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Behav Neurosci. 1989 Dec;103(6):1234-41.

Organizational changes in cholinergic activity and enhanced visuospatial memory as a function of choline administered prenatally or postnatally or both.

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Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027.


This experiment was an examination of the effects of supplemental dietary choline chloride given prenatally (to the diet of pregnant rats) and postnatally (intubed directly into the stomachs of rat pups) on memory function and neurochemical measures of brain cholinergic activity of male albino rats when they became adults. The data demonstrate that perinatal choline supplementation causes (a) long-term facilitative effects on working and reference memory components of a 12-arm radial maze task, and (b) alternations of muscarinic receptor density as indexed by [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) binding and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of adult rats. An analysis of the relationship between these organizational changes in brain and memory function indicated that the ChAT-to-QNB ratio in the hippocampus is highly correlated with working memory errors, and this ratio in the frontal cortex is highly correlated with reference memory errors.

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