Accumulating evidence supports the hypothesis that beta-amyloid (PA) plays a role in the degeneration of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain. Degeneration of the basal forebrain cholinergic system, which is implicated in learning and memory function, is a characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. It has been previously reported that injections of PA(25-35) into the medial septal area (MSA) of rats produce a hypofunction of the cholinergic system and a decrease in ACh release in the hippocampus. Investigators report mixed results in the development of behavioral spatialleaming impairments following single injections of pA. Recent studies suggest that multiple injections or chronic administration of pA results in more consistent spatial learning impairments. One such study recently presented at a neuroscience symposium in Chicago further suggests behavioral deficits in spatialleaming ability as a result of a more extensive lesion following the administration of multiple injections of PA(25-35) into the medial septal area. This study replicates and extends this experiment. Injections of 5nm of PA(25-35) were administered into three different levels of the MSA in the male rat and following these injections their spatial learning ability was tested on the Morris water maze and radial arm maze. No significant spatial learning deficits were noted in animals receiving injections of PA(25-35) when compared to controls.



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