Although the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) has recently emerged as a system importantly involved in regulating memory formation, the role of hippocampal GRPRs in memory remains controversial. The present study examined the effects of GRPR antagonism on memory consolidation in area CA1 of the hippocampus. Male Wistar rats received bilateral infusions of the GRPR antagonist [D-Tpi6, Leu13 psi(CH2NH)-Leu14] bombesin (6-14) (RC-3095; 1, 3, or 10 microg/side) into the dorsal hippocampus immediately after inhibitory avoidance (IA) training. RC-3095 at 1 microg impaired, whereas the dose of 10 microg enhanced, 24-h IA retention. A second experiment showed that the RC-3095-induced enhancement of memory consolidation was prevented by pretraining infusion of an otherwise ineffective dose of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor agonist muscimol. The results indicate that high doses of GRPR antagonists can induce enhancement of memory consolidation in the hippocampus. In addition, the memory-enhancing effect of GRPR antagonists might be mediated by inhibition of GABAergic transmission.