Animal Model Studies of Benzodiazepine-Induced Amnesia

  • E. R. Gamzu
Conference paper
Part of the Psychopharmacology Series book series (PSYCHOPHARM, volume 6)


The development of a mouse passive avoidance test as a model for amnesia produced by benzodiazepines is described. The model appropriately classifies the amnesic potential of a wide range of psychoactive drugs as validated by clinical findings. Control experiments indicate that the effect is best described as anterograde amnesia resulting from a failure of consolidation. γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonists had almost no effect on benzodiazepine-induced amnesia, whereas the benzodiazepine-receptor antagonist Ro 15–1788 completely and specifically reversed it. This clinically confirmed finding suggests that benzodiazepine-induced amnesia is mediated through the benzodiazepine-receptor. However, in vivo inhibition of benzodiazepine binding does not correlate well with amnesia in the mouse, and some benzodiazepine-receptor agonists with potent CNS effects in other in vitro models do not produce amnesia. Additional work is needed to clarify what aspects of benzodiazepine receptor occupancy mediate amnesia.


Passive Avoidance Inverse Agonist Extinction Session Retrograde Amnesia Animal Model Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. R. Gamzu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyHoffmann-La Roche Inc.NutleyUSA

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