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2010 | 70 | 1 |
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Lesion and stimulation of the ventral tegmental area increases cholinergic activity in the rat brain

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Our previous study indicated that unilateral lesion of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) facilitates contralateral VTA stimulation-induced feeding or exploration. The present study was aimed to determine the possible role of the central cholinergic systems in this effect. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) was used to measure the number of active cholinergic neurons in their major groups (Ch1–Ch6) and in striatal regions in rats subjected to unilateral electrocoagulation and contralateral VTA electrical stimulation (L/S group) in comparison to the unilaterally stimulated (S), unilaterally lesioned (L) and sham (Sh) groups. The study showed that unilateral VTA lesion increased (as compared to Sh group) the number of ChAT+ neurons in the Ch1–Ch3 and unilateral VTA stimulation increased the number in the Ch1 and the ventral pallidum only. The most sensitive to these changes in the mesolimbic system were cholinergic structures providing hippocampal afferentation. Surprisingly, there was no significant increase in the number of ChAT+ neurons in the L/S group. The obtained results did not confirm any evident influence of the cholinergic systems on the VTA lesion-induced facilitation of the behavioral response evoked by contralateral VTA stimulation.
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  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Department of Animal Physiology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
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