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Neuropharmacology. 2004 Aug;47(2):195-204.

5-HT6 receptor antagonists reverse delay-dependent deficits in novel object discrimination by enhancing consolidation--an effect sensitive to NMDA receptor antagonism.

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Institute of Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.


5-HT(6) receptors are expressed in brain regions associated with learning and memory, and blockade of their function increases central cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission and enhances cognitive processes. This study examined the effects of acute systemic administration of two selective 5-HT(6) receptor antagonists Ro 04-6790 and SB-271046 (10 mg kg(-1) i.p.) on acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval in the novel object discrimination (NOD) task, a two-trial test of recognition memory in which rats exposed to two identical objects during a familiarisation trial can discriminate a novel from a familiar object during the subsequent choice trial, following inter-trial delays of up to 3 h. 5-HT(6) receptor antagonist administration 20 min prior to or immediately after the familiarisation trial, but not 20 min prior to the choice trial reversed the deficit in object discrimination produced by a 4 h inter-trial interval. The nootropic effects of the 5-HT(6) receptor antagonists in this task thus appear to involve enhanced consolidation. Pre-treatment with the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.05 mg kg(-1) i.p.) prevented the effect of Ro 04-6790 on delay-induced deficits in object discrimination. This suggests that the 5-HT(6) receptor antagonist-induced enhancement of consolidation involves increased central glutamatergic neurotransmission.

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