Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 8–12 | Cite as

Effects of an Agonist and an Antagonist of 5-HT1A Serotonin Receptors on Learning in Female Rats during the Ovarian Cycle


The experiments reported here addressed comparative analysis of the role of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in the mechanisms mediating cognitive processes during natural cyclical changes in sex hormone levels in adult female rats. The effects of chronic (14 days) administration of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT (0.05 mg/kg, s.c.) and the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor antagonist NAN-190 (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.) to females at different phases of the ovarian cycle on conditioned reflex responses were studied. A conditioned passive avoidance reaction and the Morris water maze were used as behavioral tests. Chronic administration of NAN-190 to females led to the appearance of the conditioned passive avoidance response in the proestrus and estrus phases, in contrast to control females, but had no effects on the dynamics of spatial learning in the Morris water test. Chronic administration of 8-OH-DPAT consistently impaired the processes of non-spatial and spatial learning in females regardless of the phase of the ovarian cycle. The results obtained in these experiments evidenced the modulatory role of 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in learning processes in rats in key phases of the ovarian cycle.


8-OH-DPAT NAN-190 5-HT1A serotonin receptors learning ovarian cycle female rats 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuroendocrinology Laboratory, I. P. Pavlov Institute of PhysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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