Purpose: Reduced brain glucose metabolism and basal forebrain cholinergic neuron degeneration are common features of Alzheimer’s disease and have been correlated with memory function. Although regions representing glucose hypometabolism in patients with Alzheimer’s disease are targets of cholinergic basal forebrain neurons, the interaction between cholinergic denervation and glucose hypometabolism is still unclear. The aim of the present study was to evaluate glucose metabolism changes caused by cholinergic deficits. Materials and Methods: We lesioned basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in rats using 192 immunoglobulin G-saporin. After 3 weeks, lesioned animals underwent water maze testing or were analyzed by 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Results: During water maze probe testing, performance of the lesioned group decreased with respect to time spent in the target quadrant and platform zone. Cingulate cortex glucose metabolism in the lesioned group decreased, compared with the normal group. Additionally, acetylcholinesterase activity and glutamate decarboxylase 65/67 expression declined in the cingulate cortex. Conclusion: Our results reveal that spatial memory impairment in animals with selective basal forebrain cholinergic neuron damage is associated with a functional decline in the GABAergic and cholinergic system associated with cingulate cortex glucose hypometabolism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes