Ts65Dn mice, a model for Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease, have a spontaneous age-related reduction of cholinergic markers in medial septal neurons, hippocampal abnormalities, and an age-related learning deficit in a task that requires an intact hippocampus. Others have shown that when normal rodents explored an open field with objects, they detected the displacement of some of the familiar objects within the arena (spatial novelty) and the presence of a new object (object novelty); whereas rodents with hippocampal, fornix, or neonatal selective basal forebrain cholinergic lesions were impaired in detecting spatial, but not object, novelty. In this study, both control and Ts65Dn mice responded to both the spatial and object changes. This unexpected finding could have several explanations. One may be related to recent studies that suggest that only rats with neonatal, but not adult, basal forebrain cholinergic 192 IgG-saporin lesions are impaired in reacting to spatial novelty.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.