Cortical Cholinergic Hypofunction and Behavioral Impairment Produced by Basal Forebrain Lesions in the Rat

  • B. E. Lerer
  • E. Gamzu
  • E. Friedman
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


The magnocellular nuclei of the basal forebrain (MNBF) provide extensive cholinergic innervation to fronto-parietal cortex (5, 13, 27, 28). In the rat, these large cells comprise the homologue of the human nucleus basalis of Meynert, which has been implicated in the cholinergic hypothesis of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease (AD, for a review see 3). AD patients suffer severe and progressive declines in cognitive and behavioral functions that are correlated with pronounced deficits in neocortical choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase activities (23). This suggests that cortical cholinergic dysfunction may underlie certain learning and memory deficits in AD. The present communication is part of an ongoing effort aimed at investigating the role of the MNBF-cortical pathway in memory and developing a useful animal model of AD (8, 18).


Passive Avoidance Kainic Acid Behavioral Deficit Passive Avoidance Task ChAT Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. E. Lerer
    • 1
  • E. Gamzu
    • 2
  • E. Friedman
    • 3
  1. 1.CNS Diseases Research DuPont PharmaceuticalsWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Pharmacology IHoffman-LaRoche Inc.NutleyUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Psychiatry and PharmacologyNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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