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Loss of medial prefrontal cortical cholinergic projections increases preference for an immediately available reward in a delay discounting task.

Burk JA, Yonezaki K (2013) Loss of medial prefrontal cortical cholinergic projections increases preference for an immediately available reward in a delay discounting task. Neuroscience 2013 Abstracts 288.02. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Summary: Attentional control is thought to regulate numerous processes, including impulsive choices. The cholinergic projections to the medial prefrontal cortex are thought to be part of a distributed neural circuit that maintains attentional control. In the present experiment, male FBNF1 hybrid rats were trained in a delay discounting task that involved a choice between a small, immediately available reward and a larger reward. The larger reward was also immediately available at the beginning of the test session and then the delay to receive this reward was progressively increased within a session (0-40 s). After reaching stable performance levels, rats then either received infusions of the cholinergic immunotoxin, 192IgG-saporin, or vehicle into the medial prefrontal cortex. After recovering from surgery, rats were tested in the same delay discounting task that had been trained prior to surgery. Relative to sham-lesioned animals, rats with a loss of the cholinergic projections to the medial prefrontal cortex exhibited an increased preference for selecting the smaller, immediate reward. Subsequent administration of nicotine (0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mg/kg, ip) did not substantially alter the effects of the lesion on delay discounting performance. The present results suggest that medial prefrontal cortical cholinergic projections contribute to choice behavior based upon delay to reward access and reward magnitude. Moreover, these results are consistent with the idea that disruption of attentional control can increase impulsive choices.

Related Products: 192-IgG-SAP (Cat. #IT-01)