Glucose treatment attenuates spatial learning and memory deficits of aged rats on tests of hippocampal function

Neurobiol Aging. May-Jun 1998;19(3):233-41. doi: 10.1016/s0197-4580(98)00057-8.


Groups of old and young rats were administered three tests of spatial learning and memory that are known to be sensitive to hippocampal dysfunction: the radial arm maze (RAM), spatial non-matching-to-sample (SNMTS), and a spatial vs. local cue-preference task. Old rats performed worse than young rats on the RAM and SNMTS tasks; on the cue-preference task, young rats were biased to use spatial cues, whereas old rats exhibited strong preferences for distinct, local cues. Peripheral injections of glucose (100 mg/kg) improved performance by old rats on the RAM and SNMTS, which correlated with measures of glucose metabolism. Glucose treatment did not affect old rats performance on the cue-preference task. There was evidence that glucose-treatment improved performance of young rats in the RAM test, but not the other tests. The results extend the range of tasks on which glucose-induced cognitive enhancement has been demonstrated in aged rats, and provides further evidence that memory loss resulting from hippocampal dysfunction is especially amenable to glucose treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cues
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Rats


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose