Memory facilitation produced by dopamine agonists: role of receptor subtype and mnemonic requirements

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 Jul;33(3):511-8. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(89)90378-x.


The role of dopamine (DA) receptor subtypes in the acquisition of two memory tasks in the 8-arm radial maze was examined. The receptors were manipulated with posttraining, subcutaneous injections of an indirect DA receptor agonist (D-amphetamine), a selective D2 receptor agonist (LY171555), and a selective D1 receptor agonist (SKF-38393). On a win-stay task (sensitive to caudate nucleus lesions) a light cue signalled the location of food in 4 randomly selected arms on each trial. Rats were given one trial per day and injected after training on day 5. D-Amphetamine (2.0 mg/kg) and LY171555 (2.0 mg/kg) improved performance relative to controls; however SKF-38393 (1-4 mg/kg) had no effect on the acquisition of win-stay behavior. On a win-shift task (sensitive to fornix/hippocampal lesions) a delay of 18 hr was imposed between the first 4 and second 4 choices; drugs were injected after the first 4 choices. D-Amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg) and LY171555 (2.0 mg/kg) significantly improved retention relative to controls. SKF-38393 (1-4 mg/kg) had no effect on win-shift retention. These results suggest that the memory-improving properties of DA agonists on tasks sensitive to both hippocampal and caudate lesions are mediated by the D2 receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology
  • Dextroamphetamine / administration & dosage
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Ergolines / administration & dosage
  • Ergolines / pharmacology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Quinpirole
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine / classification*
  • Time Factors


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Ergolines
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Quinpirole
  • 2,3,4,5-Tetrahydro-7,8-dihydroxy-1-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepine
  • Dextroamphetamine