Differential sensitivity of cranial and limb motor function to nigrostriatal dopamine depletion

Emily K. Plowman, Nicholas Maling, Benjamin J. Rivera, Krista Larson, Nagheme J. Thomas, Stephen C. Fowler, Fredric P. Manfredsson, Rahul Shrivastav, Jeffrey Kleim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study determined the differential effects of unilateral striatal dopamine depletion on cranial motor versus limb motor function. Forty male Long Evans rats were first trained on a comprehensive motor testing battery that dissociated cranial versus limb motor function and included: cylinder forepaw placement, single pellet reaching, vermicelli pasta handling; sunflower seed opening, pasta biting acoustics, and a licking task. Following baseline testing, animals were randomized to either a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) (n=20) or control (n=20) group. Animals in the 6-OHDA group received unilateral intrastriatal 6-OHDA infusions to induce striatal dopamine depletion. Six-weeks following infusion, all animals were re-tested on the same battery of motor tests. Near infrared densitometry was performed on sections taken through the striatum that were immunohistochemically stained for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Animals in the 6-OHDA condition showed a mean reduction in TH staining of 88.27%. Although 6-OHDA animals were significantly impaired on all motor tasks, limb motor deficits were more severe than cranial motor impairments. Further, performance on limb motor tasks was correlated with degree of TH depletion while performance on cranial motor impairments showed no significant correlation. These results suggest that limb motor function may be more sensitive to striatal dopaminergic depletion than cranial motor function and is consistent with the clinical observation that therapies targeting the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in Parkinson's disease are more effective for limb motor symptoms than cranial motor impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume237
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2013

Keywords

  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Cranial motor
  • Licking
  • Limb motor
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Reaching
  • Rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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    Plowman, E. K., Maling, N., Rivera, B. J., Larson, K., Thomas, N. J., Fowler, S. C., Manfredsson, F. P., Shrivastav, R., & Kleim, J. (2013). Differential sensitivity of cranial and limb motor function to nigrostriatal dopamine depletion. Behavioural Brain Research, 237(1), 157-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.031