Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intraventricular AF64A administration in rats

Leonard E. Jarrard, G. Jean Kant, James L. Meyerhoff, Aharon Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ethylcholine aziridinium ion solution (AF64A), a putative specific cholinergic neurotoxin, was injected bilaterally into the lateral ventricles of rats. Following administration of 3 or 6 nmoles of AF64A, drinking and eating were depressed but returned to normal levels after several days; increased activity in the 6 nmole group persisted throughout the 21 days of observations. Performance on complex place and cue tasks indicated that injected animals were impaired in reference memory only on the place task, but working memory was impaired on both tasks. Neurochemical measurements in a separate group of animals one week after AF64A injections found large depletions of acetylcholine in hippocampus and corpus striatum, but not depletions of norepinephrine (hippocampus) or dopamine (striatum). Histological examination of the injection site revealed extensive damage to the fimbria-fornix similar to that seen after electrolytic lesions. Since the behavioral and neurochemical changes are similar to those previously found following fimbria-fornix lesions, it is concluded that the present results are possibly due to non-specific lesion effects of the neurotoxin rather than a specific effect on cholinergic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine depletion
  • AF64A
  • Ethylcholine aziridinium ion
  • Fimbria-fornix lesion
  • Memory deficits
  • Radial arm maze


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