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Neuroscience

Effects of noradrenaline and serotonin depletions on the neuronal activity of globus pallidus and substantia nigra pars reticulata in experimental parkinsonism.


PMID 22138505

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and also by a degradation of noradrenergic neurons from the locus coeruleus and serotonergic neurons from the dorsal raphe. However, the effect of these depletions on the neuronal activity of basal ganglia nuclei is still unknown. By using extracellular single-unit recordings, we have addressed this question by testing the effects of selective depletions of noradrenaline (NA) (with N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4)) and serotonin (5-HT) (with 4-chloro-l-phenylalanine (pCPA)) on the neuronal activity of globus pallidus (GP) and substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) neurons in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of PD and sham-lesioned rats. We showed that 6-OHDA-induced dopamine (DA) depletion resulted in an increased number of GP and SNr neurons discharging in a bursty and irregular manner, confirming previous studies. These pattern changes were region-dependently influenced by additional monoamine depletion. Although the number of irregular and bursty neurons in 6-OHDA rats tended to decrease in the GP after NA depletion, it did not change after pCPA treatment in both GP and SNr. Furthermore, a significant interaction between DA and 5-HT depletions was observed on the firing rate of SNr neurons. By themselves, NA depletion did not change GP or SNr neuronal activity, whereas 5-HT depletion decreased the firing rate and increased the proportion of bursty and irregular neurons in both brain regions, suggesting that 5-HT, but not NA, plays a major role in the modulation of both the firing rate and patterns of GP and SNr neurons. Finally, our data suggest that, in addition to the primary role of DA in the control of basal ganglia activity, NA and 5-HT depletion also contribute to the dysregulation of the basal ganglia in PD by changes to neuronal firing patterns.

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