Cholinergic dysfunction in the central nervous system is an important characteristic of multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). By using a rat EAE model, upregulation of vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) level in the EAE rat lumbar spinal cord was detected by western blot and immunostaining, and was associated with lymphocyte filtration and glial activation. Ex vivo and in vitro autoradiography studies with [18F]VAT, a VAChT-specific radioligand, also revealed increased tracer uptake in EAE rat lumbar spinal cord compared with shams. These studies on VAChT expression suggest central cholinergic imbalance during EAE progression.
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
- Vesicular acetylcholine transporter