Rhythmicity and Synchrony in the Basal Ganglia Project 3: Anatomy and Physiology--Studies in the Basal Ganglia

Project: Research project

Project Details


Parkinson's disease (PD) afflicts roughly 1 in 1000 adults, rising exponentially in incidence after the age of fifty. Human and animal studies have shown that parkinsonism results from the degeneration of the mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons. In PD patients and in primate PD models, the electrical activity of neurons in external globus pallidus (GPe) is abnormal. Unlike neurons from normal animals, GPe neurons in these animals exhibit synchronous, rhythmic burst discharges. It is our working hypothesis that this abnormal activity is attributable to adaptations in intrinsic properties of GPe neurons and their synaptic input following dopamine (DA) depletion.In the last grant period, our work focused on intrinsic properties controlling repetitive firing of GPe and STN neurons. In this upcoming award period, we plan to build upon these studies and those of other program participants to provide a more complete understanding of the mechanisms controlling rhythmic activity and synchrony in GPe neurons. Specifically, a combination of cellular and molecular approaches will be used to address two specificaims that are natural extensions of the aims in the previous grant period. Our first specific aim is to characterize the role of intrinsic, voltage-dependent Na+ and HCN channels in controlling rhythmic activity in identified GPe neurons in normal and dopamine-depleted mice. It is our working hypothesis that Na+/HCN channels are primary determinants of rhythmic discharge in GPe neurons. The molecular, biophysical and pharmacological properties of these channels and their susceptibility to modulation will be characterized using a combination of electrophysiological, biochemical and scRT-PCR approaches in neurons derived from wild-type, transgenic/knockout and dopamine-depleted mice.Our second specific aim is to characterize the role of GABAergic signaling in controlling activity patterning and synchrony in identified GPe neurons in normal and dopamine-depleted mice. Modelin
Effective start/end date9/30/037/31/08


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (P50 NS047085)


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