Neurochemical Research

, Volume 12, Issue 7, pp 613–618 | Cite as

Ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion lesions of the rat cortex result in retrograde degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons: Implications for animal models of neurodegenerative disease

  • P. H. Stephens
  • Philip Tagari
  • A. C. Cuello
Original Articles


Multiple injections of 2 nmols of cyclised ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion (ECMA), a putative cholinergic neurotoxin, were made (unilaterally) into the cortical terminal field of cholinergic neurons projecting from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) in the rat basal forebrain. After 30 days, choline acetyltransferase enzymatic activity, a marker for cholinergic function, was significantly lowered in both ipsilateral cortex and NBM, and cholinergic cell bodies in the latter reduced in cross-sectional area, a spectrum of effects characteristic of retrograde degeneration of this pathway. These results are discussed in the context of neurodegenerative diseases affecting cholinergic function.

Key Words

Cholinergic neurons neurotoxins retrograde degeneration nucleus basalis Alzheimer's disease 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Stephens
    • 1
  • Philip Tagari
    • 2
  • A. C. Cuello
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsMcGill UniversityMontreal

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