Glucose effects on memory: Behavioral and pharmacological characteristics

Paul E. Gold, Jo Ann Vogt, Jeremy L. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Recent findings indicate that post-training glucose injections can modulate memory storage for inhibitory (passive) avoidance training. Experiment I extended these findings to determine whether glucose, like other memory modulating treatments, enhances memory storage when administered after training with low footshock and impairs memory storage after high footshock training. In Experiment I, male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in a one-trial inhibitory avoidance task using either a brief footshock (0.5 mA, 0.7 s) or slightly more intense footshock kept on until escape (0.7 mA, mean escape latency = 3.4 s). Immediately after training, each rat received a subcutaneous injection of glucose (100 mg/kg). When tested for retention performance 24 h later, the glucose-injected animals exhibited enhanced retention performance for low footshock training and impaired retention for high footshock training. Experiment II determined whether pretreatment with adrenergic antagonists blocked the effects of glucose on memory. Pretreatment with the α- or β-adrenergic receptor antagonists, phenoxybenzamine, or propranolol, respectively, had no effect on acquisition or retention in animals trained with the brief footshock and did not affect glucose facilitation of that memory. In animals trained to escape footshock, phenoxybenzamine did not attenuate the amnesia produced by glucose. Propranolol-pretreated animals had impaired retention whether or not they received post-training amnestic injections of glucose; glucose had no effect on retention in these amnestic animals. These findings add further support to the view that glucose release after training and treatment may represent a physiological response subsequent to epinephrine release in modulating memory storage processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral and Neural Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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