Acetaminophen disrupts memory in object recognition and increases extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in male mice.

Acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) is a commonly used over-the-counter pain medication, but recent evidence suggests that a single exposure or prenatal exposure may have significant behavioral effects. This investigation aimed to determine whether acetaminophen could disrupt memory formation in an object-recognition task and to quantify potential changes in memory-related signaling cascades in the hippocampus of mice after acetaminophen administration. Using male mice, we examined the effect of a single subcutaneous injection of acetaminophen on the object-recognition task, a single-trial, hippocampus-dependent memory task. We also investigated potential changes in the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the dorsal mouse hippocampus 1 hr after a subcutaneous injection of acetaminophen. We found that 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg interfered with performance in the object-recognition memory task, whereas 10 mg/kg did not. We also found that a single 50 mg/kg injection of acetaminophen significantly increased p42 ERK phosphorylation in the dorsal mouse hippocampus. Overall, these results suggest that a single dose of acetaminophen can have significant effects on memory and alters signaling kinases critical for memory consolidation. Further work is needed to determine the involved mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)