Dickson CT, Vanderwolf CH
Behav. Brain Res. 1990 Dec;41(3):215-27
The behavioral effects of combined bilateral hippocampal and amygdala ablation (previously proposed as a model of human global amnesia) were compared to those seen with central blockade of the ascending cholinergic and serotonergic projections (a possible model of human global dementia) in male hooded rats. Rats were prepared with: (a) bilateral surgical lesions of the hippocampus and amygdala; (b) pharmacological blockade of central cholinergic and serotonergic function by systemic injections of scopolamine and p-chlorophenylalanine; and (c) neurotoxic lesions of the rostrally projecting serotonergic nuclei in the brainstem using intracerebral injections of 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, later combined with scopolamine. The behavioral tests used were: an open field test, a swim-to-platform test, and a Lashley III maze. In all 3 tests, rats with either the neurotoxin lesions plus scopolamine or p-chlorophenylalanine plus scopolamine treatment showed greater impairments in comparison with controls than did the combined lesion group. These results indicate that simultaneous blockade of central serotonergic and cholinergic transmission has a greater effect on some aspects of the organization of behavior than large surgical lesions of the hippocampus and amygdala.