Facilitatory Effect of IL-6 Deficiency on Long-Term Spatial Memory in Young Adult Mice

Original Research


The significance of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in long-term reference memory was tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) in 4-month-old C57BL/6J IL-6-deficient (IL-6 KO) and control mice. Three-day learning measured by escape latency time to find the hidden platform was comparable in both genotypes. In a single probe trial performed 7 days later, without the platform, latency to the platform site and path length to the target place were significantly shorter (p < 0.05 and p < 0.02, respectively), and platform-site crossovers more frequent (p < 0.05) in IL-6 KO mice. The swimming speed in IL-6 KO mice was significantly lower during learning (p = 0.0025) but not in the probe trial. Lack of differences between genotypes in a hole-board and in an elevated plus maze indicates that the observed effects were memory specific. The facilitatory effect of IL-6 deficiency on long-term reference memory in MWM indicates that IL-6 plays a role in consolidation process.


IL-6 Morris water maze Elevated plus maze Hole-board Mice 



The authors wish to thank K. Filonczuk M.Sc. for assistance with animals.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Izabela Bialuk and Maria Małgorzata Winnicka declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

All procedures in the study involving animals were approved by the Local Animal Ethics Committee in Bialystok, Poland.

Supplementary material

10519_2018_9896_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (87 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 88 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General and Experimental PathologyMedical University of BialystokBialystokPoland

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