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Time course of behavioral changes following basal forebrain cholinergic damage in rats : Environmental enrichment as a therapeutic intervention

Abstract : The present experiment was designed to study changes in behavior following immunolesioning of the basal forebrain cholinergic system. Rats were lesioned at 3 months of age by injection of the 192 IgG-saporin immunotoxin into the medial septum area and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis, and then tested at different times after surgery (from days 7-500) on a range of behavioral tests, administered in the following order: a nonmatching-to-position task in a T-maze, an object-recognition task, an object-location task, and an open-field activity test. The results revealed a two-way interaction between post-lesion behavioral testing time and memory demands. In the nonmatching-to-position task, memory deficits appeared quite rapidly after surgery, i.e. at a post-lesion time as short as 1 month. In the object-recognition test, memory impairments appeared only when rats were tested at late post-lesion times (starting at 15 months), whereas in the object-location task deficits were apparent at early post-lesion times (starting from 2 months). Taking the post-operative time into account, one can hypothesize that at the shortest post-lesion times, behavioral deficits are due to pure cholinergic depletion, while as the post-lesion time increases, one can speculate the occurrence of a non-cholinergic system decompensation process and/or a gradual degeneration process affecting other neuronal systems that may contribute to mnemonic impairments. Interestingly, when middle-aged rats were housed in an enriched environment, 192 IgG-saporin-lesioned rats performed better than standard-lesioned rats on both the non matching-to-position and the object-recognition tests. Environment enrichment had significant beneficial effects in 192 IgG-saporin-lesioned rats, suggesting that lesioned rats at,late post-lesion times (over 1 year) still have appreciable cognitive plasticity.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 1, 2020 - 3:31:59 AM
Last modification on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 7:48:02 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02683572, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 8603
  • WOS : 000228228300002



V. Paban, M. Jaffard, Christophe C. Chambon, M. Malafosse, B. Alescio-Lautier. Time course of behavioral changes following basal forebrain cholinergic damage in rats : Environmental enrichment as a therapeutic intervention. Neuroscience, Elsevier - International Brain Research Organization, 2005, 132 (1), pp.13-32. ⟨hal-02683572⟩



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