Learning enhancement with neuropeptides

Laura Toso, Melanie Endres, Joy Vink, Daniel T. Abebe, Douglas E. Brenneman, Catherine Y. Spong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous work has demonstrated that two synthetic peptides can prevent prenatal alcohol-induced damage as assessed by prevention of learning abnormalities in adult offspring as well as improve outcome from traumatic brain damage. The current studies were undertaken to evaluate whether these peptides could enhance performance in a learning and memory paradigm when administered either prenatally or to aged mice. Study design: For prenatal treatment, C57Bl6/J mice were treated on gestational day 8 with 1 oral administration of D-NAP or D-SAL alone or D-NAP+D-SAL or a double dose of D-SAL. Control groups were same-regimen treated with vehicle alone. Learning was assessed in adult male offspring (35-50 days) by using the Morris water maze. To evaluate aged animals, 12-month-old mice were treated with D-NAP and D-SAL or vehicle alone daily and tested on the Morris water maze. Results: Offspring exposed prenatally to D-NAP+D-SAL learned significantly faster than controls, with an earlier onset of learning and an overall decreased latency to find the hidden platform (P < .05). Animals exposed prenatally to either D-NAP or D-SAL alone learned similar to control, with a trend toward faster latencies. Aged animals who received D-NAP+D-SAL learned significantly faster than age-matched controls, with an earlier onset of learning (P < .05). Conclusion: Combined D-NAP+D-SAL enhanced learning in healthy young mice and aged mice. These findings suggest potential therapeutic interventions not only during a critical developmental period, but also in aged animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1158
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning enhancement
  • Neuropeptide
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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