Gabapentin, A GABA analogue, enhances cognitive performance in mice

Neurosci Lett. 2011 Apr 1;492(2):124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.01.072. Epub 2011 Feb 4.


Gabapentin is one of the new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) launched recently. The advantage of new AEDs includes newer mechanism of action, broad spectrum of antiseizure effects, lesser drug interactions and fewer side effects. Gabapentin (GBP) a GABA analogue, is efficacious in several neurological and psychiatric conditions and it is conventionally used in the treatment of partial epilepsies. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of GBP on learning and memory processes of naive mice in Morris water maze (MWM), passive avoidance (PA) and modified elevated plus maze (mEPM) tests. GBP (5 and 10mg/kg, i.p.) was administered on the probe trial of MWM and on the acquisation session of PA and mEPM tests. In the MWM test, GBP (10mg/kg) significantly increased the time spent in target quadrant and GBP (5 and 10mg/kg) significantly decreased the distance to platform compared to control group. In the mEPM test, GBP (5 and 10mg/kg) significantly decreased the transfer latency compared to control group on the second day and in the PA test, GBP (5 and 10mg/kg) significantly prolonged retention latency compared to control group. Our results indicate that GBP has improving effects on spatial and emotional cognitive performance of naive mice in MWM, PA and mEPM tasks.

MeSH terms

  • Amines / pharmacology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Gabapentin
  • Mice
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology


  • Amines
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin