The objective of the present study was to determine whether a systematic optimization of Morris water maze (mwm) testing parameters could reveal a significant role of the septohippocampal cholinergic system in spatial working memory. Young adult rats were lesioned using 192 IgG-saporin infused bilaterally into the medial septum. Lesions were near complete as measured by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity and immunohistochemistry. Behavioral testing was performed in three phases. In the first, lesioned and unlesioned rats were trained in the mwm focusing on working memory, which was tested using novel platform locations daily. In the second phase, the optimal locations were retested with increasing intertrial intervals (ITI). In the third phase, intracerebroventricular infusions of nerve growth factor (NGF) were employed to enhance cholinergic activity of the unlesioned rats and potentially further separate group performance. Neither the standard or increased ITI resulted in a consistent significant difference in spatial working memory between groups. In addition, NGF treatment also failed to induce a significant difference in behavioral performance. In conclusion, impairments in working memory as assessed by the mwm could not be revealed despite a greater than 90% loss of hippocampal ChAT and the use of optimal testing parameters and NGF treatment.
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Neuronal Survival (013212041)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Choline acetyltransferase
- Medial septum
- Morris water maze