Striatonigral neurons divide into two distinct morphological-physiological phenotypes after chronic L-DOPA treatment in parkinsonian rats

T. Fieblinger, L. Zanetti, I. Sebastianutto, L. S. Breger, L. Quintino, M. Lockowandt, C. Lundberg, M. A. Cenci

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20 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Dendritic regression of striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs) is a pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). Here we investigate how chronic dopamine denervation and dopamine replacement with L-DOPA affect the morphology and physiology of direct pathway SPNs (dSPNS) in the rat striatum. We used a lentiviral vector optimized for retrograde labeling (FuG-B-GFP) to identify dSPNs in rats with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions. Changes in morphology and physiology of dSPNs were assessed through a combination of patch-clamp recordings and two photon microscopy. The 6-OHDA lesion caused a significant reduction in dSPN dendritic complexity. Following chronic L-DOPA treatment, dSPNs segregated into two equal-sized clusters. One group (here called "cluster-1"), showed sustained dendritic atrophy and a partially normalized electrophysiological phenotype. The other one ("cluster-2") exhibited dendritic regrowth and a strong reduction of intrinsic excitability. Interestingly, FosB/ΔFosB induction by L-DOPA treatment occurred preferentially in cluster-2 dSPNs. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of retrograde FuG-B-GFP labeling to study dSPNs in the rat and reveals, for the first time, that a subgroup of dSPNs shows dendritic sprouting in response to chronic L-DOPA treatment. Investigating the mechanisms and significance of this response will greatly improve our understanding of the adaptations induced by dopamine replacement therapy in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10068
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology

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