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

Behavioral and anatomical effects of quinolinic acid in the striatum of the hemiparkinsonian rat.

Parkinson's disease (PD), a hypokinetic disorder, and Huntington's disease ( HD), a hyperkinetic disorder, share the fact that in the motor pathways the dysfunction starts in the striatum. In PD the projection neurons are overactive due to decreased inhibitory regulation by lost dopamine afferents, while in HD the output from the striatum is insufficient due to loss of projection neurons. This study aimed to determine whether the introduction of a mild HD condition in the PD striatum can counter the hypokinetic condition. The experiment was carried out in the 6-OHDA rat model for PD in which amphetamine, 5 mg/kg, evokes an asymmetric rotation response toward the side of the 6-OHDA lesion (ipsilateral rotation). The response to amphetamine in this study was fractionated into multiple components and measured automatically. After baseline measurements, the subjects were divided into four groups. Group I was unilaterally sham-lesioned in medial, central, and lateral striatum. Group II was injected quinolinic acid (QA) 20 nM in medial, central, and lateral striatum. Group III was injected QA 60 nM in central striatum. Group IV was injected QA 120 nM in central striatum. The effects of QA were measured weekly. The sham lesions in Group I had no effects. In Group II, ipsilateral rotation was reduced and replaced by oral stereotypy, a competitive behavior. In Group III, ipsilateral rotation decreased, but to a lesser degree than in Group II. In Group IV, QA had no effects. Histological findings show a unilateral loss of tyrosine immunoreactive (TH) neurons in substantia nigra and of fibers in striatum in all subjects. In addition, in Group II the striatum was atrophied. These findings suggest that the shift in Group II from ipsilateral rotation to oral stereotypy after QA was due to reduced striatal output caused by a loss of projection neurons, a loss insufficient to induce HD symptoms, but sufficient to counter the PD condition.[1]


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