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Physiol Behav. 2000 Feb;68(4):509-14.

Intracerebroventricular insulin enhances memory in a passive-avoidance task.

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Interdisciplinary Program in Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98125, USA.


Previous studies have indicated a possible enhancing effect of hyperinsulinemia on certain cognitive tasks in human subjects. Further, brain areas important in these tasks have high concentrations of insulin receptors, suggesting that insulin might modulate memory by activity at specific central sites. Extending this observation to the laboratory rat would provide a convenient model system for determining factors important for this possible cognitive effect. The present experiment determined whether intracerebroventricular administration of insulin improves memory formation in rats. Long-Evans rats were trained on a step-through passive-avoidance task, in which they were either shocked or not after entering a darkened compartment. After training, the animals received an intracerebroventricular injection of 4 mU insulin, heat-deactivated insulin or saline vehicle. After 24 h, the animals were tested for retention of the task. Rats receiving insulin after being shocked had an increased latency to enter the dark compartment, compared to those rats that had received saline or heat-deactivated insulin after shock. This difference is consistent with an enhanced memory for the negative consequences of entering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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