Reports

Long-term neuropathological and neurochemical effects of nucleus basalis lesions in the rat

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Science  13 Nov 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4829, pp. 952-956
DOI: 10.1126/science.2890210

Abstract

The long-term effects of excitotoxic lesions in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis of the rat were found to mimic several neuropathological and chemical changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. Neuritic plaque-like structures, neurofibrillary changes, and neuronal atrophy or loss were observed in the frontoparietal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex 14 months after the lesions were made. Cholinergic markers in neocortex were reduced, while catecholamine and indoleamine metabolism was largely unaffected at this time. Bilateral lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis increased somatostatin and neuropeptide Y in the cortex of the rat by at least 138 and 284 percent, respectively, suggesting a functional interaction between cholinergic and peptidergic neurons that may differ from that in Alzheimer's disease.

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