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β-Endorphin impairs forced extinction of an inhibitory avoidance response in rats

AuthorsCerro, Sonia del; Borrell, José
Issue Date1987
CitationLife Sciences 41: 579-584 (1987)
AbstractThe effect of subcutaneous administration of β-endorphin on forced extinction (FE) of an inhibitory avoidance behavior has been studied in rats. Animals subjected to FE displayed significantly shorter retention latencies than those of the corresponding control group, not subjected to FE. Subcutaneous administration of 0.1, 1 and 10 μg/kg of β-endorphin 10 min before or immediately after FE session, delayed extinction of the inhibitory avoidance behavior in an inverted U-shaped dependent manner. The opiate antagonist naloxone (NX) administered subcutaneously (0.4 mg/kg) did not influence extinction behavior. However, the same dose of NX, when injected previously to the administration of β-endorphin (1 μg/kg), prevented the effect on extinction induced by the opioid. Our results suggest that β-endorphin may be involved in modulating forced extinction of a recently acquired information, likely influencing relearning phenomena associated with this particular way of forgetting.
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