Modulation of hippocampal acetylcholine release and spontaneous alternation scores by intrahippocampal glucose injections

Michael E. Ragozzino, Shanthi N. Pal, Katharine Unick, Mark R. Stefani, Paul E. Gold

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194 Scopus citations


Recent evidence indicates that systemic glucose treatment enhances memory while producing a corresponding increase in hippocampal acetylcholine (ACh) output. The present experiments examined whether unilateral intrahippocampal infusions of glucose would enhance spontaneous alternation performance and whether there would be a corresponding increase in ACh output in the ipsilateral and contralateral hippocampus. Extracellular ACh was assessed in samples collected at 12 min intervals using in vivo microdialysis with HPLC with electrochemical detection. Twelve minutes after a unilateral infusion of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or glucose (6.6 mM), rats were tested in a cross maze for spontaneous alternation behavior with concurrent microdialysis collection. In two experiments, glucose infusions significantly increased alternation scores (67.5 and 59%) compared with CSF controls (42.4 and 39.5%, respectively). In both experiments, behavioral testing resulted in increased ACh output in the hippocampus. Glucose administration at the time of alternation tests enhanced ACh output beyond that of behavioral testing alone both ipsilateral (+93.8%) and contralateral (+85%) to the infusion site, as compared with ACh output (+36.1% and +55.5%) of CSF controls. Glucose infusions did not affect hippocampal ACh output in rats kept in a holding chamber. These results suggest that glucose may enhance alternation scores by modulating ACh release. The findings also indicate that unilateral glucose infusions increase hippocampal ACh output both ipsilateral and contralateral to the site of injection. Furthermore, glucose increased ACh output only during maze testing, suggesting that specific behavioral demands, perhaps requiring activation of cholinergic neurons, determine the efficacy of glucose in modulating ACh release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1601
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine
  • Glucose
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Microdialysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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