Dose- and time-dependent hippocampal cholinergic lesions induced by ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion: Effects of nerve growth factor, GM1 ganglioside, and vitamin E

Gail V.W. Johnson, Michele Simonato, Richard S. Jope

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19 Scopus citations


Ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion (ECMA) was infused intracerebroventricularly (icv) to rats followed by measurement of two markers of presynaptic cholinergic neurons, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity and high affinity choline transport (HAChT), in the hippocampus and cortex. Bilateral icv administration of 1, 2, or 3 nmol of ECMA per side produced dose-dependent reductions in each marker in the hippocampus, but not in the cortex, one week after treatment. Reductions of 52% and 46% for ChAT activity and HAChT, respectively, were produced in the hippocampus by 3 nmol ECMA. Measurement of these two markers at different times after icv infusion of 2 nmol ECMA/ventricle revealed that the activity of ChAT was reduced to a greater extent than was HAChT in the hippocampus 1 day and 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks after treatment. The maximal reductions of ChAT activity and HAChT (61% and 53%, respectively) were reached between 1 and 2 weeks after ECMA administration. There was no evidence of regeneration of either marker at 4 or 6 weeks posttreatment. HAChT and ChAT activity in the cortex were not altered at any of the posttreatment times examined. ECMA-induced deficits in hippocampal ChAT activity and HAChT were not counteracted by the following treatments: (i) daily administration of GM1 ganglioside (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (ip)) from the day prior to infusion of ECMA until 2 weeks later; (ii) daily administration of GM1 ganglioside between 2 and 6 weeks after infusion of ECMA; and (iii) icv administration of nerve growth factor (NGF) twice per week for 2 weeks after ECMA treatment. Since similar treatments with NGF and GM1 ganglioside ameliorate lesions induced by other methods, these results indicate that the mechanism of lesion formation and the surviving cellular components influence the functional effects of neurotrophic factors. In contrast to the above results, treatment with vitamin E significantly attenuated ECMA-induced deficits of ChAT activity and HAChT. Further studies of the effects of vitamin E on the development of ECMA-induced deficits may help to elucidate the mechanism action of ECMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-692
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholinergic lesion
  • ethylcholine mustard aziridinium ion
  • GM ganglioside
  • nerve growth factor
  • vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry


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