Activation of the subthalamic nucleus and pedunculopontine tegmentum: Does it affect dopamine levels in the Substantia nigra, Nucleus accumbens and striatum?

Activation of the subthalamic nucleus and pedunculopontine tegmentum: Does it affect dopamine levels in the Substantia nigra, Nucleus accumbens and striatum?

Jaffer A. ; Van der Spuy G.D. ; Russell V.A. ; Mintz M. ; Taljaard J.J.F. ; Jaffer A. ; Van der Spuy G.D. ; Russell V.A. ; Mintz M. ; Taljaard J.J.F. (1995)

Article

Article

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, of which the most prominent morphological feature is the progressive loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons. Increased glutamatergic transmission in the basal ganglia has been implicated in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated whether death of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons could be caused by the hyperactivity of afferent pathways resulting in the release of a toxic dose of excitatory amino acids in the SN. Twice-daily unilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for 21 days, using two different pulse frequencies and current strengths, significantly increased amphetamine-induced rotation, whereas sham stimulated rats showed significantly reduced rotation. Striatal and SN dopamine (DA) levels were unaffected when compared to naive and sham stimulated rats. However, levels of the DA metabolite, homovanillic acid (HVA), were significantly higher in the ipsilateral anterior striata of rats that had been stimulated at high frequency (100 Hz) and low current (100 μA) as compared to sham treated animals. Stimulation of the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT), using a single kainic acid injection, did not affect DA concentration in the ipsilateral striatum and nucleus accumbens when compared to sham-treated rats. DA levels in the contralateral striatum and nucleus accumbens of lesioned rats were significantly higher than ipsilateral levels. DOPAC/DA ratios were lower in the contralateral striatum and nucleus accumbens, suggesting decreased DA turnover. Glutamic acid decarboxylase activity was significantly higher in the ipsilateral than the contralateral SN. The physical manifestations of PD require a large reduction in caudate and putamen DA levels and no such depletion was measured in this study. These results, therefore, do not support the hypothesis that Parkinson's disease may result from an overstimulation of substantia nigral DA neurons by glutamate afferents originating from the STN or PPT.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, of which the most prominent morphological feature is the progressive loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons. Increased glutamatergic transmission in the basal ganglia has been implicated in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated whether death of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons could be caused by the hyperactivity of afferent pathways resulting in the release of a toxic dose of excitatory amino acids in the SN. Twice-daily unilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for 21 days, using two different pulse frequencies and current strengths, significantly increased amphetamine-induced rotation, whereas sham stimulated rats showed significantly reduced rotation. Striatal and SN dopamine (DA) levels were unaffected when compared to naive and sham stimulated rats. However, levels of the DA metabolite, homovanillic acid (HVA), were significantly higher in the ipsilateral anterior striata of rats that had been stimulated at high frequency (100 Hz) and low current (100 μA) as compared to sham treated animals. Stimulation of the pedunculopontine tegmentum (PPT), using a single kainic acid injection, did not affect DA concentration in the ipsilateral striatum and nucleus accumbens when compared to sham-treated rats. DA levels in the contralateral striatum and nucleus accumbens of lesioned rats were significantly higher than ipsilateral levels. DOPAC/DA ratios were lower in the contralateral striatum and nucleus accumbens, suggesting decreased DA turnover. Glutamic acid decarboxylase activity was significantly higher in the ipsilateral than the contralateral SN. The physical manifestations of PD require a large reduction in caudate and putamen DA levels and no such depletion was measured in this study. These results, therefore, do not support the hypothesis that Parkinson's disease may result from an overstimulation of substantia nigral DA neurons by glutamate afferents originating from the STN or PPT.

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