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The present research aimed to study the effects of selective immunolesions of cholinergic or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) on memory function as well as cholinergic activity and the level of expression of glutamatergic [NR2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate(NMDA)] receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus of behaviorally characterized rats. In behavioral experiments, working memory was assessed by a spatial alternation testing procedure in a plus-maze, and acquisition and retention of spatial memory was evaluated in a Morris water maze. The rats were divided into three groups: the NBM cholinergic, GABAergic immunolesioned groups and the normal control group. Cholin acetyltransferase or parvalbumin staining of the NBM and acetylcholinesterase staining of the mPFC and hippocampal sections were performed to visualize the effects of immunotoxins. The electrophoresis and immunoblotting were run to evaluate the effect of NBM lesions on the amount of the NR2B subunit of NMDA receptors. The results indicate that the immunolesion of cholinergic NBM neurons impair spatial working memory, as well as long-term spatial memory which is accompanied by significant changes in glutamatergic (the NR2B subunit of NMDA receptor) and cholinergic markers in the mPFC, whereas immunolesion of GABAergic NBM neurons does not affect long-term spatial memory, it does though cause the impairment of working memory with a reduction of the NMDA NR2B receptor signaling in the mPFC. The present results demonstrate that the cholinergic and GABAergic NBM cell groups play diverse and complementary roles and are integrated in distinct NBM-mPFC networks that may play different roles in mPFC memory function. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Gela V Beselia, Nino C Chkhikvishvili, Maia A Burjanadze, Revaz O Solomonia, Maia Meparishvili, Barbare Nozadze, Sulkhan Asanidze, Aleksandre Nemsitsveridze, Manana G Dashniani. Modulation of prefrontal cortex function by basal forebrain cholinergic and GABAergic neurons at the behavioral and molecular level. Neuroreport. 2021 Jul 07;32(10):882-887

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PMID: 34029291

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