Quantitative analyses of GFRα-1 and GFRα-2 mRNAs and tyrosine hydroxylase protein in the nigrostriatal system reveal bilateral compensatory changes following unilateral 6-OHDA lesions in the rat

D. A. Kozlowski, E. A. Miljan, E. G. Bremer, C. G. Harrod, C. Gerin, B. Connor, D. George, B. Larson, M. C. Bohn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Copy numbers of mRNAs for GFRα-1 and GFRα-2, the preferred receptors for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neurturin (NTN) were determined by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR). Receptor expression was assessed in striatum (ST) and substantia nigra (SN) of normal rats and rats acutely or progressively lesioned by 6-OHDA injected into the medial forebrain bundle or ST, respectively. GFRα-1 mRNA was clearly detected in normal ST. In normal SN, significantly higher expression of both receptors was observed. At 4 weeks after acute lesion, GFRα-2 mRNA was markedly decreased in SN bilaterally, whereas GFRα-1 mRNA in SN and ST was not affected. A progressive lesion resulted in a progressive decrease of GFRα1 mRNA in ST bilaterally. In SN, levels of GFRα-1 mRNA were not significantly affected by a progressive lesion, whereas GFRα-2 mRNA was markedly decreased bilaterally. Quantitative western blotting standardized against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) protein from PC12 cells revealed the expected decrease in TH protein in lesioned SN, but also significant increases in TH protein in contralateral, unlesioned SNs at 4 weeks after both acute and progressive lesions. These data suggest that previously unrecognized compensatory changes in the nigrostriatal system occur in response to unilateral dopamine depletion. Since the changes observed in receptor expression did not always parallel loss of dopamine neurons, cells in addition to the nigral dopamine neurons appear to be affected by a 6-OHDA insult and are potential targets for the neurotrophic factors, GDNF and NTN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalBrain research
Volume1016
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2004

Keywords

  • 6-OHDA lesion
  • Compensation
  • Degenerative disease: Parkinson's
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • GDNF
  • GFRα
  • GFRα-1
  • GFRα-2
  • Neurturin
  • Quantitative RT-PCR
  • Theme
  • Topic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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