Acetylcholine and memory: A long, complex and chaotic but still living relationship

Jacques Micheau, Aline Marighetto
Behavioural Brain Research. 2011-08-01; 221(2): 424-429
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.11.052

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1. Behav Brain Res. 2011 Aug 10;221(2):424-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.11.052. Epub
2010 Dec 3.

Acetylcholine and memory: a long, complex and chaotic but still living

Micheau J(1), Marighetto A.

Author information:
(1)Centre for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Bordeaux,
CNRS UMR 5228, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence Cedex, France.

Even though « procholinergic » drugs are almost the sole kind of treatments
currently used as cognitive enhancers in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the
role of acetylcholine (ACh) in learning and memory is still poorly understood. In
this short review, we focus on the septo-hippocampal cholinergic system and try
to demonstrate that understanding ACh-memory relationships requires taking into
account two characteristics of memory function. First, this function is
polymorphic and relies on multiple neural systems. It appears that hippocampal
ACh may not only modulate specific computational function of the hippocampus but
also contributes to the functional coordination of multiple memory systems in a
task-dependent manner. Second, memorization implies different phases which are
differentially regulated by ACh. Namely, several lines of evidence suggest a
« biphasic » involvement with hippocampal ACh facilitating memory encoding but
hampering memory consolidation and retrieval, and low hippocampal ACh promoting
consolidation of declarative memory. By spotting major determinants of memory
modulation by hippocampal ACh, we hope that the present non exhaustive review
will help to improve our understanding of the complexity of ACh-memory

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.11.052
PMID: 21130809 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus