Basal forebrain (BF) lesion-induced amnesia in rats is widely used as an animal model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To study the plasticity of brain function in BF-lesioned rats, we examined the effects of repeated trainings and the passage of time after the lesion on learning ability 3 weeks and 3 months after BF-lesions with ibotenic acid, using an eight-arm radial maze and passive avoidance tasks, and measured choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity. Both time and re-training played important roles in the recovery of the ability to learn, as measured with the eight-arm radial maze task, but not the passive avoidance task. In contrast, ChAT activity in the frontal cortex, which was low 3 weeks after the lesion, still low 3 months after lesion, even though the ability to learn had recovered. Recovery of the ability to learn can be attributed to undamaged cholinergic neurons, or to other neuronal systems, or to both. This animal model can be used to demonstrate the plasticity of brain function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry