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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 1998 May;69(3):241-57.

The effects of muscarinic cholinergic receptor blockade in the rat anterior cingulate and Prelimbic/Infralimbic cortices on spatial working memory.

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Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112, USA.


Previous findings indicate that cholinergic input to the medial prefrontal cortex may modulate mnemonic processes. The present experiment determined whether blockade of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in the rodent anterior cingulate and prelimbic/infralimbic cortices impairs spatial working memory. In a 12-arm radial maze, a working memory for spatial locations task was employed using a continuous recognition go/no-go procedure. Rats were allowed to enter 12 arms for a reinforcement. Of the 12 arm presentations, 3 or 4 arms were presented for a second time in a session that did not contain a reinforcement. The number of trials between the first and second presentations of an arm ranged from 0 to 6 (lags). Infusions of scopolamine (1, 5, and 10 microgram), a muscarinic cholinergic antagonist, into the prelimbic/infralimbic cortices, but not the anterior cingulate cortex, significantly impaired spatial working memory in a lag- and dose-dependent manner. The deficit induced by scopolamine (10 microgram) was attenuated by concomitant intraprelimbic/infralimbic injections of oxotremorine (2 microgram) a muscarinic cholinergic agonist. A separate group of rats was tested on a successive spatial discrimination task. Injections of scopolamine (1, 5, and 10 microgram) into the prelimbic/infralimbic cortices did not impair performance on the spatial discrimination task. These findings suggest that muscarinic transmission in the prelimbic/infralimbic cortices, but not the anterior cingulate cortex, is important for spatial working memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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