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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2011 Nov;12(11):900-8. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1000340.

Involvement of basolateral amygdala GABAA receptors in the effect of dexamethasone on memory in rats.

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  • 1Department of Biology, College of Science, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


In this study we investigated whether GABA(A) receptors of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact with the effect of dexamethasone on the retrieval stage of memory. Adult male Wistar rats were bilaterally cannulated in the BLA by stereotaxic surgery. The animals were trained in step-through apparatus by induction of electric shock (1.5 mA, 3 s) and were tested for memory retrieval after 1 d. The time of latency for entering the dark compartment of the instrument and the time spent by rats in this chamber were recorded for evaluation of the animals' retrieval in passive avoidance memory. Administration of dexamethasone (0.3 and 0.9 mg/kg, subcutaneously (s.c.)), immediately after training, enhanced memory retrieval. This effect was reduced by intra-BLA microinjection of muscimol (0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 µg/rat), when administered before 0.9 mg/kg of dexamethasone. Microinjection of bicuculline (0.75 µg/rat, intra-BLA) with an ineffective dose of dexamethasone (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) increased memory retrieval. However, the same doses of muscimol and bicuculline without dexamethasone did not affect memory processes. Our data support reports that dexamethasone enhances memory retrieval. It seems that GABA(A) receptors of the BLA mediate the effect of dexamethasone on memory retrieval in rats.

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