Studies on neuroprotective and regenerative effects of GDNF in a partial lesion model of Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

Intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine injections in rats induce partial lesions of the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) system which are accompanied by a delayed and protracted degeneration of DA neurons within the substantia nigra. By careful selection of the dose and placement of the toxin it is possible to obtain reproducible and regionally defined partial lesions which are well correlated with stable functional deficits, not only in drug-induced behaviors but also in spontaneous motoric and sensorimotoric function, which are analogous to the symptoms seen in patients during early stages of Parkinson's disease. The intrastriatal partial lesion model has proved to be particularly useful for studies on the mechanisms of action of neurotrophic factors since it offers opportunities to investigate both protection of degenerating DA neurons during the acute phases after the lesion and stimulation of regeneration and functional recovery during the chronic phase of the postlesion period when a subset of the spared nigral DA neurons persist in an atrophic and dysfunctional state. In the in vivo experiments performed in this model glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been shown to exert neurotrophic effects both at the level of the cell bodies in the substantia nigra and at the level of the axon terminals in the striatum. Intrastriatal administration of GDNF appears to be a particularly effective site for induction of axonal sprouting and regeneration accompanied by recovery of spontaneous sensorimotor behaviors in the chronically lesioned nigrostriatal dopamine system.

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  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-200
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume4
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes