WE investigated the role of nociceptin system in learning and memory in mice. The deficiency of nociceptin receptors and nociceptin itself did not affect the alternation behavior in the Y-maze test. In the passive avoidance test, the step-through latencies of nociceptin receptor knockout mice were longer than those of wildtype mice. Nociceptin shortened the step-through latency in wild-type mice. This impairment on passive avoidance task was reversed by naloxone benzoylhydrazone (NalBzoH), indicating that the amnesic effects of nociceptin may be mediated through the NalBzoH recognition sites. These suggest that nociceptin system plays an important role in the memory retention of passive avoidance task, and NalBzoH-recognized sites are involved in nociceptin-induced impairment of the memory retention.
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