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Behav Neurosci. 1995 Aug;109(4):714-22.

Selective immunotoxic lesions of basal forebrain cholinergic cells: effects on learning and memory in rats.

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Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


Male Long-Evans rats were given injections of either 192 IgG-saporin, an apparently selective toxin for basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (LES), or vehicle (CON) into either the medial septum and vertical limb of the diagonal band (MS/VDB) or bilaterally into the nucleus basalis magnocellularis and substantia innominata (nBM/SI). Place discrimination in the Morris water maze assessed spatial learning, and a trial-unique matching-to-place task in the water maze assessed memory for place information over varying delays. MS/VDB-LES and nBM/SI-LES rats were not impaired relative to CON rats in acquisition of the place discrimination, but were mildly impaired relative to CON rats in performance of the memory task even at the shortest delay, suggesting a nonmnemonic deficit. These results contrast with effects of less selective lesions, which have been taken to support a role for basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in learning and memory.

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