Deficits in cholinergic function have been documented in a variety of brain disorders including Alzheimer's Disease and, to a lesser extent, in normal ageing. In the present article, we have reviewed our recent findings on the effects of the loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons on the functional properties of the septohippocampal pathway. In vivo and ex vivo investigations were performed in rats following basal forebrain cholinergic lesion with the specific immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin. Our results suggest a significant contribution of cholinergic neurons in the rhythmically bursting activity recorded within the medial septum. In addition, they give evidence that acetylcholine may tonically decrease the glutamatergic synaptic responses in the hippocampus whereas the GABAergic mediated inhibitory potentials are not affected. The possible contribution of these cholinergic mechanisms in the age-related functional alterations of the septohippocampal activity is discussed.