Tianeptine and its enantiomers: effects on spatial memory in rats with medial septum lesions
Morris RG, Kelly S, Burney D, Anthony T, Boyer PA, Spedding M.
Centre for Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh,
Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9LE, UK.
Neuropharmacology. 2001 Aug;41(2):272-81.


Tianeptine, an atypical antidepressant that exhibits clinical efficacy in measures of depression and anxiety, has been reported to enhance learning and memory in rats under certain conditions, an effect not observed with other tricyclic antidepressants. The present study explores further the possibility that tianeptine or its enantiomers (S 16190 and S 16191) can enhance either learning or retention in animals in which the hippocampus has been made partially dysfunctional. The effects of tianeptine and its enantiomers were tested using an open field watermaze test, in rats with partial lesions of the medial septum/diagonal band of Broca (MSDB). When given to normal rats, tianeptine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not significantly affect learning as compared to animals injected with saline. We therefore created, in other animals, partial ibotenic acid lesions of MSDB and showed histochemically that these lesions reduced but did not abolish the density of acetylcholinesterase staining in the hippocampus. They impaired both the acquisition of place-navigation and the long-term retention of spatial information over 7 days. Against the baseline of impaired performance in animals with these lesions, neither tianeptine (10 mg/kg) nor its enantiomers (5 mg/kg) affected the rate of acquisition of place navigation. However, tianeptine did enhance the retention of spatial memory over 7 days. These results are discussed in relation to different effects that tianeptine may have on learning including its ability to block stress-induced dendritic re-modelling of the hippocampus.

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