Pilocarpine-induced seizures produce alterations on choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase activities and deficit memory in rats

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 May;30(4):569-75. doi: 10.1007/s10571-009-9481-4. Epub 2009 Nov 26.


In the present study, we investigated the effect of seizures on rat performance in the Morris water maze task, as well as on choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities in rat hippocampus. Wistar rats were treated with 0.9% saline (i.p., control group) and pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, i.p., pilocarpine group). After the treatments all groups were observed for 1 h. The changes on reference and working spatial memory caused by pilocarpine administration were observed in seized rats. The ChAT and AChE activities were measured using spectrophotometric methods and the results compared to values obtained from saline animals. Its activities were also determined after behavioral task. Results showed that seizures alter reference memory when compared to saline-treated animals. In the working memory task, we observed a significant day's effect with significant differences between control and pilocarpine-induced seizures. In pilocarpine group, it was observed a significant decreased in ChAT and AChE activities, when compared to control group. Our findings suggest that seizures caused cognitive dysfunction and a decrease of ChAT and AChE activities that might be related, at least in part, to the neurological problems presented by seizures induced by pilocarpine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Pilocarpine / pharmacology*
  • Pilocarpine / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seizures / chemically induced*
  • Seizures / physiopathology*


  • Pilocarpine
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • Acetylcholinesterase