Burk JA, Herzog CD, Porter MC, Mahoney J, Bruno JP, Sarter M (2001) Interactions between partial cortical cholinergic deafferentation and aging on sustained attention performance in rats. Neuroscience 2001 Abstracts 202.5. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Summary: Previous studies have provided only limited support for the idea that aging alone impairs the functions of basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic neurons. Conversely, aging has been hypothesized to exacerbate the functional consequences of prior insult to, or degenerative processes in, the basal forebrain cholinergic system. The present study assessed the effects of aging on the sustained attention performance of rats with moderate lesion-induced loss of cortical cholinergic inputs. Previous studies on the effects of extensive (> 70 %) cortical cholinergic deafferentation indicated that the integrity of this system is necessary for the animals’ ability to detect rare and unpredictable visual signals. In the present longitudinal experiment, moderate (< 50 %) 192 IgG-saporin-induced loss of cortical cholinergic inputs, produced in well-trained, 16 month-old rats, did not – as was intended - immediately affect their attentional performance. Animals continued to undergo attentional performance training for the remainder of their lives. At the age of 31 months, impairments in performance began to emerge in lesioned animals. Compared to their sham-lesioned counterparts, lesioned animals exhibited a steeper decrement in their ability to detect hits in the course of a test session. At this age, the performance of sham-lesioned animals did not differ from their earlier performance prior to and immediately after the lesion. These results support the general hypothesis that aging serves to exacerbate the effects of pre-existing degeneration of the basal forebrain cholinergic system.
Related Products: 192-IgG-SAP (Cat. #IT-01)