Basal forebrain neurons provide major cholinergic innervation of primate neocortex

Neurosci Lett. 1986 May 15;66(2):215-20. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(86)90193-x.


In 3 monkeys, lesions were made in the basal forebrain by microinjections of ibotenic acid into the nucleus basalis. Bilateral samples of multiple neocortical gyri were assayed for the activity of choline acetyltransferase. Compared to control hemispheres, enzyme activity was reduced up to 69% in the neocortex ipsilateral to the lesion; in addition, acetylcholinesterase staining was decreased at the lesioned site and in the ipsilateral cortex. These results support the concept that the principal cholinergic innervation of the primate neocortex is derived from axons and nerve terminals of neurons whose perikarya are located in the basal forebrain, particularly the nucleus basalis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / enzymology
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Diencephalon / cytology
  • Diencephalon / physiology*
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Telencephalon / cytology
  • Telencephalon / physiology*


  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase