Previously we demonstrated that GTS-21, a nicotinic cholinergic agonist, ameliorated eyeblink classical conditioning deficits in older rabbits. The present experiment was undertaken to replicate and extend these results by examining the effects of GTS-21 on retention and relearning. Retired breeder rabbits received 15 daily injections of 0.5 mg/kg GTS 21 (n = 8) or sterile saline vehicle (n = 8) during acquisition training, and no further injections occurred. Acquisition of conditioned responses (CRs) was significantly better in GTS-21-treated rabbits. During the first tone-alone retention session in week 6 of the experiment, rabbits initially treated with GTS-21 produced significantly more CRs than vehicle-treated rabbits. There were no group differences in retention at the 13-week retest. Differences in relearning were in the predicted direction but did not attain statistical significance. Results indicate that treatment with GTS-21 ameliorates learning beyond the period when the drug is actually ad ministered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology