The effect of steroid sulfatase inhibition on learning and spatial memory

David A. Johnson, Tzu Hua Wu, Pui Kai Li, Timothy J. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Steroid sulfatase inhibitors can enhance the concentration of the neurosteroid DHEAS in rat brain. Previous studies have demonstrated that the steroid sulfatase inhibitor (p-O-sulfamoyl)-N-tetradecanoyl tyramine (DU-14) could reverse scopolamine induced amnesia in rats in a passive avoidance memory paradigm. The intent of this study was to determine whether chronic pretreatment with DU-14 could reverse scopolamine amnesia and/or enhance spacial memory in the place, probe and cued versions of the Morris water maze (MWM). Rats were divided into four groups and administered IP for 15 days either DU-14 (30.0 mg/Kg) or corn oil (1.0 ml/Kg) vehicle. On training days animals were administered either scopolamine (1.0 mg/Kg) or saline (1.0 ml/Kg). The groups administered DU-14 displayed a significant enhancement in learning and spacial memory in the place version of the MWM, when compared to respective vehicle-scopolamine and vehicle-saline groups. In the probe version, the DU-14-saline group remained in the target quadrant of the maze significantly longer than any of the other groups indicating enhanced retention. In the cued version of the MWM, treatment with DU-14 did not significantly change escape latency suggesting that the steroid sulfatase inhibitor did not alter motivation or locomotion. These results suggest that the chronic administration of steroid sulfatase inhibitors enhance learning and spatial memory in rats. Themes: Neural basis of behavior. Topics: Learning and memory: pharmacology. Copyright (C) 2000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 26 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning and memory
  • Learning and memory: pharmacology
  • Morris water maze
  • Neural basis of behavior
  • Neurosteroid
  • Steroid sulfatase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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