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Neuroscience. 2002;114(1):99-109.

Behavioural and immunohistochemical changes following supranigral administration of sonic hedgehog in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated common marmosets.

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  • 1Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Centre, GKT School of Biomedical Sciences, Kings College London, London SE1 1UL, UK.


Sonic hedgehog (SHH) has trophic actions on dopaminergic cell cultures and protects them from MPP(+) toxicity but its in vivo actions have not been explored. We now investigate the effects of unilateral supranigral administration of SHH on nigro-striatal function in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated common marmosets. SHH (0.1 or 1.0 microg) or vehicle was stereotaxically injected into the region of the right substantia nigra twice with an interval of 5 weeks between administrations. The first or second administration of low dose SHH (0.1 microg) did not significantly improve motor disability or locomotor activity compared to time-matched vehicle-treated animals. There was, however, an approximately 30% improvement in both motor disability and locomotor activity following the first administration of high dose SHH (1.0 microg). No further improvements occurred following the second high dose SHH treatment. Acute oral administration of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) produced a smaller increase in locomotor activity and greater reversal of motor disability in animals treated with SHH than occurred in vehicle-treated common marmosets. In the substantia nigra pars compacta, ipsilateral to SHH administration, the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurones was increased by 21% (P > 0.05) and 57% (P < 0.05) in low and high dose SHH groups respectively compared to the untreated contralateral hemisphere. There was no difference in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells. SHH may improve nigro-striatal function by restoring tyrosine hydroxylase positivity. This is reflected by an improvement in basal disability and a reduction in the lesion-induced response to L-DOPA.

Copyright 2002 IBRO

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