Disintegration of the spatial organization of behavior in experimental autoimmune dementia.


PubMedID: 8232920

Eilam D, Szechtman H, Faigon M, Dubovik V, Feldon J, Michaelson DM. Disintegration of the spatial organization of behavior in experimental autoimmune dementia. Neuroscience. 1993;56(1):83-91.
Experimental autoimmune dementia is a rat model designed to examine the potential role of anti-cholinergic neurons antibodies in neuronal degeneration in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We have previously shown that sera of patients with Alzheimer's disease contain antibodies which bind specifically to the high molecular weight neurofilament protein of the purely cholinergic electromotor neurons of Torpedo. Production of such antibodies in experimental autoimmune dementia rats by prolonged immunization with the Torpedo cholinergic high molecular weight neurofilament subunit results in accumulation of antibodies in the septum and hippocampus of the immunized rats, in a marked decrease in the density of forebrain cholinergic neurons, and in memory deficits. In the present study we characterized the open-field behavior of experimental autoimmune dementia rats, and examined whether, like in dementia, the spatiotemporal organization of their behavior is impaired. The results obtained revealed that experimental autoimmune dementia rats travel shorter distances; explore a smaller part of the open-field; and perform less round-trips to the key location--the home base--in reference to which their behavior is normally organized. The shrinkage of the explored space and the reduced number of round trips are independent of the amount of locomotion and represent a deterioration in the organization of behavior in time and space. These behavioral changes are specific to the anti-cholinergic immune response of experimental autoimmune dementia rats as they are not observed in rats which were immunized with chemically heterogeneous high molecular weight neurofilament subunit.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)