Independent effects of age and nucleus basalis magnocellularis lesion: maze learning, cortical neurochemistry, and morphometry.

Article date: 1992/10/1

PubMed ID: 1280146

Journal name: Behavioral neuroscience (ISSN: 0735-7044)


The effects of age and lesion of the cholinergic nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBm) were assessed behaviorally, morphologically, and biochemically. Groups consisted of rats lesioned 1 month before testing, rats lesioned 13 months before testing, and their respective age-matched controls. Both age and lesion independently induced behavioral deficits in performance on two water maze tasks. The combined effect of these two factors produced behavioral deficits equal to the sum of the individual impairments. NBm lesion produced a 28% decrease in anterior cortical choline acetyltransferase activity and a 20% decrease in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the neocortex that was stable over a 12-month period. Neither neuritic plaque nor neurofibrillary-tanglelike structures were found in the brains of 18-month-old control rats, nor were they found in NBm-lesioned rats examined 15 months postlesion. There was an age-related decrease in homovanillic acid levels in both control and NBm groups, which suggests a decrease in dopamine turnover. These results show a lack of biochemical and behavioral recovery after NBm lesion and suggest that the effects of age on behavior are independent of NBm-cortical dysfunction.

Author List: Connor D J, Thal L J, Mandel R J, Langlais P J, Masliah E

Publication Types: Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Substances mentioned in the article: 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid; Ibotenic Acid; Serotonin; Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid; Choline O-Acetyltransferase; Dopamine; Norepinephrine; Homovanillic Acid;

Mesh terms: 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid/analysis; Age Factors; Animals; Behavior, Animal; Brain/surgery; Cerebral Cortex/chemistry; Choline O-Acetyltransferase/analysis; Cognition; Dopamine/analysis; Homovanillic Acid/analysis; Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid/analysis; Ibotenic Acid; Learning; Male; Norepinephrine/analysis; Rats; Retention (Psychology); Serotonin/analysis; Space Perception;

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