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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Apr;3(4):377-83.

A measure of striatal function predicts motor stereotypy.

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Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 45 Carleton St., E25-618, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


To identify basal ganglia circuit dysfunctions that might produce repetitive behaviors known as motor stereotypies, we applied psychomotor stimulants and a direct dopamine receptor agonist to induce different levels of stereotypy in rats. We then used a gene induction assay to measure the functional activation of neurons in the neurochemically distinct compartments of the striatum, the striosomes and the extrastriosomal matrix. The amount by which activation in the striosomes exceeded activation in the matrix predicted the degree of motor stereotypy induced by the drug treatments. These results suggest that imbalance between compartmentally organized basal ganglia circuits may represent a neural correlate of motor stereotypy.

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