Facilitated Acquisition of the Classically Conditioned Eyeblink Response in Male Rats After Systemic IL-1β

Richard J. Servatius, Kevin D. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Exposure to inescapable stressors enhances cue - dependent learning in male rats; enhanced learning is apparent as facilitated acquisition of the classically conditioned eyeblink respouse (CCER). The proinflammatory cytokines, in particular interleukin (IL)-1β, are presumed to orchestrate a number of acute-phase stress responses in rats, most notably fever, reduced feeding, and inactivity. Little is known of the impact proinflammatory cytokines have on learning and memory processes. Here, we address the effects of IL-1β treatment on acquisition of the classically conditioned eyeblink response 2 hours [?] after injection in male rats. Training was accomplished with a delay-type paradigm (500-ms conditional stimulus coterminating with a 10-ms periorbital unconditional stimulation). Facilitated acquisition was clearly apparent in rats treated with IL-1β (3.0 ) μg/kg). In a second experiment, we compared rats treated with 3.0 μg/kg to those treated with 1. 0 μg/kg. Facilitated acquisition was reproduced, but the lower dose did not appreciably affect acquisition. These data further support contentions that IL-1β has anxiogenic properties, affecting basic new motor learning in a manner similar to that observed after exposure to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalIntegrative Physiological and Behavioral Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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