Dopamine neurons grafted unilaterally to the nucleus accumbens affect drug-induced circling and locomotion

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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the amplifying function of the nucleus accumbens septi region (NAS) in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced rotational behaviour by implanting fetal dopamine (DA)-rich mesencephalic cell suspensions unilaterally in the NAS of rats previously subjected to combined mesostriatal (MS) and NAS 6-OHDA lesions. First, all the rats received a unilateral 6-OHDA lesion of the ascending MS DA pathway, which produced an amphetamine-induced rotational asymmetry towards the lesioned side. In a second step, the rats received a local bilateral 6-OHDA lesion of the NAS which, as previously shown, caused a significant attenuation of the amphetamine-induced locomotor (1.5 mg/kg) and rotational (5 mg/kg) behaviour. Finally, some of these MS + NAS lesioned rats received a unilateral mesencephalic DA graft into the NAS ipsilateral to the original MS lesion. The unilateral DA-rich grafts in the NAS significantly elevated the amphetamine-induced locomotion and ipsilateral circling (opposite to the direction of rotation produced when a graft is placed in the ipsilateral caudate-putamen), suggesting that the NAS plays only an amplifier role in locomotor behaviour and not a directional role. In addition, these grafts significantly attenuated the supersensitive locomotor response observed in lesioned rats when given apomorphine (0.05 mg/kg). The findings emphasize the amplifying role of the NAS in locomotion and circling behaviour and they extend previous findings demonstrating the functional heterogeneity of the striatal complex as well as the regional specificity of the graft-derived functional effects. Moreover, the results argue against the notion that DA grafts can function through a diffusion of transmitter over large distances since, despite the large size of the grafts, the functional graft effects were well localized to the reinnervated NAS and ventromedial striatal regions. We conclude, therefore, that graft-induced amelioration of postural and locomotor deficits are affected through different parts of the striatal complex, and that multiple graft placements are required to produce more complete recovery of motoric behaviour in the DA-depleted brain.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences

Keywords

  • Neural transplantation, Nucleus accumbens, Dopamine, Circling behaviour, Locomotor activity, Amphetamine, Apomorphine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-194
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume69
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Psychiatry/Primary Care/Public Health (013240500), Neurobiology (013212024), Neuronal Survival (013212041)