2-Phenylethynyl-butyltellurium enhances learning and memory impaired by scopolamine in mice

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Taking into account the memory-enhancing properties of 2-phenylethynyl-butyltellurium (PEBT) and the constant search for drugs that improve cognitive performance, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of PEBT on cognitive impairment induced by scopolamine in mice. PEBT (10 mg/kg, gavage) was administered to mice 1 h before the probe trial in the Morris water maze task. Memory impairment was induced by scopolamine (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 30 min before the probe trial. PEBT significantly ameliorated the scopolamine-induced impairment of long-term memory, as indicated by a decrease in escape latency and an increase in the number of crossings of the platform location when compared with the amnesic mice. To evaluate the effect of PEBT on different phases of memory (acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval) impaired by scopolamine, the step-down inhibitory avoidance task was used. Scopolamine was administered 30 min before training (acquisition), test (retrieval), or immediately after training (consolidation). PEBT, administered 30 min before scopolamine, increased step-down latency in memory-impaired mice, improving the consolidation and retrieval stages, but not acquisition. No significant alterations in locomotor or exploratory behaviors were found in animals treated with PEBT and/or scopolamine. PEBT improved memory deficits during consolidation and retrieval induced by scopolamine.

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