Loss of Cortical Acetylcholine Enhances Amphetamine-Induced Locomotor Activity

Neuroscience. 2004;127(3):579-91. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.05.038.


Cholinergic disturbances have been implicated in schizophrenia. In a recent study we found that intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) delivery of the immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin, that effectively destroys cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain to hippocampus and cortex cerebri, leads to a marked facilitation of amphetamine-induced locomotor activity in adult rats. The aim of the present experiments was to evaluate the contribution of the septohippocampal versus the basalocortical cholinergic projections for the amphetamine hyper-response seen previously in i.c.v. 192 IgG-saporin injected rats. Since i.c.v. delivery of 192 IgG-saporin also destroys a population of Purkinje neurons in cerebellum, this cell loss needs to be taken into consideration as well. Cortex cerebri and hippocampus were selectively cholinergically denervated by intraparenchymal injections of 192 IgG-saporin into nucleus basalis magnocellularis and the medial septum/diagonal band of Broca, respectively. Selective loss of Purkinje cells in cerebellum was achieved by i.c.v. delivery of OX7 saporin. Possible effects of these three lesions on spontaneous and amphetamine-induced locomotor activity were assessed in locomotor activity cages. We find that selective cholinergic denervation of cortex cerebri, but not denervation of hippocampus or damage to cerebellum can elicit dopaminergic hyper-reactivity similar to that seen in previous i.c.v. 192 IgG-saporin experiments. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that disturbances of cholinergic neurotransmission in cortex cerebri may be causally involved in forms of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Cholinergic Fibers / pathology
  • Cholinergic Fibers / physiology
  • Denervation
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Immunotoxins
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • Neural Pathways
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Saporins
  • Septum of Brain / cytology
  • Septum of Brain / physiology


  • 192 IgG-saporin
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Immunotoxins
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Amphetamine
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • Saporins
  • Acetylcholine