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Brain. 2004 Sep;127(Pt 9):2055-70. Epub 2004 Aug 3.

Behavioural disorders induced by external globus pallidus dysfunction in primates II. Anatomical study.

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  • 1Neurologie et Thérapeutique expérimentale, INSERM U289, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The anatomical organization of the basal ganglia supports their involvement in movement and behavioural disorders. Thus dyskinesia, attention deficit with or without hyperactivity, and stereotyped behaviour can be induced by microinjections of bicuculline, a GABAergic antagonist, into different parts of the external globus pallidus (GPe) in monkeys. The aim of the present study was to determine the anatomo-functional circuits inside the basal ganglia which are specifically related to each of these behavioural changes. For that, axonal tracers were injected in the same pallidal sites where abnormal behaviours have previously been obtained by bicuculline microinjections. The labelling was mapped in the different basal ganglia and matched with the topography of the cortico-striato-pallidal projections already reported in the literature and with the distribution of calbindin immunoreactivity. Our results first show that the pallidal sites related to dyskinesia, attention deficit with or without hyperactivity, and stereotyped behaviour, were respectively in motor, associative and limbic territories, defined as weak, moderate and intensive calbindin immunoreactivity. The same relationship was observed between the distribution of the labelling in the different basal ganglia after tracer injections performed in these different pallidal sites and the anatomo-functional territories. Thus regarding the origin of the circuits within the striatum, tracer injections performed in the dyskinesia site labelled neurons located in the posterior sensorimotor putamen, those performed in the hyperactivity and/or attention deficit labelled neurons in the laterodorsal putamen and caudate nucleus, regions corresponding to associative and anterior motor territories, while those performed in the stereotyped behaviour site labelled neurons in the ventral limbic striatum. Regarding the GPe output on the basal ganglia, the different circuits also appeared underlined by different anatomo-functional territories, even if a partial overlap exists. Each of these anatomical circuits systematically involves both the internal globus pallidus (GPi) and the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) but, whereas movement circuit is mainly related to the GPi, stereotyped behaviour is mainly related to the SNr. Additionally, subregions of the subthalamic nucleus were also systematically involved, depending on the movement or behavioural disorder produced. These results demonstrate that distinct circuits involving different anatomo-functional territories of the basal ganglia, with partial overlap, participate in different behavioural disorders in monkeys. It seems likely that these neuronal circuits are involved in pathologies like Tourette's syndrome, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders and obsessional compulsive troubles. This study provides the basis for further researches with a therapeutical viewpoint.

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