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Neuropharmacology. 2014 Oct;85:178-89. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.05.013. Epub 2014 May 23.

SSP-002392, a new 5-HT4 receptor agonist, dose-dependently reverses scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairments in C57Bl/6 mice.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biological Psychology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Leuven Institute for Neuroscience & Disease (LIND), Leuven, Belgium.
  • 2Shire-Movetis NV, Veedijk 58, 1004 Turnhout, Belgium.
  • 3Laboratory of Biological Psychology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Leuven Institute for Neuroscience & Disease (LIND), Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address:


5-HT4 receptors (5-HT4R) are suggested to affect learning and memory processes. Earlier studies have shown that animals treated with 5-HT4R agonists, often with limited selectivity, show improved learning and memory with retention memory often being assessed immediately after or within 24 h after the last training session. In this study, we characterized the effect of pre-training treatment with the selective 5-HT4R agonist SSP-002392 on memory acquisition and the associated long-term memory retrieval in animal models of impaired cognition. Pre-training treatment with SSP-002392 (0.3 mg/kg, 1.5 mg/kg and 7.5 mg/kg p.o.) dose-dependently inhibited the cognitive deficits induced by scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg s.c.) in two different behavioral tasks: passive avoidance and Morris water maze. In the Morris water maze, spatial learning was significantly improved after treatment with SSP-002392 translating in an accelerated and more efficient localization of the hidden platform compared to scopolamine-treated controls. Moreover, retention memory was assessed 24 h (passive avoidance) and 72 h (Morris water maze) after the last training session of cognitive-impaired animals and this was significantly improved in animals treated with SSP-002392 prior to the training sessions. Furthermore, the effects of SSP-002392 were comparable to galanthamine hydrobromide. We conclude that SSP-002392 has potential as a memory-enhancing compound.


5-HT(4); Cognition; Morris water maze; Passive avoidance; SSP-002392; Search strategies

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