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Neurology. 1996 Sep;47(3):718-26.

Differential changes in neurochemical markers of striatal dopamine nerve terminals in idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Human Neurochemical Pathology Laboratory, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


To determine the extent that different dopamine (DA) neuronal markers provide similar estimates of striatal (caudate and putamen) DA nerve terminal loss in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), we compared, in postmortem striatum of 12 patients with PD and 10 matched controls, levels of five different DA neuronal markers. These markers included DA itself, three different estimates of the density of the DA transporter (DAT) ([3H])GBR 12,935 and [3H]WIN 35,428 binding; DAT protein immunoreactivity), and one estimate of the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2; [3H]DTBZ binding). Striatal levels of all examined DA markers in PD were significantly intercorrelated. However, the magnitude of loss relative to controls was unequal (DAT protein = DA > [3H]WIN 35,428 > [3H]DTBZ > [3H]GBR 12, 935), with the differences more marked in the severely affected putamen. The less severe reduction of binding of the DAT/VMAT2 radioligands relative to DA and DAT protein could be explained by differential regulation/degeneration of different DA nerve terminal components or lack of specificity of the radioligands for the DA neuron. These postmortem data may help in interpretation of in vivo neuroimaging studies in PD in which only one radioligand is routinely employed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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