Differential effects of anxiogenic central and peripheral benzodiazepine receptor ligands in tests of learning and memory.

Academic Article


  • Previous research has demonstrated that low doses of anxiogenic central benzodiazepine receptor (CBR) ligands, the beta-carbolines, improve performance in various learning and memory tests in animals if administered prior to training. The present experiments compared the effect of a beta-carboline (FG 7142) with that of a pharmacologically distinct anxiogenic compound, a peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) ligand, 4'-chlorodiazepam (Ro5-4864), in two tests of learning and memory in rats. As expected, FG 7142 significantly improved performance in a passive avoidance test. Ro5-4864 was without effect. In a shuttlebox escape test, Ro5-4864 significantly impaired performance while FG 7142 had no effect. The effect of Ro5-4864 was antagonized by the specific peripheral benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, PK 11195. These results indicate that the differential impact of CBR and PBR anxiogenic ligands on performance in aversively-motivated learning tests may be a reflection of their distinct pharmacologies.
  • Authors

  • Holmes, PV
  • Drugan, Robert
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 1991
  • Published In

  • Psychopharmacology  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Animals
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Benzodiazepinones
  • Carbolines
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Isoquinolines
  • Learning
  • Ligands
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reaction Time
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 1652145
  • Start Page

  • 249
  • End Page

  • 254
  • Volume

  • 104
  • Issue

  • 2