Opiate antagonist facilitation of time-dependent memory processes: Dependence upon intact norepinephrine function

Michela Gallagher, Peter R. Rapp, Richard J. Fanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Post-training administration of opiate antagonists improves retention of recent learning in laboratory animals tested on a variety of tasks. We examined the possibility that this effect of opiate antagonist treatment might be due to release of brain norepinephrine (NE) function from opioid peptide inhibition. The behavioral testing procedure in these experiments consisted of one-trial passive avoidance conditioning. Rats received post-training treatments immediately after the training trial and retention was tested 24 h later. Lesions of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB) that were induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) were found to prevent the memory enhancing effect of post-training naloxone administration. The memory enhancing effect of naloxone was restored when NE neurons were protected from 6-OHDA by pretreatment with a NE uptake inhibitor. Earlier research indicated that the amygdala complex is one brain site that is sensitive to the effects of opiate manipulations on memory processes. In this study, lesions of the DNB were also found to prevent the memory enhancing effect of intracranial opiate antagonist administration into the amygdala complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 18 1985



  • amygdala
  • memory
  • naloxone
  • norepinephrine
  • opiate
  • passive avoidance
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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