Peripheral glucose administration attenuates the effects of muscarinic cholinergic antagonists on several measures, including spontaneous alternation, inhibitory avoidance, and locomotor activity. The present study examined glucose interactions with mecamylamine, a nicotinic cholinergic antagonist, on these measures. Mecamylamine (5 mg/kg, sc) significantly impaired spontaneous alternation performance. Glucose (100 mg/kg, ip) administered with mecamylamine attenuated the impairment. Treatment with hexamethonium (5 and 10 mg/kg, sc), a peripheral nicotinic blocker, did not impair performance. Pretraining treatment with mecamylamine, but not hexamethonium, significantly reduced later retention latencies on inhibitory avoidance tests. Glucose, administered with mecamylamine prior to training, significantly attenuated the impaired test performance. Mecamylamine, but not hexamethonium, significantly decreased locomotor activity. In contrast to the attenuating effects of glucose on the other measures above, glucose administered with mecamylamine potentiated the decreased locomotor activity. These findings demonstrate that glucose influences the behavioral effects of a nicotinic cholinergic antagonist in a manner generally similar to that of muscarinic cholinergic antagonists, and supports previous evidence that circulating glucose interacts with central cholinergic functions.
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