Evaluation Effects of Verapamil as a Calcium Channel Blocker on Acquisition, Consolidation and Retrieval of Memory in Mice


1 Neurology Ward, Department of Internal Medicine, Kosar Hospital, School of Medicine, Semn

2 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

3 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

4 Neurosciences Research Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

5 Applied Physiology Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


   Many factors are involved in learning and memory processes including brain nuclei, neurotransmitter systems, and the activity of ion channels. Studies showed inconsistent effects of calcium channel blockers on learning process, especially memory consolidation; however, little is known about their effect on memory acquisition and retrieval. Accordingly, the present study aimed to determine the effects of verapamil calcium channel antagonist as a representative of the phenylalkylamine group on different stages of memory and learning processes including acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in mice. In this experimental study, 150 male albino mice with a mean weight of 30 g were used. The mice were trained in a passive avoidance-learning task (1 mA shock for 2 seconds for evaluation of memory acquisition and consolidation and 3 seconds for evaluation of memory retrieval). The effect of verapamil (1, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) on memory consolidation and the most effective dose of consolidation phase on memory acquisition and retrieval was assessed. For the evaluation of memory consolidation, the animals received the drug intraperitoneally immediately after training, while for evaluation of memory acquisition and retrieval, the drug was injected one hour before training. Memory retrieval test was performed 48 hours after training (the length of time it took the animal to enter the dark part of the device). The results showed that verapamil injection exerted no effect on memory acquisition and consolidation; nevertheless, it was capable to disrupt memory retrieval in 10 and 20 mg doses. These results indicate that as a phenylalkylamine calcium channel antagonist, high doses of verapamil can impair memory. 

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