Effects of combined serotonin depletion and lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis on acquisition of a complex spatial discrimination task in the rat.

Article date: 1990/12/17

PubMed ID: 1707719

Journal name: Brain research (ISSN: 0006-8993)


The purpose of the present experiment was to determine the effects of lesions of cholinergic neurons originating from the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM), alone or in combination with central serotonin depletion, on learning and memory in rats trained in the Stone 14-unit T-maze–a complex, positively-reinforced spatial discrimination task. Lesion of cholinergic neurons within the NBM was accomplished by bilateral infusion of ibotenic acid. Serotonin depletion was accomplished by the systemic administration of p-chloroamphetamine (PCA). The results show that PCA-induced serotonin depletion enhanced learning. This effect was completely prevented by NBM lesions, despite the fact that NBM lesions alone did not affect the performance of rats in this task. The results of this study support the view that the cholinergic and serotonergic systems may functionally interact in learning and memory processes. The significance of this interaction in the etiology and treatment of dementia should be further investigated.

Author List: Normile H J, Jenden D J, Kuhn D M, Wolf W A, Altman H J

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

Substances mentioned in the article: Biogenic Amines; Ibotenic Acid; Serotonin; Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid; p-Chloroamphetamine; Choline O-Acetyltransferase;

Mesh terms: Analysis of Variance; Animals; Biogenic Amines/metabolism; Choline O-Acetyltransferase/metabolism; Discrimination Learning/physiology; Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid/metabolism; Ibotenic Acid; Male; Radioligand Assay; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Serotonin/metabolism; Spatial Behavior; Substantia Innominata/physiology; p-Chloroamphetamine;

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