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Journal Of Behavioral Neuroscience


The effect of beta -adrenergic receptor blockade on retention in a mildly aversive passive-avoidance procedure was investigated. Rats were given passive-avoidance training-1 trial per day for 4 days-and were administered saline, the centrally and peripherally acting beta -adrenergic blocker propranolol (4 or 10 mg/kg ip), or the peripherally acting P-adrenergic blocker sotalol (4 or 10 mg/kg ip) immediately or 2 hr after the Ist trial. Enhanced retention occurred only with the higher dose (10 mg/kg) of propranolol and only when it was administered immediately after training. The enhanced retention produced by propranolol is discussed in terms of opposing, regionally specific actions of beta -adrenergic receptor-mediated neural circuits on modulation of memory.


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