Partial loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, ventrotegmental area and the retrorubral area – model of the early beginning of Parkinson's symptomatology?

Heim, C.; Sova, L.; Kurz, T.; Kolasiewicz, W.; Schwegler, H.; Sontag, K.-H.
May 2002
Journal of Neural Transmission;May2002, Vol. 109 Issue 5/6, p691
Academic Journal
Summary. To test substances which might have protective effects on the dopaminergic system it is necessary to use models with a pathological symptomatology of the early beginning, i.e. models in which the chance exists to arrest the otherwise progressive pathological processes (see Heim et al., 2001). 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injected unilaterally into the ventrolateral striatum of rats (6 μg dissolved in 2 μl 0.2% ascorbic acid) leads to specific stereotyped movements after subcutaneous injection of apomor-phine both 3 and 13 weeks after surgery. Ten weeks after surgery decreased spontaneous motor activity could be observed. Twelve weeks after 6-hydroxydopamine injection, the animals had difficulties in performing a spatial navigation task when the submerged escape platform was moved to another position. The switching of motor programs was less pronounced. The application of tyrosine-hydroxylase-staining showed a loss of ipsilateral neurones of the substantia nigra compacta as well as of dendrites in the pars reticulata, neurones in the ventral tegmental area and in the retrorubral area ipsilaterally as well as a loss of dopaminergic fibres both ipsilaterally and contralaterally in the striatum which should belong to the contralateral acting substantia nigra afferents. The loss of the neurones and the afferents was induced by the retrograde denervation following the 6-OHDA injection within the ventrolateral striatum. The question arises whether the model used here with the partially loss of dopaminergic neurons and fibres reflects some of pathological symptoms of Parkinson's disease in the early states.


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