Alterations of choline acetyltransferase, phosphoinositide hydrolysis, and cytoskeletal proteins in rat brain in response to colchicine administration

Krystyna Kolasa, Richard S. Jope, M. Shane Baird, Gail V.W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Colchicine, a microtubule disrupting toxin, was administered intracerebroventricularly to rats, followed by measurements of (i) the activity of choline acetyltransferase, a biochemical marker of cholinergic neurons, (ii) cytoskeletal protein concentrations, including tau, MAP-2, spectrin, and tubulin, and (iii) the activity of the second messenger-generating system, receptor-coupled phosphoinositide hydrolysis. One week after colchicine treatment there was a 60% decrease in choline acetyltransferase activity in the hippocampus, which was followed by a gradual increase to only a 29% deficit after 12 weeks. In the striatum and cerebral cortex, choline acetyltransferase activity was slightly reduced (by 13% and 19%, respectively) 1 week after colchicine treatment followed by increases to control values. The concentrations of tau and tubulin in the hippocampus were unaltered by colchicine treatment, and MAP-2 and spectrin were only slightly reduced 4 weeks after colchicine. Hippocampal phosphoinositide hydrolysis induced by norepinephrine was elevated approximately 28% 1 and 2 weeks after colchicine treatment and that induced by ibotenate was increased by 53% 2 weeks after colchicine. These results demonstrate that colchicine causes a severe depletion of choline acetyltransferase 1 week after administration. There was not a significant reduction of the concentration of any of the cytoskeletal proteins after 1 week, possibly due to the cell-selectivity of the toxic effect of colchicine, but there was a delayed, and temporary, decline of MAP-2 and spectrin concentrations. Associated with the decreased choline acetyltransferase activity after 1 week was an enhanced phosphoinositide hydrolysis in response to norepinephrine, and after 2 weeks there were enhanced responses to norepinephrine and to ibotenate. Thus, colchicine-induced toxicity results in neurotransmitter- and time-specific alterations in the activity of the phosphoinositide second messenger-generating system in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-500
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Choline acetyltransferase
  • Cholinergic degeneration
  • Colchicine
  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • Phosphoinositide hydrolysis
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Alterations of choline acetyltransferase, phosphoinositide hydrolysis, and cytoskeletal proteins in rat brain in response to colchicine administration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this