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Effects of septohippocampal cholinergic deafferentation on attention and learning

Sarter MF, Draut A, Herzog CD, Bruno JP (2002) Effects of septohippocampal cholinergic deafferentation on attention and learning. Neuroscience 2002 Abstracts 674.8. Society for Neuroscience, Orlando, FL.

Summary: In contrast to the extensively studied attentional functions mediated via basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic projections, the role of septohippocampal cholinergic projections in attention and memory have remained poorly understood. For example, selective lesions of this system have limited, if any, effects on spatial memory performance. The present experiment initially tested the effects of intraseptal injections of the cholinergic neurotoxin 192-IgG saporin (SAP) on the performance of rats in an operant procedure designed to assess sustained attention. Despite almost complete hippocampal cholinergic deafferentation, the lesioned animals’ attentional performance remained identical to that of controls. Task parameter manipulations designed to further increase the demands on attentional processing also failed to reveal an effect of the lesions. However, lesioned animals were superior in acquiring a version of this task in which the propositional rules of the task were reversed. Lesioned rats achieved >65% hits after 14 training sessions, while intact rats did not reach this level of performance after 50 sessions of training. As the acquisition of the reversal of such extensively practiced response rules suffers from interference from the rather automatic processing of the original rules, loss of hippocampal cholinergic inputs may have reduced the interference that resulted from the processing of the original rules. Thus, hippocampal cholinergic inputs are speculated to modulate, but not to be necessary for, the recall of propositional rules. Collectively, the available data completely dissociate the functions of septo-hippocampal and corticopetal cholinergic projections.

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

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