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Neuroreport. 2001 Jun 13;12(8):1769-72.

Topological analysis of striatal lesions induced by 3-nitropropionic acid in the Lewis rat.

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D├ępartement de Neurosciences, ULB-Erasme, Bruxelles, Belgium.


3-Nitropropionic acid (3NP) is a succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor classically used to create animal models of Huntington's disease (HD). However, the effects of this neurotoxin are highly variable in the Sprague-Dawley rat strain, impeding the interest of such model in neuroprotection assays. In the present study, we found that continuous s.c. infusion of 3NP in the Lewis rat strain produces homogeneous clinical impairments as well as highly reproducible striatal lesions according to their location and size. More especially, using quantitative reconstructions, we have determined, after 5 days of treatment, that the lesion was topologically reproducible in the lateral part of the striatum in all tested rats. Thus, 3NP-treated Lewis rat provides an improved animal model for testing neuroprotective strategies in HD.

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