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Brain Res. 1992 Sep 11;590(1-2):291-9.

Subthalamic nucleus cell firing in the 6-OHDA-treated rat: basal activity and response to haloperidol.

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Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260.


Single unit recordings from neurons of the subthalamic nucleus were made in control and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-treated rats anesthetized with chloral hydrate. Subthalamic nucleus cells in this preparation exhibited a wide range of firing rates and three different firing patterns. These patterns were defined as 'burst', 'normal', and 'mixed' based on comparisons of their interspike interval histograms. Four to 6 weeks after 6-OHDA treatment there was no change in the basal firing rates of subthalamic nucleus cells, but there was a significant shift in firing pattern, with a smaller proportion of cells exhibiting the 'normal' firing pattern. The response of subthalamic nucleus neurons to acute administration of haloperidol was also altered in 6-OHDA-treated rats tested 4-6 weeks post-lesion, with a significantly greater proportion of cells responding to doses of haloperidol as low as 0.2 mg/kg (i.v.) with increases in firing rate of 20% or more. These results suggest that the subthalamic nucleus is probably not involved in the increases in basal levels of dopamine cell activity observed previously in the 6-OHDA-treated rat, but may play a role in the acute induction of depolarization block of dopamine cell firing in response to haloperidol administration in this model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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