Українська English

ISSN 2522-9028 (Print)
ISSN 2522-9036 (Online)

Fiziologichnyi Zhurnal

is a scientific journal issued by the

Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Editor-in-chief: V.F. Sagach

The journal was founded in 1955 as
1955 – 1977 "Fiziolohichnyi zhurnal" (ISSN 0015 – 3311)
1978 – 1993 "Fiziologicheskii zhurnal" (ISSN 0201 – 8489)
1994 – 2016 "Fiziolohichnyi zhurnal" (ISSN 0201 – 8489)
2017 – "Fiziolohichnyi zhurnal" (ISSN 2522-9028)

Fiziol. Zh. 2020; 66(5): 3-10

Effects of memantine on the passive avoidance test in young rats

V.A. Gorbachenko, E.A. Lukyanetz

    O.O. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a long-lasting progressive neurodegenerative disease that degrades memory and cognitive function and is often complicated by disorientation and other psychiatric syndromes. At present, to improve the condition of patients with AD, for their treatment, use the drug memantine. The drug is a noncompetitive antagonist of NMDA glutamate receptors in the brain. The present experiments aimed to test the influence of memantine on the memory processes in rats. We used the passive avoidance test “Stepdown”. The latter is used to assess memory function based on the association formed between a particular environment that an animal is learning to avoid and a negative stimulus in the form of a weak electric shock to the feet. We found that memantine significantly, twice, decreased the latency time step-down from the platform in rats during their familiarization with the chamber. The rats became more determined and less afraid of the unknown environment under memantine. Memantine significantly affected the emotionality of young rats, which leads to errors in the passive avoidance test. However, it did not impair memory. It can be concluded that memantine induces a shift toward greater excitability in rats.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; memantine; rats; behavior; passive avoidance reflex; memory


  1. Alzheimer's-Association. 2020 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimers Dement.
  2. Hascup KN, Findley CA, Sime LN, Hascup ER. Hippocampal alterations in glutamatergic signaling during amyloid progression in AβPP/PS1 mice. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):14503. CrossRef PubMed PubMedCentral
  3. Kravenska EV, Ganzha VV, Yavorskaya EN, Lukyanetz EA. Effect of cyclosporin A on the viability of hippocampal cells cultured under conditions of modeling of Alzheimer's disease. Neurophysiology. 2016;48(4):246-51. CrossRef
  4. Kravenska Y, Nieznanska H, Nieznanski K, Lukyanetz E, Szewczyk A, Koprowski P. The monomers, oligomers, and fibrils of amyloid-β inhibit the activity of mitoBKCa channels by a membrane-mediated mechanism. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA). Biomembranes. 2020; 1862(9):183337. CrossRef PubMed
  5. Gorbachenko V, Chereda I, Vrublevsky S, Kruchenko J, Lukyanetz E. Development and testing of the experimental system for registration of food reflex in rats. Bull Taras Shevchenko Natl Univ Kyiv Ser: Radiophysics and Electronics. 2014;1/2(21/22):31-3.
  6. Tyshchenko Y, Lukyanetz EA. Effects of memantine on behavioral indices of rats in the open field. Neurophysiology. 2017;49(6):453-7. CrossRef
  7. Kruchenko ZA, Gorbachenko VA, Chereda IS, Lukyanetz EA. Effect of memantine on motor behavioral phenomena in rats of different ages. Neurophysiology. 2014;46(5):448-51. CrossRef
  8. Korol T, Kostiuk OP, Kostiuk PH. Effect of betaamyloid protein on calcium channels in plasma membranes of cultured hippocampal neurons. Fiziol Zh. 2009;55(4):10-6. CrossRef PubMed
  9. Kostiuk OP, Korol T, Korol SV, Romanenko SV, Pinchenko VO, Kostiuk PH. Alteration of calcium signaling as one of the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease and diabetic polyneuropathy. Fiziol Zh. 2010;56(4):130-8. CrossRef PubMed
  10. Yiannopoulou KG, Papageorgiou SG. Current and future treatments in Alzheimer Disease: An Update. J Central Nerv Syst Dis. 2020;12:1179573520907397. CrossRef PubMed PubMedCentral
  11. McShane R, Westby MJ, Roberts E, Minakaran N, Schneider L, Farrimond LE, et al. Memantine for dementia. The cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2019;3(3):Cd003154. CrossRef PubMedCentral
  12. Kuns B, Rosani A, Varghese D. Memantine. StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publ, Copyright © 2020, StatPearls Publ LLC.; 2020.
  13. Ogren SO. Passive avoidance. In: Stolerman IP, Price LH, editors. Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology. 2nd ed: Springer; 2015. CrossRef
  14. Krypotos AM, Effting M, Kindt M, Beckers T. Avoidance learning: a review of theoretical models and recent developments. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015;9:189. CrossRef PubMed PubMedCentral
  15. Branchi I, Ricceri L. Active and passive avoidance. In: Sluyter F, Gerlai RT, Pietropaolo S, Crusio WE (Eds.) Behavioral Genetics of the Mouse: Vol. 1: Genetics of Behavioral Phenotypes. Cambridge Handbooks in Behavioral Genetics.1. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press; 2013.
  16. Zavvari F, Karimzadeh F. A review on the behavioral tests for learning and memory assessments in rat. Neurosci J Shefaye Khatam. 2017;5(4):110-24. CrossRef
  17. Vataeva LA, Kostkin VB, Makukhina GV, Khozhai LI, Otellin VA. Conditional reflex reaction of the passive avoidance in female and male rats exposed to hypoxia at different terms of prenatal development. J Evol Biochem Physiol. 2004;40(3):307-11. CrossRef
  18. Dementia-Australia. Drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease: Memantine 2016.
  19. Buresh JB, Houston OJP. Methods and basic experiments in brain and behavior studies. Moscow: High School; 1991.
  20. van Marum RJ. Update on the use of memantine in Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychiat Dis Treatment. 2009;5:237-47. CrossRef PubMed PubMedCentral
  21. Povysheva NV, Johnson JW. Effects of memantine on the excitation-inhibition balance in prefrontal cortex. Neurobiol Dis. 2016;96:75-83. CrossRef PubMed PubMedCentral

© National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, 2014-2024.