Local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) was measured, using the quantitative ([14C]2-deoxy-d-glucose ([14C]DG) method, at 3 min after administration to 3-month-old, awake Fischer rats of the muscarinic agonist arecoline (AREC) 0.05, 0.5, 5, 15 or 50 mg/kg or saline i.p. Animals were pretreated with methylatropine (a cholinergic antagonist which does not enter the brain and has no effect on cerebral metabolism) 4 mg/kg s.c. to prevent parasympathomimetic side-effects of AREC. Tremor produced by AREC was rated subjectively. Intensity of tremor was dose-related, peaked at 2-5 min after AREC, and abated within 30 min. Elevations in LCGU (measured after [14C]DG injection during peak behavior) in extrapyramidal regions, which mediate tremor, were related to the intensity of tremor. The lowest dose of AREC selectively increased LCGU in the hippocampus and median raphe; higher doses produced more generalized metabolic enhancement. In the hippocampus and cortex, LCGU rose in layers in which cholinoceptive cells are located. Regions of the auditory pathway and superficial neocortical layers (I-II) were generally unaffected by AREC, but LCGU did not decrease in any region. The selective increase in LCGU produced by low doses of AREC in the hippocampus presumably is due to a specific action of AREC, and demonstrates the high sensitivity of this region to cholinomimetic stimulation. © 1985.
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