The deposition of amyloid β peptides (Aβ) and cholinergic dysfunction are two characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. Several studies have suggested that a compromised cholinergic transmission can increase the amount of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the denervated cortex (or hippocampus); however, whether this will increase Aβ production is unknown. To investigate the relation between cholinergic neurotransmission and APP metabolism, and the possible role of cholinergic dysfunction in the development of amyloid neuropathology, we lesioned the fimbria-fornix pathway in APP+PS1 double transgenic mice, at 5 and 7 months of age. Three months and 11 months postlesion, the mice were sacrificed for biochemical and histopathological analyses. The fimbria-fornix transection resulted in a substantial depletion of cholinergic markers in the hippocampus at both time points. Three months postlesion, hippocampal APP and Aβ levels were not significantly changed. At 11 months postlesion, the fimbria-fornix lesion did not result in an alteration in either the hippocampal Aβ levels or the extent of Aβ deposition, as assessed by amyloid plaque counts and image analysis of Aβ load in the 18-month-old APP+PS1 mice. Our findings indicate that APP metabolism in mice may be dissociated from cholinergic neurotransmission rather than related as previously suggested in other mammalian species. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).