The present study examined the influence of long-term glucocorticoid treatment on a maze learning task on a radial 8-arm maze in rats. Either 100 mg cholesterol (as a control), or corticosterone, bead was implanted in rats for a period of 3 months, beginning at 12 weeks of age. The effect of this treatment on the maze learning task was evaluated during or 4 weeks after the treatments. In both experiments, corticosterone-implanted rats showed an increase in number of trials to attain at least seven correct choices in the first eight choices in five consecutive trials (P < 0.05). We concluded that long-term glucocorticoid exposure resulted in an impairment of the hippocampal functions, i.e. learning and memory, similar to that found in aged hippocampus.