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Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation (REM-SD) is associated with spatial learning and memory impairment. During REM-SD, an increase in nicotine consumption among habitual smokers and initiation of tobacco use by non-smokers have been reported. We have shown recently that nicotine treatment prevented learning and memory impairments associated with REM-SD. We now report the interactive effects of post-learning REM-SD and/or nicotine. The animals were first trained on the radial arm water maze (RAWM) task, then they were REM-sleep deprived using the modified multiple platform paradigm for 24h. During REM-SD period, the rats were injected with saline or nicotine (1mg/kg s.c. every 12h: a total of 3 injections). The animals were tested for long-term memory in the RAWM at the end of the REM-SD period. The 24h post-learning REM-SD significantly impaired long-term memory. However, nicotine treatment reversed the post-learning REM-SD-induced impairment of long-term memory. On the other hand, post-learning treatment of normal rats with nicotine for 24h enhanced long-term memory. These results indicate that post-learning acute nicotine treatment prevented the deleterious effect of REM-SD on cognitive abilities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


A M Aleisa, K H Alzoubi, K A Alkadhi. Post-learning REM sleep deprivation impairs long-term memory: reversal by acute nicotine treatment. Neuroscience letters. 2011 Jul 15;499(1):28-31

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PMID: 21624432

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