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Becker, Birte; Demirbas, Melek; Johann, Sonja; Zendedel, Adib; Beyer, Cordian; Clusmann, Hans; Haas, Stefan Jean-Pierre; Wree, Andreas; Tan, Sonny Kian Hwie; Kipp, Markus (2018): Effect of Intrastriatal 6-OHDA Lesions on Extrastriatal Brain Structures in the Mouse. In: Molecular Neurobiology, Vol. 55, No. 5: pp. 4240-4252
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Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, resulting in motor and non-motor symptoms. The underlying pathology of non-motor symptoms is poorly understood. Discussed are pathological changes of extrastriatal brain structures. In this study, we characterized histopathological alterations of extrastriatal brain structures in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) PD animal model. Lesions were induced by unilateral stereotactic injections of 6-OHDA into the striatum or medial forebrain bundle of adult male mice. Loss of tyrosine hydroxylase positive (TH+) fibers as well as glia activation was quantified following stereological principles. Loss of dopaminergic innervation was further investigated by western-blotting. As expected, 6-OHDA injection into the nigrostriatal route induced retrograde degeneration of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), less so within the ventral tegmental area. Furthermore, we observed a region-specific drop of TH+ projection fiber density in distinct cortical regions. This pathology was most pronounced in the cingulate- and motor cortex, whereas the piriform cortex was just modestly affected. Loss of cortical TH+ fibers was not paralleled by microglia or astrocyte activation. Our results demonstrate that the loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta is paralleled by a cortical dopaminergic denervation in the 6-OHDA model. This model serves as a valuable tool to investigate mechanisms operant during cortical pathology in PD patients. Further studies are needed to understand why cortical dopaminergic innervation is lost in this model, and what functional consequence is associated with the observed denervation.