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Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020020

Tyrosine Hydroxylase, Vesicular Monoamine Transporter and Dopamine Transporter mRNA Expression in Nigrostriatal Tissue of Rats with Pedunculopontine Neurotoxic Lesion

1
Experimental Neurophysiology Department, International Center of Neurological Restoration (CIREN) Ave. 25 No. 15805 e/158 and 160, Playa, Havana 11300, Cuba
2
Latinoamerican School of Medicine, Km 3½ Carretera Panamericana, Santa Fé. Playa, Havana 19148, Cuba
3
Experimental Group: “Experimental Models for Zoo-Human Sciences”, Faculty of Sciences, Tolima University, 42nd Street, Barrio Santa Elena, Parte Alta, CP 730001, Colombia
4
Department of Physiology, Otago School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State of Art in Non-Clinical Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Abstract

Background: The degeneration of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) precedes the degeneration of the nigral cells in the pre-symptomatic stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although the literature recognizes that a lesion of the PPN increases the vulnerability of dopaminergic cells, it is unknown if this risk is associated with the loss of capability of handling the dopaminergic function. Methods: In this paper, the effects of a unilateral neurotoxic lesion of the PPN in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and dopamine transporter (DAT) mRNA expression in nigrostriatal tissue were evaluated. Three experimental groups were organized: non-treated rats, NMDA-lesioned rats and Sham-operated rats. Results: Seven days after the PPN lesion, in nigral tissue, TH mRNA expression was higher in comparison with control groups (p < 0.05); in contrast, VMAT2 mRNA expression showed a significant decrease (p < 0.01). DAT mRNA expression showed a significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the striatal tissue. Comparing nigral neuronal density of injured and control rats revealed no significant difference seven days post-PPN injury. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the PPN lesion modifies the mRNA expression of the proteins associated with dopaminergic homeostasis at nigrostriatal level. It could represent vulnerability signals for nigral dopaminergic cells and further increase the risk of degeneration of these cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedunculopontine nucleus; substantia nigra pars compacta; tyrosyne hydroxylase; vesicular monoamine transporter 2; dopamine transporter; dopaminergic homeostasis pedunculopontine nucleus; substantia nigra pars compacta; tyrosyne hydroxylase; vesicular monoamine transporter 2; dopamine transporter; dopaminergic homeostasis
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Blanco-Lezcano, L.; Alberti-Amador, E.; Díaz-Hung, M.-L.; González-Fraguela, M.E.; Estupiñán-Díaz, B.; Serrano-Sánchez, T.; Francis-Turner, L.; Jiménez-Martín, J.; Vega-Hurtado, Y.; Fernández-Jiménez, I. Tyrosine Hydroxylase, Vesicular Monoamine Transporter and Dopamine Transporter mRNA Expression in Nigrostriatal Tissue of Rats with Pedunculopontine Neurotoxic Lesion. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 20.

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