: Severe loss of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain nuclei and of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus are almost invariant histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. However, the role of these transmitter systems in the spectrum of cognitive dysfunctions typical of the disease is still unclear, nor is it yet fully known whether do these systems interact and how. Selective ablation of either neuronal population, or both of them combined, were produced in developing animals to investigate their respective and/or concurrent contribution to spatial learning and memory, known to be severely affected in Alzheimer's disease. Single or double lesions were created in 4-8 days old rats by bilateral intraventricular infusion of two selective immunotoxins. At about 16 weeks of age, the animals underwent behavioural tests specifically designed to evaluate reference and working memory abilities, and their brains were later processed for quantitative morphological analyses. Animals with lesion to either system alone showed no significant reference memory deficits which, by contrast, were evident in the double-lesioned subjects. These animals could not adopt an efficient search strategy on a given testing day and were unable to transfer all relevant information to the next day, suggesting deficits in acquisition, storage and/or recall. Only animals with single noradrenergic or double lesions exhibited impaired working memory. Interestingly, ablation of cholinergic afferents to the hippocampus stimulated a robust ingrowth of thick fibres from the superior cervical ganglion which, however, did not appear to have contributed to the observed cognitive performance. Ascending cholinergic and noradrenergic afferents to the hippocampus and neocortex appear to be primarily involved in the regulation of different cognitive domains, but they may functionally interact, mainly at hippocampal level, for sustaining normal learning and memory. Moreover, these transmitter systems are likely to compensate for each other, but apparently not via ingrowing sympathetic fibres.

Acetylcholine and noradrenaline differentially regulate hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory

Gulino, Rosario
Co-primo
;
Leanza, Giampiero
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Severe loss of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain nuclei and of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus are almost invariant histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. However, the role of these transmitter systems in the spectrum of cognitive dysfunctions typical of the disease is still unclear, nor is it yet fully known whether do these systems interact and how. Selective ablation of either neuronal population, or both of them combined, were produced in developing animals to investigate their respective and/or concurrent contribution to spatial learning and memory, known to be severely affected in Alzheimer's disease. Single or double lesions were created in 4-8 days old rats by bilateral intraventricular infusion of two selective immunotoxins. At about 16 weeks of age, the animals underwent behavioural tests specifically designed to evaluate reference and working memory abilities, and their brains were later processed for quantitative morphological analyses. Animals with lesion to either system alone showed no significant reference memory deficits which, by contrast, were evident in the double-lesioned subjects. These animals could not adopt an efficient search strategy on a given testing day and were unable to transfer all relevant information to the next day, suggesting deficits in acquisition, storage and/or recall. Only animals with single noradrenergic or double lesions exhibited impaired working memory. Interestingly, ablation of cholinergic afferents to the hippocampus stimulated a robust ingrowth of thick fibres from the superior cervical ganglion which, however, did not appear to have contributed to the observed cognitive performance. Ascending cholinergic and noradrenergic afferents to the hippocampus and neocortex appear to be primarily involved in the regulation of different cognitive domains, but they may functionally interact, mainly at hippocampal level, for sustaining normal learning and memory. Moreover, these transmitter systems are likely to compensate for each other, but apparently not via ingrowing sympathetic fibres.
2023
acetylcholine
immunotoxin
noradrenaline
reference and working memory
sympathetic sprouting
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/552065
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