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Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Aug 15;475(1-3):55-60.

Role of the mesotelencephalic dopamine system in learning and memory processes in the rat.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, AlI Cuza University, Blv Carol I, nr 11, 6600 Iasi, Romania.


The effects of lesioning the ventral tegmental area or substantia nigra pars reticulata by means of bilateral microinjections of two doses of kainic acid (50 ng/250 nl and 100 ng/500 nl) or 6-hydroxydopamine (8 microg/4 microl) were investigated to clarify the role of the mesotelencephalic dopamine system in learning and memory processes. Our findings suggest that ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons play an important role in retention of both short-term memory, tested in the Y-maze task and long-term memory evaluated with the multi-trial passive avoidance test, without affecting memory acquisition. As compared to short-term memory, long-term memory is more susceptible to the decreased dopamine level in nervous structures involved in processing and storage of information.

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