The ability of embryonic raphe cells grafted into the hippocampus to restore spatial learning ability was tested in rats with combined serotonergic/cholinergic deficits. Embryonic raphe cells (E14) were transplanted into the hippocampus of serotonin-depleted rats. Two to 3 months after transplantation, control, lesioned and grafted rats were tested in a spatial memory task (a water maze) with and without the addition of atropine. All 3 groups could negotiate the water maze equally well, in non-drug conditions. The injection of atropine cause a severe distruption of performance only in the serotonin depleted rats. The presence of an active serotonergic graft was examined in the intact hippocampus using the serotonin releasing drug fenfluramine (FFA). A pronounced depression of hippocampal EEG was observed in control and grafted but not in lesioned rats 15 min after the injection of FFA. These results suggest the involvement of serotonin in cognitive functions in the rat. Furthermore, it is suggested that an interaction between serotonergic and cholinergic neurotransmission occurs in the hippocampus.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Grant 84-.245 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Jerusalem, Israel.
- Spatial memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (all)
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology