Time course of deficits in open field behavior after unilateral neostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions
Fornaguera Trías, Jaime
Schwarting, Rainer K. W.
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In this study, the degree and time course of deficits in open field behavior was analyzed in male Wistar rats (aged 1 year) which had received unilateral neostriatal lesions with 6-OHDA. The post-mortem neurochemical analysis showed that dopamine was partly depleted in the lateral (to 45%), and in the medial neostriatum (65%). In spontaneous (i.e. undrugged) open field behavior, lesion-dependent asymmetries were observed in turning and scanning. The time courses of asymmetry differed between the two measures, since pronounced ipsiversive asymmetries in turning were observed within the first days after lesion placement and persisted throughout the postoperative testing period of 30 days, whereas the ipsilateral asymmetry in scanning appeared during the first week and remained stable thereafter. Systemic treatment with the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine reversed the asymmetry in turning, indicating supersensitivity of postsynaptic neostriatal dopamine receptors. Furthermore, an enhanced grooming response to apomorphine was measured; however, only in those animals with the more severe 6-OHDA lesions. These findings are discussed in comparison to those obtained with 6-OHDA lesions placed at the level of dopamine cell bodies or fibers, the role of neostriatal dopamine depletion, and the possible relationships with progressive neurodegeneration.