Effects of l-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-Dopa) and d,l,5-hydroxytryptophan (d,l,5-HTP) on reserpine-induced amnesia

Tibor Palfai, Thomas J. Walsh, Bruce J. Albala, Oliver M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In a series of experiments the effects of reserpine, l-Dopa, and d,l,5-hydroxytryptophan (d,l,5-HTP) on retention of a passive avoidance training in mice were investigated. Reserpine (2.5 mg/kg) produced amnesia when given at 120 min before but not at 30 min before or at 0, 10, 30, or 90 min following training. This time-dependent reserpine effect did not appear to be due to either an alteration in footshock sensitivity during training or to the drug producing state-dependent learning. The amnesic effect of reserpine could be blocked when both l-Dopa and d,l,5-HTP were also administered up to 10 min but not at 30 or 90 min following training. The drugs, l-Dopa or d,l,5-HTP, given alone or in higher doses, could not at any time counteract the reserpine effect. The retrograde effects of the combined administration of these biogenic amine precursors on the reserpine-induced amnesia are discussed in terms of the possible role of biogenic amines in memory formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1977


  • Amnesia
  • Biogenic amines
  • Memory
  • Reserpine
  • d,l,5-HTP
  • l-Dopa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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