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Pharmacological dissociation of memory: anisomycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor, and leupeptin, a protease inhibitor, block different learning tasks.


Inhibition of protein synthesis by anisomycin for a short duration impairs memory of a one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in rats. Memory of escape conditioning involving eight trials is disrupted only if the duration of protein synthesis is prolonged by repeated injections. In marked contrast, olfactory memory of rats trained on two odor discriminations is not affected by anisomycin even if the duration of inhibition is prolonged and the number of trials is reduced to a minimum. In previous work, leupeptin, a thiol proteinase inhibitor, was shown to impair olfactory discrimination learning, but left inhibitory and avoidance conditioning intact. Together, these results provide a pharmacological double dissociation of memory, and suggest that the same chemistries, or mixtures of chemistries, may not be involved in all types of memory.

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