Chronic administration of sulbutiamine improves long term memory formation in mice: possible cholinergic mediation

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1985 Aug;23(2):195-8. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(85)90555-6.


Thiamine deficiency in both man and animals is known to produce memory dysfunction and cognitive disorders which have been related to an impairment of cholinergic activity. The present experiment was aimed at testing whether, inversely, chronic administration of large doses of sulbutiamine would have a facilitative effect on memory and would induce changes in central cholinergic activity. Accordingly mice received 300 mg/kg of sulbutiamine daily for 10 days. They were then submitted to an appetitive operant level press conditioning test. When compared to control subjects, sulbutiamine treated mice learned the task at the same rate in a single session but showed greatly improved performance when tested 24 hr after partial acquisition of the same task. Parallel neurochemical investigations showed that the treatment induced a slight (+ 10%) but significant increase in hippocampal sodium-dependent high affinity choline uptake. The present findings and previous results suggest that sulbutiamine improves memory formation and that this behavioral effect could be mediated by an increase in hippocampal cholinergic activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Thiamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thiamine / pharmacology


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • sulbutiamine
  • Choline
  • Thiamine