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Alterations in gene expression following cortical cholinergic denervation in rats

Savage ST, Olson L, Mattsson A (2011) Alterations in gene expression following cortical cholinergic denervation in rats. Neuroscience 2011 Abstracts 790.01. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.

Summary: Alterations in cholinergic signaling in the brain have been implicated as a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Altered function and expression of both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors have been reported in cortical and subcortical regions in post-mortem schizophrenic brains. Pharmacologically, dopamine-releasing compounds, such as amphetamine, can induce the psychotic symptoms in healthy volunteers and exacerbate the symptoms in schizophrenics. Furthermore, the NMDA receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) induces both negative symptoms (such as social withdrawal) and cognitive deficits similar to those exhibited in schizophrenics. We have previously shown that cholinergic denervation of cortex cerebri by stereotaxic infusion of the immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (nbm) in adult rats leads to an enhanced sensitivity to both amphetamine and PCP. The enhanced sensitivity to amphetamine, shown by a potentiated dopamine release in nucleus accumbens, along with a marked increase in locomotor activity in response to both amphetamine and PCP, suggested that the disruption of cortical cholinergic activity can lead to disturbances of glutamatergic and dopaminergic transmission. Furthermore, bilateral lesioning of nbm led to a decrease in active social interaction, as well as, impairment after an acute PCP challenge in a cognitive task (novel object recognition). To further evaluate the consequences of cortical cholinergic denervation, we are analyzing the possible changes in mRNA expression levels of selected genes in rats with unilateral removal of the cortical cholinergic innervation by 192 IgG-saporin injections into nbm following acute PCP administration. Our data indicate that the induction of c-fos mRNA expression in cortex in response to PCP administration is markedly reduced in cholinergically denervated animals as compared to controls. Other genes are under investigation to elucidate the interplay between the cholinergic, dopaminergic, and glutamatergic systems.

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

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