We examined the involvement of GABAergic neuronal systems in benzodiazepine-induced passive avoidance deficit. Chlordiazepoxide impaired the passive avoidance response dose dependently when it was given prior to training. Post-training administration of muscimol improved the performance of chlordiazepoxide-pretreated mice. The effects of muscimol were antagonized completely by the GABAA antagonist, bicuculline, and the muscarinic acetycholine receptor antaagonist, scopolamine, but not by the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, flumazenil, when the latter was administered immediately after training. It appears from these results that the GABAergic neuronal system plays an important role in the benzodiazepine-induced passive avoidance deficit by interacting with the cholinergic neuronal system.
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