SSR180711 (4-bromophenyl 1,4diazabicyclo(3.2.2) nonane-4-carboxylate, monohydrochloride) is a selective alpha7 nicotinic receptor (n-AChR) partial agonist. Based on the purported implication of this receptor in cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia, the present study assessed efficacy of SSR180711 (i.p. and p.o.) in different types of learning and memory involved in this pathology. SSR180711 enhanced episodic memory in the object recognition task in rats and mice (MED: 0.3 mg/kg), an effect mediated by the alpha7 n-AChR, as it was no longer seen in mice lacking this receptor. Efficacy was retained after repeated treatment (eight administrations over 5 days, 1 mg/kg), indicating lack of tachyphylaxia. SSR180711 also reversed (MED: 0.3 mg/kg) MK-801-induced deficits in retention of episodic memory in rats (object recognition). The drug reversed (MED: 0.3 mg/kg) selective attention impaired by neonatal phencyclidine (PCP) treatment and restored MK-801- or PCP-induced memory deficits in the Morris or linear maze (MED: 1-3 mg/kg). In neurochemical and electrophysiological correlates of antipsychotic drug action, SSR180711 increased extracellular levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (MED: 1 mg/kg) and enhanced (3 mg/kg) spontaneous firing of retrosplenial cortex neurons in rats. Selectivity of SSR180711 was confirmed as these effects were abolished by methyllycaconitine (3 mg/kg, i.p. and 1 mg/kg, i.v., respectively), a selective alpha7 n-AChR antagonist. Additional antidepressant-like properties of SSR180711 were demonstrated in the forced-swimming test in rats (MED: 1 mg/kg), the maternal separation-induced ultrasonic vocalization paradigm in rat pups (MED: 3 mg/kg) and the chronic mild stress procedure in mice (10 mg/kg o.d. for 3 weeks). Taken together, these findings characterize SSR180711 as a promising new agent for the treatment of cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. The antidepressant-like properties of SSR180711 are of added interest, considering the high prevalence of depressive symptoms in schizophrenic patients.