AGEINGCaffeine elicits c-Fos expression in horizontal diagonal band cholinergic neuronsReznikov, Leah R.; Pasumarthi, Ravi K.; Fadel, Jim R. Author Information Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA Correspondence to Dr Jim R. Fadel, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, 6439 Garner's Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29208, USA Tel: +1 803 733 3245; fax: +1 803 733 1523; e-mail: [email protected] Received 17 August 2009 accepted 3 September 2009 NeuroReport: December 9, 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 18 - p 1609-1612 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283329c3a Buy Metrics Abstract Caffeine is a widely self-administered psychostimulant with purported neuroprotective and procognitive effects in rodent models of aging. The cholinergic basal forebrain is important for arousal and attention and is implicated in age-related cognitive decline. Accordingly, we determined the effects of caffeine on cholinergic neuron activation in the rat basal forebrain. Young adult (age 2 months) male rats were treated with caffeine (0, 10, or 50 mg/kg) and killed 2 h later. Caffeine significantly increased c-Fos expression in cholinergic neurons of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca but not other basal forebrain regions such as the medial septum or substantia innominata. The horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca provides cholinergic innervation to the olfactory bulb, suggesting that deficits in this structure may contribute to diminished olfactory function observed in Alzheimer's disease patients. These results suggest that part of the cognitive-enhancing effects of caffeine may be mediated through activation of this part of the cholinergic basal forebrain. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.