Adrenoceptor antagonists block the enhancement of memory storage produced by epinephrine injection, but not that produced by glucose injection. The present experiment determined whether adrenoceptor antagonists modify resting blood glucose levels or the magnitude of epinephrine-, glucose-, and footshock-induced increases in circulating glucose levels in a manner related to these previously observed effects on memory. The α- and β-adrenoceptor antagonists, phenoxybenzamine and propranolol, respectively, were injected in rats 30 min prior to administration of epinephrine, glucose, or footshock. Plasma glucose levels were sampled during the next 30 min. Epinephrine-induced increases in plasma glucose levels were potentiated by phenoxybenzamine and were attenuated and delayed by propranolol. The adrenoceptor antagonists did not alter resting plasma glucose levels, or the increases in plasma glucose levels resulting from glucose injection or footshock. These findings suggest that phenoxybenzamine and propranolol alter blood glucose responses to epinephrine injection in a manner which may contribute to attenuation of epinephrine-induced enhancement of memory storage with peripheral injections of adrenoceptor antagonists.
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