Cholinergic function in the hippocampus of juvenile rats chronically deprived of NGF

E. Avignone, M. Molnar, N. Berretta, F. Casamenti, C. Prosperi, F. Ruberti, A. Cattaneo, E. Cherubini

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Intracellular and extracellular recordings were used to assess the cholinergic function in hippocampal slices from juvenile rats chronically deprived of NGF. NGF was neutralised by implanting into the lateral ventricle of postnatal (P) day 2 rats, αD11 hybridoma cells (secreting monoclonal antibodies specific for NGF). Parental myeloma cells (P3U) were used as controls. At P15-P18, slow cholinergic EPSPs could be elicited in cells from both αD11-and P3U-treated rats. Howevers, slices from αD11-implanted rats exhibited a 50% reduction in acetylcholine release following stimulation of cholinergic fibres. This effect was associated to a significant increase in the sensitivity of pyramidal cells to carbachol, as suggested by the shift to the left of the dose/response curve. This may reflect a compensatory mechanism for the reduced efficacy of cholinergic innervation in NGF-deprived rats. In both αD11- and P3U-treated rats, carbachol was able to induce a similar concentration-dependent depression of the field EPSPs, evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, suggesting that presynaptic muscarinic receptors were not altered. In rats implanted with αD11 cells at P15 and sacrificed at P21-P24, no changes in the sensitivity to carbachol were found. At this developmental stage, no differences in acetylcholine release were observed between P3U- and αD11-treated animals. These results provide physiological evidence for a regulatory role of NGF in the cholinergic function of the hippocampus during postnatal development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 8 1998


  • Acetylcholine
  • Carbachol
  • Development
  • NGF antibodies
  • Slow EPSP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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