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

Apoptosis in substantia nigra following developmental striatal excitotoxic injury.

We have previously observed that an axon-sparing injury to the developing striatum induced by the excitotoxin quinolinate results in a decrease in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of the adult. This decrease occurs in the absence of direct injury to the SNpc. As the striatum is a major target for the SNpc dopaminergic system, we have hypothesized that a decrease in the size of the striatal target during development may result in an induced regressive event in the SNpc, similar to what has been described for many developing neural systems with peripheral targets. We have examined by morphologic and biochemical means the time course and character of cell death in SN following a unilateral striatal lesion with quinolinate in immature rats. The striatal lesion is associated with an induced cell death event in the ipsilateral SN, observed first in SNpc and then in SN pars reticulata. The morphologic characteristics of the dying cells were typical of apoptosis. Immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase indicated that some of the apoptotic cells in the SNpc were dopaminergic. We conclude that developmental striatal excitotoxic injury is associated with induced apoptotic cell death in SN.[1]


  1. Apoptosis in substantia nigra following developmental striatal excitotoxic injury. Macaya, A., Munell, F., Gubits, R.M., Burke, R.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
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