The effect of transplantation of peripheral cholinergic neurons was examined in rats with a lesion of the nucleus basalis Meynert (NBM). The rats with an NBM lesion showed abnormal increase of spontaneous activity, disturbance of memory retention, and disturbance of learning acquisition. In contrast, the rats which had received transplantation of cholinergic neurons into the cerebral cortex displayed amelioration of abnormal behavior produced by the destruction of the NBM. Morphological study (acetylcholinesterase) clearly showed survival of many transplanted cholinergic cells. The present study suggests that autotransplantation of peripheral cholinergic cells may be a possible therapy for Alzheimer's disease.