Destruction of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Midbrain by 6-Hydroxydopamine Decreases Hippocampal Cell Proliferation in Rats: Reversal by Fluoxetine

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Background Non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and cognitive deficits) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) precede the onset of the motor symptoms. Although these symptoms do not respond to pharmacological dopamine replacement therapy, their precise pathological mechanisms are currently unclear. The present study was undertaken to examine whether the unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion to the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), which represents a model of long-term dopaminergic neurotoxicity, could affect cell proliferation in the adult rat brain. Furthermore, we examined the effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine and the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor maprotiline on the reduction in cell proliferation in the subgranular zone (SGZ) by the unilateral 6-OHDA lesion. Methodology/Principal Findings A single unilateral injection of 6-OHDA into the rat SNc resulted in an almost complete loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity in the striatum and SNc, as well as in reductions of TH-positive cells and fibers in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). On the other hand, an injection of vehicle alone showed no overt change in TH immunoreactivity. A unilateral 6-OHDA lesion to SNc significantly decreased cell proliferation in the SGZ ipsilateral to the 6-OHDA lesion, but not in the contralateral SGZ or the subventricular zone (SVZ), of rats. Furthermore, subchronic (14 days) administration of fluoxetine (5 mg/kg/day), but not maprotiline significantly attenuated the reduction in cell proliferation in the SGZ by unilateral 6-OHDA lesion. Conclusions/Significance The present study suggests that cell proliferation in the SGZ of the dentate gyrus might be, in part, under dopaminergic control by SNc and VTA, and that subchronic administration of fluoxetine reversed the reduction in cell proliferation in the SGZ by 6-OHDA. Therefore, SSRIs such as fluoxetine might be potential therapeutic drugs for non-motor symptoms as well as motor symptoms in patients with PD, which might be associated with the reduction in cell proliferation in the SGZ.


  • PLoS One

    PLoS One 5(2), e9260, 2010-02-17

    Public Library of Science


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