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Peptides. 1998;19(1):27-37.

Modulation of memory, reinforcement and anxiety parameters by intra-amygdala injection of cholecystokinin-fragments Boc-CCK-4 and CCK-8s.

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Institute of Physiological Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


This series of experiments examined the effects of the cholecystokinin (CCK) fragments Boc-CCK-4 and CCK-8s on memory, reinforcement and anxiety following unilateral injection into the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). In experiment 1, rats with chronically implanted cannulae were injected with CCK-8s or Boc-CCK-4 and were tested on a one-trial uphill avoidance task. Post-trial injection of 20 ng Boc-CCK-4 or 1 ng CCK-8s was found to improve the retention performance, whereas lower and higher doses had no effect. The hypermnestic effects of Boc-CCK-4 and CCK-8s were no longer evident when injection was performed 5 h, rather than immediately, after the learning trial. In experiment 2, the elevated plus-maze was used to gauge anxiogenous properties of intra-amygdala injections of Boc-CCK-4 and CCK-8s in memory-enhancing doses. The treatment with 20 ng Boc-CCK-4 and 1 ng CCK-8s did not influence the number of entries into and time spent on the open and enclosed arms of the maze as well as other anxiety-related behaviors. In experiment 3, possible reinforcing effects of the CCK-fragments were examined. After intra-amygdala injection of Boc-CCK-4 or CCK-8s in memory-enhancing doses the rats were placed into one of four restricted quadrants of a circular open field (closed corral) for a single conditioning trial. Subsequent tests for conditioned corral preference revealed no evidence for reinforcing or aversive effects of the CCK-fragments. In sum, these findings indicate that Boc-CCK-4 and CCK-8s facilitate memory processing upon injection into the CeA without exerting reinforcing or anxiogenous effects.

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