Sleep deprivation causes impairment in learning and memory. Several studies have shown the positive effect of nitric oxide on learning and memory processes. Therefore, in the present study, the effect of using L-arginine as a precursor of nitric oxide on spatial learning and memory impairment following rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation in rats was investigated.
In this experimental study, 50 rats were divided into five groups: control, sleep deprivation, sleep deprivation plus triple doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg L-arginine (intraperitoneal injection). The method of multiple platforms was used to induce 72 hours of sleep deprivation. Then, the spatial learning and memory levels of all rats were checked using the Morris water maze (MWM) task.
Administration of 200 mg/kg L-arginine attenuated the effects of REM sleep deprivation on learning, but it had no effect on memory impairment caused by sleep deprivation.
According to the findings of the present study, it seems that nitric oxide can improve the negative effects of REM sleep deprivation on learning.
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