Effects of PACAP-38 and an analog, acetyl-[Ala15, Ala20] PACAP-38-propylamide, on memory consolidation in the detection of spatial novelty task in rats


  • Ladjimi Mohamed H
  • Barbouche Rym
  • Ben Rhouma Khemaisé
  • Sakly Mohsen
  • Tebourbi Olfa
  • Save Etienne


  • PACAP-38
  • PACAP analog
  • Spatial memory
  • Ifenprodil
  • Rat

document type



PACAP-38 (P38) is a pleiotropic peptide that exerts multiple peripheral and central actions, including neurotrophic, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions. Previous studies have suggested an improvement of memory in rats that have received a single systemic injection of P38. In a therapeutic perspective, we used an analog, acetyl-[Ala 15 , Ala 20 ]PACAP-38-propylamide (ALG), to improve both stability and affinity for PAC1 receptors vs. endogen PACAP. We investigated the effect of P38 and ALG on memory consolidation using a spatial novelty detection (SND) task in which rats had to memorize a configuration of objects to identify that, during a test session, a familiar object has been moved to a new location. Rats received an intravenous injection of P38 or ALG after the last training session. In Experiment 1, P38 (30 µg/kg) improved spatial memory consolidation allowing detection of novelty vs. saline injection. In Experiment 2, we confirmed this effect and showed that P38 restored the performance similar to what was found using non-injected rats. This suggests that, contrary to ALG, P38 exerted a promesiant rather than an anxiety-related effect whereas ALG did not show similar action. We also examined whether P38 effect involved an interaction with NR2B-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) by administrating ifenprodil (IFE; a selective NR2B-containing NMDAR antagonist) alone or in combination with P38 or ALG. The results suggested that P38 action on memory involved NR2B-containing NMDARs. Lastly, brainderived neutrophic factor (BDNF) modulation appeared to be not related to the behavioral performance in the SND task. Overall, the results indicate that P38 exerted a beneficial effect on memory consolidation in a nonassociative task, whereas ALG did not have this action.

more information