Cognitive performance of healthy young rats following chronic donepezil administration

Debora Cutuli, Francesca Foti, Laura Mandolesi, Paola De Bartolo, Francesca Gelfo, Francesca Federico, Laura Petrosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rationale: Experimental studies have investigated the effects of chronic donepezil treatment on the behavioral deficits elicited by reduced activity or the loss of cholinergic neurons that occurs in aging or in models of dementia. However, few studies have analyzed the effects of chronic donepezil treatment on the cognitive functions of intact animals. Objectives: The cognitive functions of healthy young rats treated chronically with the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor donepezil were evaluated using a wide behavioral test battery. Results: Chronic treatment with donepezil ameliorated memory functions and explorative strategies, speeded up the acquisition of localizing knowledge, augmented responsiveness to the context, and reduced anxiety levels. However, it did not affect spatial span, modify motivational levels, or influence associative learning. Conclusions: The present findings show the specific profile of donepezil action on cognitive functions in the presence of unaltered cholinergic neurotransmission systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-673
Number of pages13
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume197
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
  • Behavioral test battery
  • Cholinergic neurotransmission
  • Cognitive enhancer
  • Donepezil
  • Mnesic functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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