Glycine has been shown to modulate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subclass of acidic amino acid receptors which have been implicated in learning and memory. We report that d-cycloserine (DCS) which has a high affinity for the glycine modulatory site in the NMDA receptor complex modulated memory processing in a dose-dependent manner. Mice were trained on a footshock avoidance task. Immediately after training DCS was administered (2.5 to 50 mg/kg s.c.). When retention was tested a week later, 20 mg/kg facilitated retention the best with lower and higher doses be less effective in weakly trained young mice. DCS also facilitated retention in 'senescence-accelerated mice' in which impairment of learning and memory increases with age. DCS had to be administered at higher doses to improve retention as impairment of learning and memory increased.