Pharmacological depletion of dopaminergic neurotransmission can result in an elevation in striatal Fos levels. This elevation may occur as a direct result of decreased dopaminergic neurotransmission or indirectly via elevated corticostriatal glutamatergic neurotransmission which occurs secondary to dopamine depletion. To test the hypothesis that elevated N -methyl- d -aspartic acid (NMDA)-mediated corticostriatal transmission may underlie the increase in striatal Fos levels upon dopamine depletion, rats were unilaterally 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned under anaesthesia induced by either barbiturate or the NMDA antagonist, ketamine. Following surgery the animals remained under light anaesthesia for 6 h prior to sacrifice and quantification of striatal Fos immunoreactivity. The results demonstrate that dopamine depletion following 6-hydroxydopamine lesioning can result in elevated striatal Fos levels which can be attenuated by contiguous treatment with an NMDA antagonist. This suggests that the increase in striatal Fos levels observed following dopamine depletion may occur as a result of elevated cytoplasmic calcium levels in the striatal cells.
Neuroscience Letters – Elsevier
Published: Jul 14, 1995
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