Comparative effects of quisqualic and ibotenic acid-induced lesions of the substantia innominata and globus pallidus on the acquisition of a conditional visual discrimination: differential effects on cholinergic mechanisms.

Article date: 1989/1/1

PubMed ID: 2646552

Journal name: Neuroscience (ISSN: 0306-4522)


Two experiments tested the hypothesis that the deficits in conditional discrimination learning produced by ibotenic acid-induced lesions of the ventral pallidum and substantia innominata are produced by loss of the magnocellular cholinergic cells in the nucleus basalis and adjacent regions. Experiment 1 replicated the previously reported deficit in conditional learning produced by ibotenate-induced lesions of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata, but failed to demonstrate any restoration of learning by a subchronic regimen of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine sufficient to produce significant (30%), but equivalent, degrees of inhibition in the frontal cortex of ventral pallidum/substantia innominata-lesioned or sham-operated rats. Experiment 2 examined the effects of quisqualic acid-induced lesions of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata. According to most of the measures of learning employed, the quisqualic acid-induced lesion of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata failed to impair conditional learning, even though the quisqualate-induced lesion produced greater degrees of cholinergic neuron destruction than the ibotenate-induced lesion, as measured in terms of reductions in cortical choline acetyltransferase activity (44% vs 27%). Although consideration of individual data suggested that very high (60%) levels of choline acetyltransferase reduction in Experiment 2 might have detrimental effects of conditional learning, the overall failure of the quisqualate-induced lesions of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata to impair learning is to be contrasted with the significant behavioural effects of ibotenate-induced lesions. Histological and immunocytochemical analysis showed that the quisqualate-induced lesion, unlike that produced by ibotenate, tended to produce less damage to the overlying dorsal globus pallidus and to parvocellular neurons of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata, thus implicating these nonspecific effects of ibotenate-induced lesions in their behavioural effects. The present results question previous interpretations of the behavioural effects of ibotenate-induced lesions of the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata in terms of damage inflicted on the cortically-projecting cholinergic cells of the nucleus basalis, and suggest that quisqualic acid, although also nonspecific in its excitotoxic effects, is nevertheless more selective for producing damage to cholinergic neurons in the ventral pallidum/substantia innominata than ibotenic acid.

Author List: Robbins T W, Everitt B J, Ryan C N, Marston H M, Jones G H, Page K J

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

Substances mentioned in the article: Oxadiazoles; Oxazoles; Ibotenic Acid; Quisqualic Acid;

Mesh terms: Animals; Basal Ganglia/physiopathology; Behavior, Animal/physiology; Biomechanical Phenomena; Brain Diseases/chemically induced; Conditioning (Psychology)/physiology; Discrimination Learning/physiology; Globus Pallidus/pathology; Ibotenic Acid; Male; Oxadiazoles; Oxazoles; Parasympathetic Nervous System/physiopathology; Quisqualic Acid; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Substantia Innominata/pathology; Visual Perception/physiology;

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