Maness EBL, Leong CS, Burk JA (2016) Effects of N-desmethylclozapine on attentional performance following loss of basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic inputs. Neuroscience 2016 Abstracts 833.15 / HHH34. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Summary: Corticopetal cholinergic neurons play a vital role in attentional processing, and dysregulation of this system contributes to central nervous system disorders whose main attributes include an inability to engage in sustained attention, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The cholinergic muscarinic-1 (M1) receptor is known to be necessary for normal attentional processing. In general, there has been a trend towards supporting drugs that provide allosteric agonism of cholinergic receptors as an approach that may yield greater benefits than drugs that act at orthosteric receptor sites. There exists contention in the literature regarding the action of N-desmethylclozapine (NDMC), a partial M1-preferring agonist, that is thought to act at an allosteric site on the M1 receptor. The goal of the present experiment is to further evaluate NDMC’s activity at these sites in a lesion model of cholinergic dysfunction using an operant task assessing attentional capacity. After training in an attention-demanding task requiring differentiation between signal trials (500, 100, and 25ms illumination of a central panel light) and non-signal trials (no light illumination), Sprague Dawley rats received intrabasalis infusions of either saline or the cholinergic neurotoxin 192 IgG-saporin, and attentional performance was later measured following intracerebroventricular infusions of NDMC. In general, NDMC impaired attentional performance, particularly for lesioned animals. These findings suggest that NDMC may functionally decrease acetylcholine stimulation of M1 receptors or that the actions of NDMC at other receptor sites disrupt any beneficial effects of NDMC at the M1 receptor.
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