Beneficial effects of galantamine on performance in the object recognition task in Swiss mice: deficits induced by scopolamine and by prolonging the retention interval

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Sep;85(1):253-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2006.08.007. Epub 2006 Sep 20.


Episodic memory has been found to be impaired in several neuropsychiatric disorders. The object recognition task (ORT), introduced by Ennaceur and Delacour [Ennaceur A., Delacour J. A new one-trial test for neurobiological studies of memory in rats: 1. Behavioral data. Behav Brain Res 1988; 31: 47-59.], is a method to measure a specific form of episodic memory in rats and mice. It is based on the spontaneous behavior of rodents and can be considered as a retention test completely free of reference memory components. Therefore, the ORT has been increasingly used as an experimental tool in assessing drug effects on memory and investigating the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, the main goal was to evaluate the effects of galantamine in Swiss mice in the ORT on scopolamine-induced deficits and with different retention intervals. Mice had a good object recognition memory at the 15 min retention intertrial interval (ITI). Object discrimination was absent at the longer intervals (1 h, 4 h and 24 h). Galantamine (10 mg/kg, administered s.c., 30 min prior to acquisition) partially reversed effects of scopolamine (0.63 mg/kg, administered s.c., 30 min prior to acquisition) and normalized performance to control levels. A lower dose of galantamine (0.63 mg/kg) was also investigated when two different retention intervals (15 min and 1 h) were used. Galantamine (0.63 mg/kg) had no adverse effects. Solvent-treated mice in the 1 h ITI condition did not discriminate between the novel and the familiar object (discrimination index was equal to zero), while galantamine (0.63 mg/kg)-treated mice attained a good object recognition memory performance. In conclusion, galantamine was shown to possess memory-enhancing effects in two conditions that reduced object discrimination: scopolamine-induced deficits and when a longer retention interval was used.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Galantamine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology*


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Galantamine
  • Scopolamine