Chronic, oral aluminum administration to rats: Cognition and cholinergic parameters

Donald J. Connor, Richard S. Jope, Lindy E. Harrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Administration of aluminum sulfate in the drinking water of male Sprague-Dawley rats for thirty days resulted in an impairment of both consolidation and extinction of a passive avoidance task. No impairment of performance was observed on an active avoidance task, radial arm maze or open field activity measure. Biochemical analysis indicated a slight (<10%) but significant increase in hippocampal muscarinic receptor number after aluminum treatment as determined by tritiated quinuclidinyl benzilate (3H-QNB) binding. No changes were found in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity, phosphoinositide hydrolysis, 3H-QNB binding in the cortex or tritiated pirenzepine (3H-PZ) binding in the hippocampus or cortex. These results indicate that cholinergic degeneration was not the cause of the observed cognitive impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Active avoidance
  • Aluminum
  • Behavior
  • Muscarinic
  • Neurotoxin
  • Passive avoidance
  • Phosphoinositides
  • Radial arm maze
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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