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Neurobiol Aging. 1984 Spring;5(1):29-34.

Effects of chronic manipulations of dietary choline on locomotor activity, discrimination learning and cortical acetylcholine release in aging adult Fisher 344 rats.


Dietary levels of choline have been shown to influence central cholinergic neurotransmission. To further examine the behavioral and neurochemical effects of dietary choline, adult Fisher 344 rats were maintained on choline deficient (n = 6), enriched (n = 6) or usual lab chow (n = 6) diets for 38 weeks. During 14 weeks of free access to these diets, controls gained little weight whereas the deficient group increased and the enriched group decreased. For the remaining 24 weeks the weights of all groups were maintained at 90% of their original level. Locomotor activity did not differ significantly in a 90 min session but during a 20 hr session controls were most active, deficient rats least with the enriched group in between. The groups showed no significant differences in the acquisition or reversal of a discrimination. Spontaneous and evoked cortical release of acetylcholine was enhanced in the enriched group and decreased in the deficient group relative to controls. These data suggest that chronic manipulations of dietary choline may significantly influence locomotor and neurochemical activity but not discrimination learning.

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