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Dev Psychobiol. 1988 May;21(4):339-53.

Pre- and postnatal choline supplementation produces long-term facilitation of spatial memory.

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


Although research has demonstrated that short-term improvement in memory function of adult rats can occur when the availability of precursors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is increased, little is known about whether memory function of adult rats can be permanently altered by precursor supplementation during early development. In the present study, male albino rats were exposed to choline chloride supplementation both prenatally (through the diet of pregnant rats) and postnatally (subcutaneous injections). At 60 days of age rats were tested on a 12- and 18-arm radial maze task. Results indicated that compared to control littermates, perinatal choline-treated rats showed more accurate performance on both working and reference memory components of the task. This performance difference was apparent on the first block of sessions and continued throughout training. Further analysis revealed that the difference between choline and control rats is not due to use of differential response or cue-use strategies. Instead, it appears that choline induced performance differences are due to long-term enhancement of spatial memory capacity and precision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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