The effects of N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-2-(2-oxo-1-pyrrolidinyl)-acetamide (DM-9384, nefiracetam), a cyclic derivative of GABA, were investigated in the carbon monoxide (CO)-induced amnesia model in the mice using the passive avoidance task. Memory deficiency occurred when mice were exposed to CO before memory was completely consolidated after training (acute amnesia), at 7 days before training and 7 days after training (delayed amnesia). DM-9384 prolonged the step-down latency in mice with CO-induced amnesia. Scopolamine blocked the anti-amnesic effect of DM-9384 on delayed amnesia that had been induced by pre- or post-training exposure to CO. Bicuculline had a tendency to antagonize the anti-amnesic effect of DM-9384, but this tendency was not significant. Under these conditions, no significant change in the activity of choline acetyltransferase and glutamic acid decarboxylase was observed in the frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. These results suggest that DM-9384 potentiates cholinergic neuronal function and that it may modify acquisition and/or consolidation of memory.
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