Activities of choline acetyltransferase (CAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were investigated in the goldfish optic tectum after disconnection of the optic afferents. Permanent disconnection was achieved by eye removal, and optic nerve crush produced a temporary disconnection until regeneration. There was a rapid loss in total activity per tectum for both enzymes under the two disconnection conditions. At longer intervals after optic nerve crush the levels of total activity for both enzymes returned toward control levels, as regeneration of the nerve proceeded. Total activity for both enzymes remained depressed after eye removal, however. Variable results were obtained in specific activity data, expressed per unit protein, although ther was a 10% loss in specific activity of CAT at early intervals after eye removal. The data are interpreted as consistent with the possibility that at least a fraction of the axons in the retinotectal pathway of goldfish are cholinergic, and parallel our previous observations showing similar rapid losses of nicotinic-cholinergic receptor activity in this system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience