Effects of scopolamine and physostigmine on recognition memory in monkeys with ibotenic-acid lesions of the nucleus basalis of Meynert

T. G. Aigner, S. J. Mitchell, J. P. Aggleton, M. R. DeLong, R. G. Struble, D. L. Price, G. L. Wenk, M. Mishkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Monkeys with bilateral ibotenic-acid lesions of the nucleus basalis of Meynert, an area rich in cholinergic neurons that innervate the cerebral cortex, were compared with unoperated control monkeys on a recognition memory task. Although animals with large lesions had substantial reductions of cortical choline acetyltransferase activity, none showed impairment in the task. Lesion effects were observed, however, when performance was assessed following administration of a muscarinic receptor blocker (scopolamine) or a cholinesterase inhibitor (physostigmine). Although scopolamine produced dose-related impairments in both groups, this effect was greater in the experimental animals. Conversely, whereas physostigmine produced modest improvement in performance in the control group, no such improvement was observed in the experimental animals. The altered sensitivity to the mnemonic effects of cholinergic agents in the experimental group suggests that the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis of Meynert contribute to recognition memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1987

Keywords

  • Cholinergic system
  • Drug effects
  • Ibotenic acid
  • Memory
  • Monkeys
  • Nucleus basalis of Meynert

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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