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine (N-Arg), produced dose-dependent learning impairments in rats in a 14-unit T-maze; and that sodium nitroprusside, a NO donor, could attenuate the impairment. Since N-Arg is not specific for neuronal NO synthase and produces hypertension, it is possible that effects on the cardiovasculature may have contributed to the impaired maze performance. In the present experiment, we have investigated the maze performance of 3-4 months old male Fischer-344 rats following treatment with 7-nitroindazole, a NO synthase inhibitor that is selective for neuronal NO synthase and does not produce hypertension. In addition, we examined the effects of the NO donor, molsidomine, which is much longer acting than sodium nitroprusside. Rats were pretrained to avoid footshock in a straight runway and received training in a 14-unit T-maze 24 h later. In an initial dose-response study, rats received intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of either 7-nitroindazole (25, 50, or 65 mg/kg) or peanut oil 30 min prior to maze training. 7-nitroindazole produced significant, dose-dependent maze acquisition deficits, with 65 mg/kg producing the greatest learning impairment. This dose of 7-nitroindazole had no significant effect on systolic blood pressure. Following the dose-response study, rats were given i.p. injections of either 7-nitroindazole (70 mg/kg) plus saline, 7-nitroindazole (70 mg/kg) plus the NO donor, molsidomine (2 or 4 mg/kg), or peanut oil plus saline as controls. Both doses of molsidomine significantly attenuated the learning deficit induced by 7-nitroindazole relative to controls. These findings represent the first evidence that impaired learning produced by inhibition of neuronal NO synthase can be overcome by systemic administration of a NO donor.

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Accession: 008827857

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PMID: 9489851

DOI: 10.1016/s0014-2999(97)01428-3


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