Association of Sleep Parameters and Memory in Intact Old Rats and Young Rats With Lesions in the Nucleus Basalis Magnocellularis

William S. Stone, Harvey J. Altman, Robert F Berman, Donald F. Caldwell, M. Marlyne Kilbey

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Relations between sleep and memory were examined as a function of aging in rats. Sleep (24 hr), passive avoidance retention, and choline acetyltransferase (CAT) activity were assessed in 3 age-groups (6, 15, and 24 months old). Age-related alterations were evident in sleep, memory, and cortical and striatal CAT activity. Retention deficits in old rats were significantly correlated with several measures of paradoxical sleep. Similar analyses in 6- and 15-month-old rats with ibotenic acid-induced lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) showed several alterations in sleep, memory, and cortical CAT activity comparable to those seen in the old rats. One measure of paradoxical sleep, bout duration, correlated significantly with retention scores in rats with lesions. Thus, fragmented paradoxical sleep accompanies memory impairments in old rats and in young rats with NBM lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology

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