Hereditary catalepsy in mice is accompanied with volume reduction of some brain structures and high vulnerability to inflammatory agents. Here an association between hereditary catalepsy and spatial learning deficit in the Morris water maze (MWM) in adult mouse males of catalepsy-resistant AKR, catalepsy-prone CBA and AKR.CBA-D13Mit76 (D13) strains was studied. Recombinant D13 strain was created by means of the transfer of the CBA-derived allele of the major gene of catalepsy to the AKR genome. D13 mice showed a low MWM performance in the acquisition test and high expression of the gene coding proinflammatory interleukin-6 (Il-6) in the hippocampus and cortex compared with mice of the parental AKR and CBA strains. An acute ivc administration of 300 ng of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) normalized the performance in the MWM, but did not decrease the high Il-6 gene expression in the brain of D13 mice. These results indicated a possible association between the hereditary catalepsy, MWM performance, BDNF and level of Il-6 mRNA in the brain, although the relation between these characteristics seems to be more complex. D13 recombinant mice with deficit of spatial learning is a promising model for study of the genetic and molecular mechanisms of learning disorders as well as for screening potential cognitive enhancers.