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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2001 Nov 26;131(1-2):57-65.

Profound astrogenesis in the striatum of adult mice following nigrostriatal dopaminergic lesion by repeated MPTP administration.

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Division of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2411 Holmes Street, M3-225, Kansas City, MO, USA


Neural progenitor cells are present in the rodent brain throughout adulthood, and can proliferate and differentiate into new neurons and/or glia to repair injury. To explore the repair processes mediated by brain progenitor cells, a selective lesion of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway was induced in young adult mice by repeated administration of the neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). A thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), was used as a tracer for DNA synthesis to label the dividing cells and their terminal progeny following injury. Three days after MPTP treatments (25 mg/kg, once daily for 5 days), an 8-fold increase in the number of BrdU-labeled newborn cells was observed in the dorsal striatum. A 5-fold increase was also seen in the substantia nigra (SN). Newborn cells in the striatum survived beyond 60 days after their birth whereas newborn cells in the SN survived for less than 31 days. The vast majority of newborn cells in the striatum differentiated into astroglia according to their radial morphology and co-expression with an astroglial marker, S100beta, within 10 days after birth. In contrast, most BrdU-positive cells in the SN failed to co-express S100beta. Little or none of BrdU-labeled cells in both the striatum and SN were found to co-localize with a neuronal marker, neuronal nuclear antigen, or tyrosine hydroxylase during the full course of survival days surveyed (3 to 60 days). Repeated MPTP also decreased dopamine content and uptake in the striatum, which showed a significant recovery 31 days after MPTP lesion. These results demonstrate a rapid and profound astrogenesis in the striatum of young adult mice in response to toxic dopaminergic insult. The lack of neurogenesis in the two affected brain areas indicates the relative importance of glial cell regeneration in repairing MPTP injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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