Perinatal 192 igG-saporin as neuroteratogen

Laura Petrosini, Paola De Bartolo, Debora Cutuli, Francesca Gelfo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin selectively destroys basal forebrain cholinergic neurons that provide cholinergic input to the hippocampus, entire cortical mantle, amygdala, and olfactory bulb. Perinatal immunotoxic lesions by 192 IgG-saporin induce long-lasting cholinergic depletion mimicking a number of developmental disorders reported in humans. The perinatal injection of 192 IgG-saporin induces several brain modifications, which are observed in neocortex and hippocampus at short and long term. These plastic changes involve both structural (alterations in brain volume, neuronal morphology, and neurogenesis) and molecular (modulations of the levels of neurotransmitters and other proteins related to neurodegeneration) levels. Moreover, the perinatal injection of 192 IgG-saporin may interact with the brain plastic capacity to react to other injuries. Perinatal 192 IgG-saporin lesions allowed investigating the role of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in modulating behavioral functions in developing as well as adult rats. After perinatal cholinergic depletion, rats display reduced ultrasonic vocalizations as neonates, learning and exploratory deficits as juveniles, altered discriminative abilities, impulsive and perseverative behaviors, and memory deficits as adults. Overall, these findings underline the importance of cholinergic system integrity for the development of specific structural and functional features.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)18663370
ISSN (Electronic)18663389


  • 192 IgG-saporin
  • Basal forebrain cholinergic system
  • Cognitive functions
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Perinatal lesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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