The role of nitric oxide in the object recognition memory

Behav Brain Res. 2015 May 15:285:200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jun 13.


The novel object recognition task (NORT) assesses recognition memory in animals. It is a non-rewarded paradigm that it is based on spontaneous exploratory behavior in rodents. This procedure is widely used for testing the effects of compounds on recognition memory. Recognition memory is a type of memory severely compromised in schizophrenic and Alzheimer's disease patients. Nitric oxide (NO) is sought to be an intra- and inter-cellular messenger in the central nervous system and its implication in learning and memory is well documented. Here I intended to critically review the role of NO-related compounds on different aspects of recognition memory. Current analysis shows that both NO donors and NO synthase (NOS) inhibitors are involved in object recognition memory and suggests that NO might be a promising target for cognition impairments. However, the potential neurotoxicity of NO would add a note of caution in this context.

Keywords: Nitric oxide; Object location; Object recognition; Recognition memory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase