Memory Facilitation by Posttraining and Pretest ACTH, Epinephrine, and Vasopressin Administration: Two Separate Effects

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Rats were trained in a step-down inhibitory avoidance task using a 0.3-mA, 2-s, 60 Hz footshock and tested 24 hr later. The animals received, 1 min after training and/or 5 min before testing, an ip injection of saline, ACTH1–24(0.2 μg/kg), lysine-vasopressin (10 μg/kg), epinephrine (5 μg/kg), naloxone (0.4 mg/kg), or a combination of naloxone with one of the hormones. Both the posttraining and the pretest injection of the hormones enhanced retention test performance; the enhancement was larger in animals that received the two treatments. Posttraining, but not pretest, naloxone administration also caused an enhancement. However, posttraining naloxone potentiated, and pretest naloxone antagonized, the effect of the concomitantly injected hormones. These data show that the posttraining and the pretest effect of the hormones are independent, are due to different mechanisms, and can be additive. In addition, it does not seem possible to explain posttraining memory facilitation by the hormones as owing to an addition to the reinforcement.

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