Woolf and Butcher 2011) and locomotor activity (Di Chiara et al. 1994; Martins-Silva et al. 2011; Woolf and Butcher 2011). Specifically, clinical assessments and experimental models of AD revealed that decreased cholinergic tone can cause spontaneous hyperactivity including increased restlessness, coupled with increased anxiety in novel environments (Ognibene et al. 2005; Piccininni et al. 2005; McGuinness et al. 2010; Sterniczuk et al. 2010b; Bedrosian et al. 2011; Walker et al. 2011). Therefore, strategies to modify cholinergic Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical tone may provide a means to regulate both spontaneous and novelty-induced locomotion (Mega et al. 1999). Cholinergic neurotransmission is maintained through the appropriate synthesis, vesicular packaging, and release of ACh. Choline, sequestered through the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT), is transacetylated via the enzymatic activity of choline acetyltransferase Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (ChAT) and the precursor acetyl-coenzyme A (reviewed in Blusztajn and Wurtman 1983). Newly synthesized ACh is packaged into synaptic vesicles by vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) prior to its release to the synaptic cleft (Parsons 2000). Genetic Epigenetics inhibitor targeting has been used to create mouse models presenting deficiency in one or more cholinergic components, including VAChT (Prado Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical et al. 2006; de Castro et al. 2009a; Guzman et al. 2011; Martins-Silva et
al. 2011), ChAT (Misgeld et al. 2002; Brandon et al. 2004), CHT (Bazalakova et Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical al. 2007), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) (Volpicelli-Daley et al. 2003) or through the modified expression of ACh receptors (Picciotto et al. 2000; Wess et al. 2007; Drenan et al.
2008, 2010). Until recently, most animal models of cholinergic enhancement have been limited to the pharmacological inhibition Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of ACh degradation in the synaptic cleft. The previously characterized B6eGFPChAT mouse model (Tallini et al. 2006; Nagy and Aubert 2012) allows for the evaluation of whether increasing the vesicular storage and release of ACh is sufficient and to elicit changes in behavioral activity. B6eGFPChAT mice have four genomic copies of the cholinergic gene locus, which contains the VAChT and ChAT promoter and coding regions (Eiden 1998; Tallini et al. 2006; Nagy and Aubert 2012). In these mice, the transcription of transgenic ChAT is terminated and replaced by the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), while the transcription of the VAChT transgene remains operational. As such, VAChT is overexpressed, while levels of ChAT, CHT, and AChE are maintained, in cholinergic neurons (Nagy and Aubert 2012). Here, the behavior of B6eGFPChAT mice was assessed in a panel of tests designed to elicit a variety of central and peripheral responses. We found that B6eGFPChAT mice have enhanced spontaneous activity and novelty-induced exploration.