Effects of p-chlorophenylalanine-induced depletion of brain serotonin on retrieval of appetitive and aversive memories

K. B. Kumar, K. Nalini, K. S. Karanth

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This study examined whether depletion of central serotonin produces an improved retrieval of aversive memories in the same way as pre-exposure to inescapable footshocks, in rats. Animals conditioned in a T-maze with appetitive (10% sucrose) and aversive (2.0 mA footshock) events were given ICV 24 hr later a single dose of p-chlorophenylalanine (p-CPA) (100, 200, 400 μg/rat) or drug vehicle. The retention performance and activity were assessed 48 hr after treatment with this depletor. While lower doses of p-CPA selectively reduced serotonin levels in striatum and anterior cortex, higher doses reduced both serotonin and norepinephrine levels in hippocampus in a dose-dependent fashion. The depletor however, failed to produce a differential improvement of aversive memory retrieval. On the contrary, p-CPA reduced the latency to enter both, previously shocked and appetitively reinforced, goalboxes. The enhanced traversing behaviour in T-maze, together with an increased central entry in the open field that observed in depleted groups, might suggest an anxiolytic activity of p-CPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-840
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-1995


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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