Sprouting of dopaminergic fibers from spared mesencephalic dopamine neurons in the unilateral partial lesioned rat

John T. Hansen, Kyoji Sakai, J. Timothy Greenamyre, Steven Moran

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33 Scopus citations


A unilateral partially lesioned rat model of Parkinson's disease was developed following selective lesioning of the dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta by stereotactic injection of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine. In this animal model the dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area and medial substantia nigra are spared. The neuronal loss in such partial lesioned models mimics more closely that seen in human mid-stage parkinsonism. Cografts of adrenal medullary cells and sciatic nerve to the partially lesioned striatum induced a sprouting response in grafted animals that was confirmed by immunocytochemical staining with antibodies to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and by quantification of the high affinity dopamine uptake complex using [3H]GBR 12935 binding. Enhanced TH fiber immunostaining was evident even in the presence of poor cograft survival. The origin of the TH-like immunostained fibers in the striatum was determined using Lucifer yellow retrograde axonal transport. Following discrete tracer injections into the striatum adjacent to a cograft, neurons in the medial substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (areas A9 and A10, respectively) were labelled with Lucifer yellow. These labelled neurons displayed a morphology characteristics of dopamine neurons and, in double-labelling experiements, also immunostained for TH. These results support the utility of unilateral partially lesioned rat models of Parkinson's disease for studies investigating a host sprouting or upregulation response and confirm that the immunostained striatal fibers originate from spared dopamine neurons in the ventromedial midbrain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 30 1995


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Adrenal medullary graft
  • Dopamine uptake
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Retrograde transport
  • Sprouting
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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