Acetyl-1-carnitine 2: Effects on learning and memory performance of aged rats in simple and complex mazes

C. A. Barnes, A. L. Markowska, D. K. Ingram, H. Kametani, E. L. Spangler, V. J. Lemken, D. S. Olton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Acetyl-l-carnitine (AC) was administered via drinking water for six months to one group (OLD-AC) of male F-344 rats beginning at 16 months of age, while another group (OLD-CON) of rats was given water only during that period. The rats were maintained on this treatment throughout behavioral testing, which began at 22 months of age. Performance of the OLD-AC and OLD-CON rats was compared to that of young control (YG-CON) rats on the following set of tasks: spontaneous alternation in the arms of a T-maze, two-choice simultaneous discrimination in the stem of a T-maze, rewarded alternation in the arms of a T-maze, spatial discrimination and reversal on a circular platform, spatial working memory in the radial 8-arm maze, long-term memory in the 14-unit T-maze, and for preference of the light or dark chamber of a two-compartment box. AC improved the long-term memory performance in the split-stem T-maze and on the circular platform but had no discernable effects on performance of aged rats in the other tasks. Possible reasons for the selectivity of this agent's action on behavior are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990


  • 14-Unit T-maze
  • Acetyl-1-carnitine
  • Aging
  • Circular platform
  • Learning and memory
  • Radial 8-arm maze
  • T-maze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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