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Brain Res. 1990 Feb 12;509(1):41-6.

The effect of acetylcholine depletion on behavior following traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.


Rats were injected with either saline; A-4 (40 mg/kg, i.p.), a bis tertiary amine derivative of hemicholinium-3; or A-5 (50 micrograms/kg, i.p.), a bis quaternary amine derivative of hemicholinium-3, 1 h prior to moderate fluid percussion brain injury. A variety of reflexes and responses were measured up to 60 min following injury, and body weight and several neurological measures were taken daily up to 10 days following injury. Pretreatment with either A-4 or A-5 significantly attenuated components of transient behavioral suppression, as well as more enduring deficits in body weight and beam walk and beam balance performance. A-4 administered prior to fluid percussion was found to reduce striatal, but not pontine, acetylcholine content. A-5 did not significantly reduce acetylcholine content in either area. Both A-4 and A-5 pretreatment prevented a significant increase in acetylcholine content in the cerebrospinal fluid following fluid percussion injury; however, only A-5 significantly reduced plasma acetylcholine content. These results confirm cholinergic involvement in the production of both transient and longer-lasting behavioral deficits following traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, traumatic brain injury may allow plasma constituents to gain access to the central nervous system.

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