Post-training administration of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) enhances retention of a spatial memory through a noradrenergic mechanism in male rats.Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 May; 89(4):370-8.NL
Hormones released in response to stress play important roles in cognition. In the present study, the effects of the stress peptide, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), on spatial reference memory were assessed following post-training administration. Adult Long-Evans male rats were trained for 6 days on a standard water maze task of reference memory in which animals must learn and remember the fixed location of a hidden, submerged platform. Each day, immediately following three training trials, rats received bilateral infusions of CRH into the lateral ventricles over a range of doses (0.1, 0.33, 1.0, 3.3 microg) or a vehicle solution. Post-training infusions of CRH improved retention as indicated by significantly shorter latencies and path lengths to locate the hidden platform on the first training (retention) trial of days 2 and 3. Additionally, post-training administration of CRH increased spatial bias during probe trials as measured by proximity to the platform location. CRH did not enhance performance on retention or probe trials when administered 2h after daily training indicating that CRH facilitated consolidation specifically. The effects of CRH were attenuated by intraventricular co-administration of the beta-adrenergic antagonist, propanolol, at bilateral doses that had no effect on retention alone (0.1, 1.0 microg). Results indicate that post-training administration of CRH enhanced spatial memory as measured in a water maze, and this effect was mediated, at least partly, by a noradrenergic mechanism.