Role of hippocampal signaling pathways in long-term memory formation of a nonassociative learning task in the rat.
Two-day-old chicks were trained to discriminate between edible chick crumbs and arrays of colored beads glued to the floor of their cage. Normal chicks learned this task within a few minutes and retained it for at least 24 h. The role of several biochemical systems known to be required for other forms of early learning in the chick was explored in this task. Antagonists and inhibitors of these systems were used in the doses known to produce amnesia in a related passive avoidance learning model. Drugs were injected intracerebrally just before training, and retention was tested at various times subsequently. The protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin (240 nmol/chick) was without effect on retention at 30 min posttraining, but chicks were amnestic at 3 and 24 h. The protein kinases inhibitors melittin (1.2 nmol/chick) and 1-(5-isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine hydrochloride (100 nmol/chick) were without effect on retention at 30 min posttraining but were amnestic by 3 h. While these effects are similar to those found for one-trial passive avoidance training, neither the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists (+)-5-methyl-10, 11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a, d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (up to 15 nmol/chick) or DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (1.3 nmol/chick), both of which are amnestic for passive avoidance, nor the non-NMDA-glutamate receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2, 3,-dione (4 nmol/chick) were amnestic for the visual discrimination task. By contrast, the metabotropic glutamate receptor blocker (RS)- alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (300 nmol/chick) injected 5 min pretraining resulted in amnesia at 3 h posttraining. The implications of these findings for the putative "memory consolidation cascade" are discussed.