Death of dopaminergic neurones in the rat substantia nigra can be induced by damage to globus pallidus

A. K. Wright, Jeremy F Atherton, L. Norrie, G. W. Arbuthnott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease is a debilitating disorder that results from the death of dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra. Subthalamic nucleus neurones use glutamate as their neurotransmitter and send excitatory projections to the substantia nigra. Changes in both the mean firing rate and firing pattern of neurones of the subthalamic nucleus have been found in patients with this disease. This has led to the suggestion that hyperactivity of the subthalamic nucleus may be involved in the pathology of the dopaminergic neurones. Subthalamic nucleus lesions or treatment with glutamatergic antagonists can be neuroprotective in animal models of Parkinson's disease but until now there has been no direct evidence that hyperactivity of subthalamic nucleus neurones can lead to downstream cell death. Here we show that lesions of the rat globus pallidus (a treatment that has been shown to increase subthalamic nucleus neuronal activity) result in a significant reduction of the number of dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1744
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004

Keywords

  • Animal models
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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