Epinephrine-induced Enhancement of Memory Retrieval for Inhibitory Avoidance Conditioning in Preweanling Sprague–Dawley Rats04/01/2007
Developmental research on memory is commonly conducted using preweanling rats, but the extent to which these animals are susceptible to hormone-induced memory retrieval is unclear. This study examined the effects of epinephrine (.001, .01, or .1 mg/kg) on retrieval of IA conditioning in 17-day-old infants. Animals tested 24 hr following training performed significantly worse than infants tested 5 min after training and adults tested 24 hr later, indicating that infantile amnesia had occurred. Epinephrine attenuated this deficit in a dose-dependent manner, with a significant improvement in performance at doses of .01 mg/kg for latency and at .01 and .1 mg/kg for safe side-dependent measures. The role of epinephrine as a memory modulator is discussed in terms of its neurobiological and internal contextual effects. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 49: 303–311, 2007.