Memory Impairing Effect of Propranolol on Consolidation and Reconsolidation for Various Learning Tasks

Çınar Furkan İLHAN , Sezen KIŞLAL
2023 September - 60 (3)


• Beta-adrenergic receptors are involved in memory
• Memories are in a labile state during consolidation and
reconsolidation phases
• Pharmacological intervention can disrupt the memory
• Propranolol is found to impair memory acquisition for
various learning tasks in rodents
• Impairing memory acquisition could be a therapeutic
tool for some psychological disorders


Newly acquired memory traces have been thought to become
stable and resistant to interruption after they are stored in long-term
memory. However, according to a recent research drugs such as betaadrenergic
receptor antagonists enable memories to be updated and
rewritten when administered during consolidation and reconsolidation.
Propranolol is a widely used beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist that
disrupts the consolidation and reconsolidation processes of memory
formation as it inhibits protein synthesis in the central nervous system.
This review aims to discuss the memory impairing effect of the systemic
and intracerebral administration of propranolol during the consolidation
and reconsolidation processes associated with different learning tasks. In
doing so, this review will help elucidate the effects of propranolol on
different stages of memory formation. Since learning and maladaptive
memories underpin some of the most common psychological disorders,
such as phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, drugseeking
behavior, and so on, a thorough understanding of propranolol’s
memory-impairing effect has significant clinical value and the potential
to help people suffering from these disorders.
Keywords: Memory, propranolol, consolidation, reconsolidation, rodent