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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Abnormalities of somatosensory evoked potentials in the quinolinic acid model of Huntington's disease: evidence that basal ganglia modulate sensory cortical input.

Intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid (QA) in rats provides an animal model that mimics some of the neuropathological and neurochemical alterations observed in the striatum of patients with Huntington's disease ( HD). One of the very early neurophysiological signs in HD is a diminution of amplitude of early somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) recorded over the parietal cortex. The present study investigated whether the QA model exhibits similar neurophysiological abnormalities. Two weeks after unilateral intrastriatal injection of QA (240 nmol) or of the solvent, early SEPs were recorded with chronically implanted electrodes from the somatosensory cortex or from the ventrobasal nucleus of the thalamus of lightly pentobarbital-anesthetized rats, in response to single-shock electrical stimulation of the contralateral forepaw. Whereas intrastriatal injection of solvent did not influence SEPs, the striatal QA lesion significantly reduced the amplitude of early cortical SEPs by about 40% without affecting the latency. SEPs recorded from the ventrobasal nucleus were unchanged after QA lesion. Histological examination and glial fibrillary acid protein staining after intrastriatal injection of QA revealed no evidence for damage in the somatosensory system. It is concluded that (1) the QA animal model of HD mimics some of the SEP abnormalities of patients, and (2) a striatal lesion modulates somatosensory transmission to the cortex in rats.[1]


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