We investigated the involvement of the GABAergic and cholinergic neuronal systems and benzodiazepine (BZP) receptors in ethanol-induced amnesia using a passive avoidance task. Pretraining administration of ethanol impaired the passive avoidance response. The BZP agonist chlordiazepoxide potentiated the amnesia, while the GABA antagonists bicuculline and picrotoxin failed to affect it. The acetylcholine esterase inhibitor physostigmine partially attenuated the ethanol-induced amnesia. These results suggest that ethanol-induced amnesia is related to BZP receptors and a dysfunction of the cholinergic neuronal system.
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