Behavioral and memory improving
effects of mirtazapine in rats

Nowakowska E, Chodera A, Kus K
Department of Pharmacology,
Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences,
Pol J Pharmacol 1999 Nov-Dec; 51(6):463-9


These experiments examined the effects of the antidepressant mirtazapine in several behavioral and memory tests. The tests were carried out on male Wistar rats weighing about 200 g. The drugs were injected 30 min before the tests. The aim of the locomotor activity test was to select a dose which had no influence on the motility of the animals and, at the same time, was active at least in one behavioral test. The chosen dose was 2.5 mg/kg. In the two-compartment exploratory test, 2.5 mg/kg of mirtazapine had a distinct anxiolytic effect after the first treatment, after 7 days the effect was weaker but still significant and it disappeared after 14 days. In the forced swimming test, the immobility time was shortened only after 14 days of administering the drug. In the maze test, mirtazapine shortened the food finding time (it improved memory) and counteracted memory loss induced by scopolamine. In the conditioned avoidance responses test (CARs), mirtazapine improved memory only after its earlier impairment by scopolamine. The authors cohclude, contrary to some published data, that after proper dose (adequate for other tests but not for the locomotor activity test), mirtazapine has a distinct memory improving activity or a memory restoring effect after scopolamine treatment.
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