Cholinergic hypofunction impairs memory acquisition possibly through hippocampal Arc and BDNF downregulation
activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein
brain-derived neurotrophic factor
muscarinic receptor
Morris water maze
Issue Date: 
Gil-Bea FJ, Solas M, Mateos L, Winblad B, Ramirez MJ, Cedazo-Minguez A. Cholinergic hypofunction impairs memory acquisition possibly through hippocampal Arc and BDNF downregulation. Hippocampus 2011 Jun 2;21(9):999-1009.
Recent evidence suggests that activity-regulated cytoskeleton associated protein (Arc) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are key players in the cellular mechanisms that trigger synaptic changes and memory consolidation. Cholinergic deafferentiation of hippocampus has been largely shown to induce memory impairments in different behavioral tasks. However, the mechanisms underlying cholinergic-induced memory formation remain unclear. The role of hippocampal cholinergic denervation on synaptic consolidation and further acquisition of spatial memory was hereby examined by analyzing Arc and BDNF in standard environment and after behavioral training in Morris water maze (MWM). In standard environment, a cholinergic hypofunction induced by the toxin (192) IgG-saporin led to significant decreases in Arc protein and mRNA as well as in BDNF. Lesioned rats subjected to MWM showed a worse acquisition performance that was reversed after galantamine treatment. Recovery of memory acquisition was accompanied by normalization of Arc and BDNF levels in hippocampus. Stimulation of muscarinic, but not nicotinic receptors, in hippocampal primary neurons caused a rapid induction of Arc production. These data suggest that cholinergic denervation of hippocampus leads to deficits in muscarinic-dependent induction of Arc and a subsequent impairment of spatial memory acquisition. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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