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Brain Res Bull. 2009 Feb 16;78(2-3):80-4. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.08.010. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Impact of surgery targeting the caudal intralaminar thalamic nuclei on the pathophysiological functioning of basal ganglia in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille-Luminy, UMR 6216 CNRS-Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


There is accumulating evidence that the centre median-parafascicular (CM/Pf) complex of the thalamus is implicated in basal ganglia-related movement disorders and notably in Parkinson's disease. However, the impact of the changes affecting CM/Pf on the pathophysiological functioning of basal ganglia in parkinsonian state remains poorly understood. To address this issue, we have examined the effects of excitotoxic lesion of CM/Pf and of 6-hydroxydopamine-induced lesion of nigral dopamine neurons, separately or in association, on gene expression of markers of neuronal activity in the rat basal ganglia (striatal neuropeptide precursors, GAD67, cytochrome oxidase subunit I) by quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry. CM/Pf lesion prevented the changes produced by the dopamine denervation in the components of the indirect pathway connecting the striatum to the output structures (striatopallidal neurons, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus), and among the output structures, in the entopeduncular nucleus. Preliminary data on the effects of deep brain stimulation of CM/Pf in rats with nigral dopamine lesion show that this surgical approach produces efficient anti-akinetic effect associated with partial reversal of the dopamine lesion-induced increase in striatal preproenkephalin A mRNA levels, a marker of the striatopallidal neurons. These data, which provide substrates for the potential of CM/Pf surgery in the treatment of movement disorders, are discussed in comparison with the effects of lesion or deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, the currently preferred target for the surgical treatment of PD.

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