The effect of chronic administration of L-arginine on the learning and memory of estradiol-treated ovariectomized rats tested in the morris water maze
OBJECTIVE: The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of L-arginine on the learning and memory of estradiol-treated ovariectomized (OVX) rats. METHODS: Forty-eight rats were divided into six groups: (1) sham, (2) OVX, (3) sham-Est, (4) OVX-Est, (5) sham-Est-LA, and (6) OVX-Est-LA. The animals of the sham-Est and OVX-Est groups were treated by weekly injection of estradiol valerate (2mg/kg). The sham-Est-LA and OVX-Est-LA groups were treated in the same manner but with an additional daily injection of L-arginine (200mg/kg). After eight weeks, animals of all groups were tested in the Morris water maze. The escape latency and path traveled to reach the platform were compared between groups. RESULTS: Time latency and path length in the OVX group were significantly higher than in the sham group (P < 0.05). The OVX-Est group had a significantly shorter traveled path length and time latency compared to the OVX group (P < 0.001). Time latency and path length in the sham-Est group was significantly higher than in the sham group (P < 0.001). Time latency and path length in the OVX-Est-LA group were significantly higher than in the OVX-Est group. CONCLUSIONS: These results allow us to propose that chronic treatment with estradiol enhances the spatial learning and memory of OVX rats, and that long term L-arginine treatment attenuates the effects of improvement produced by estradiol in OVX rats.