alpha7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and temporal memory: synergistic effects of combining prenatal choline and nicotine on reinforcement-induced resetting of an interval clock.
We previously showed that prenatal choline supplementation could increase the precision of timing and temporal memory and facilitate simultaneous temporal processing in mature and aged rats. In the present study, we investigated the ability of adult rats to selectively control the reinforcement-induced resetting of an internal clock as a function of prenatal drug treatments designed to affect the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (alpha7 nAChR). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to prenatal choline (CHO), nicotine (NIC), methyllycaconitine (MLA), choline + nicotine (CHO + NIC), choline + nicotine + methyllycaconitine (CHO + NIC + MLA), or a control treatment (CON). Beginning at 4-mo-of-age, rats were trained on a peak-interval timing procedure in which food was available at 10-, 30-, and 90-sec criterion durations. At steady-state performance there were no differences in timing accuracy, precision, or resetting among the CON, MLA, and CHO + NIC + MLA treatments. It was observed that the CHO and NIC treatments produced a small, but significant increase in timing precision, but no change in accuracy or resetting. In contrast, the CHO + NIC prenatal treatment produced a dramatic increase in timing precision and selective control of the resetting mechanism with no change in overall timing accuracy. The synergistic effect of combining prenatal CHO and NIC treatments suggests an organizational change in alpha7 nAChR function that is dependent upon a combination of selective and nonselective nAChR stimulation during early development.
Cheng, R-K; Meck, WH; Williams, CL
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