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Eur J Pharmacol. 1999 Nov 3;383(3):231-40.

Effect of rivastigmine on scopolamine-induced memory impairment in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Centre, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel.


The effect of rivastigmine on memory impairments induced in rats by scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg) was assessed in the Morris water maze and passive avoidance tests and compared with that of tacrine (2.5-17.7 mg/kg). Rivastigmine, (0.5-2.5 mg/kg) inhibited cholinesterase in the cortex and hippocampus by 21-60% and antagonised the deficits in working and reference memory. Tacrine (12.5 and 17.7 mg/kg) produced significantly less inhibition of cholinesterase in the hippocampus but more in the striatum than rivastigmine (0.75 and 1.5 mg/kg) and only antagonised the deficit in reference memory. Rivastigmine (1.5 and 2.5 mg/kg) or tacrine (12.5 mg/kg), injected immediately after completion of the acquisition trial in the passive avoidance test, antagonised the deficit induced by scopolamine (1 mg/kg) in memory retention. The inability of higher doses of the cholinesterase inhibitors to antagonise memory deficits induced by scopolamine may be related to excessive cholinergic stimulation in the central nervous system.

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