Acetyl-l-carnitine restores choline acetyltransferase activity in the hippocampus of rats with partial unilateral fimbria-fornix transection

Paola Piovesan, Gianni Quatrini, Licia Pacifici, Giulio Taglialatela, Luciano Angelucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Transection of the fimbria-fornix bundle in adult rats results in degeneration of the septo-hippocampal cholinergic pathway, reminiscent of that occurring in aging as well as Alzheimer disease. We report here a study of the effect of a treatment with acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) in three-month-old Fischer 344 rats bearing a partial unilateral fimbria-fornix transection. ALCAR is known to ameliorate some morphological and functional disturbances in the aged central nervous system (CNS). We used choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) as markers of central cholinergic function, and nerve growth factor (NGF) levels as indicative of the trophic regulation of the medio-septal cholinergic system. ChAT and AChE activities were significantly reduced in the hippocampus (HIPP) ipsilateral to the lesion as compared to the contralateral one, while no changes were observed in the septum (SPT), nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) or frontal cortex (FCX). ALCAR treatment restored ChAT activity in the ipsilateral HIPP, while AChE levels were not different from those of untreated animals, and did not affect NGF content in either SPT or HIPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1995



  • acetyl-l-carnitine
  • aging
  • choline acetyltransferase
  • nerve growth factor
  • partial fimbria-fornix transection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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