Cholinergic Pathways to the Cerebral Cortex in Rats

  • H. Wenk
  • V. Bigl
  • U. Meyer
  • D. Biesold
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 25)


Recent experiments from several laboratories revealed that magnocellular nuclei of the substantia innominata (S.I.) of the basal forebrain of primates and rats show a direct and widespread projection towards the ipsilateral cerebral cortex (2,6). The large multipolar neurons of this area are usually referred to as the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM). Using a combined horseradish peroxidase (HRP) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) method those cells which project to the cortex were found to stain heavily for AChE (14). In addition, the basal nuclei are rich in choline acetyl- transferase (CAT)(16,17) and the NBM neurons are characterized as “cholinergic” by the pharmacohistochemical technique for AChE (Lehmann and Fibiger, this volume; and 18). This evidence, together with recent results using different lesion techniques suggests that magnocellular neurons of the forebrain represent the main, if not the only, origin for the cortical cholinergic projection (3,15,20,21,24).


Olfactory Bulb AChE Activity Basal Forebrain Outer Plexiform Layer Cholinergic Pathway 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Wenk
    • 1
    • 2
  • V. Bigl
    • 1
    • 2
  • U. Meyer
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Biesold
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of AnatomyHumboldt University Medical SchoolBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain ResearchKarl Marx UniversityLeipzigGermany

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