Selective improvement of aged rat short-term spatial memory by 3,4-diaminopyridine

C. A. Barnes, C. Eppich, G. Rao

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27 Scopus citations


Young (10 month) and old (28 month) Fischer 344 rats were injected (IP) with 3,4-diaminopyridine (3,4-DAP) or saline 10 minutes before training on two tests of spatial memory (the Barnes circular platform and the radial 8-arm maze). This agent has been found to block potassium channels in neurons, thereby increasing calcium influx, prolonging the action potential, and leading to increased transmitter release. The circular platform task assessed the drug's effect on spatial reference memory over 24 hour intertrial intervals, and the radial maze assessed its effect on short-term working memory within a 5 minute test session. 3,4-DAP was found to selectively improve memory performance of the old animals, and, within that age group, only improved performance on the short-term memory task. 3,4-DAP may therefore be effective for only a restricted set of age-related memory problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


  • 3,4-Diaminopyridine
  • Aging
  • Memory deficits
  • Rats
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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