Midazolam impairs acquisition and retrieval, but not consolidation of reference memory in the Morris water maze
Authorized Users Only
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
Amnesia is one of the most discussed properties of the benzodiazepine class of drugs. The effects of benzodiazepines on human memory are usually anterograde, while changes in retrograde memory functions were seldom reported. Such inconsistent findings have prompted numerous animal studies investigating the influences of these positive modulators of inhibitory neurotransmission on different stages of memory. Among the benzodiazepines, memory effects of midazolam are of special interest due to its many and varied clinical applications. The present Morris water maze study in adult male Wistar rats was performed in three experiments in which midazolam was administered at doses of 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg intraperitoneally, before or immediately after each of five daily learning sessions, with two trials in a session, as well as before the probe test. Midazolam impaired acquisition and subsequent retention of spatial learning of the position of the hidden platform even at a pre-training dose of 0....5 mg/kg. This low dose was not associated with impairment of the procedural component of learning, manifested by increased time spent in the periphery of the pool. The lack of midazolam effect on consolidation has not been confounded by the observed below-chance performance of the control group since our additional experiment using diazepam also administered immediately after each of five learning sessions has revealed a similar pattern of results. Finally, midazolam administered before the probe test impaired retrieval of reference memory at all tested doses. Hence, induction of retrograde, besides anterograde amnesia should be kept in mind as a possibility when midazolam is used in clinical settings.
Keywords:Benzodiazepines / Amnesia / Diazepam / Rats
Source:Behavioural Brain Research, 2013, 241, 198-205
- Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam