Differential involvement of NMDA and AMPA receptors within the nucleus accumbens in consolidation of information necessary for place navigation and guidance strategy of mice

Learn Mem. Jul-Aug 2003;10(4):285-92. doi: 10.1101/lm.54003.


Recent evidence now points to a role of glutamate transmission within the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) in spatial learning and memory. Unfortunately, the role of the distinct classes of glutamate receptors within this structure in mediating the different steps of the memorization process is not clear. The aim of this study therefore was to further investigate this issue, trying to assess the involvement of the two classes of glutamate receptors within the Nacc in consolidation of spatial information using an associative spatial task, the water maze. For this purpose, focal injections of the NMDA antagonist, AP-5, and of the AMPA antagonist, DNQX, have been performed immediately after the training phase, and mice have been tested for retention 24 h later. Two different versions of the water-maze task have been used: In the place version, animals could learn the position of the platform using visual distal cues, and in the cue version, the location of the platform was indicated by a single proximal cue. The results demonstrated that posttraining NMDA receptor blockade affects mice response in the place but not in the cue water-maze task. On the contrary, AMPA receptor blockade induced no effect in either version of the task. These data confirm a functional dissociation between glutamate receptors located in the Nacc in modulating spatial memory consolidation and indicate that they are specifically involved in consolidation of information necessary to acquire a place but not to a guidance strategy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Receptors, AMPA / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, AMPA / physiology*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate