The effect of different doses of the cognition-enhancing agent oxiracetam on the disruption of acquisition of a passive avoidance conditioned response (step-through) by scopolamine 0.6 mg/kg s.c., and on the impairment of performance by scopolamine 0.2 mg/kg s.c. in an eight-arm maze was investigated in adult male Wistar rats. At the end of the experiments, ACh levels were measured in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus by an HPLC method, in order to ascertain whether a relationship exists between the effects of the two drugs on behavior and cholinergic function. In the step-through test, oxiracetam at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg s. c., given 30 min. before scopolamine, antagonized both scopolamine-induced behavioral disruption and decrease in ACh levels but was inactive at the dose of 300 mg/kg s. c. In the eight-arm maze test, oxiracetam prevented scopolamine-induced disruption of the performance and decrease in brain ACh at the dose of 30 mg/kg s. c. but was inactive at the dose of 100 mg/kg s. c. In conclusion, when scopolamininduced disruption of behavior is prevented or reduced, the scopolamininduced decrease in ACh level, particularly in the hippocampus, is also reduced. The present results therefore offer further confirmation of a relationship between the cognition-enhancing effects of oxiracetam and its effects on hippocampal and cortical cholinergic mechanisms.
The relationship between the behavioral effects of cognition-enhancing drugs and brain acetylcholine. Nootropic drugs and brain acetylcholine / G. PEPEU; G. SPIGNOLI; M.G. GIOVANNINI; M.MAGNANI. - In: PHARMACOPSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 0176-3679. - STAMPA. - 22:(1989), pp. 116-119.