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J Neurosci Methods. 2005 Oct 15;148(1):78-87. Epub 2005 Jun 6.

Comparison of bilaterally 6-OHDA- and MPTP-lesioned rats as models of the early phase of Parkinson's disease: histological, neurochemical, motor and memory alterations.

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Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal do ParanĂ¡, Curitiba, Brazil.


This study compares histological, neurochemical, behavioral, motor and cognitive alterations as well as mortality of two models of Parkinson's disease in which 100 microg 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) or 6 microg 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was bilaterally infused into the central region of the substantia nigra, compact part, of adult male Wistar rats. Both neurotoxins caused a significant loss of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase-immunostained cells and striatal dopamine depletion, but 6-OHDA caused more widespread and intense cell loss, more intense body weight loss and more mortality than MPTP. Both 6-OHDA- and MPTP-lesioned rats presented similar deficits in performing a working memory and a cued version of the Morris water maze task and few exploratory/motor alterations in the open field and catalepsy tests. However, rats presented a significant and transitory increase in locomotor activity after the MPTP lesion and a hypolocomotor behavior tended to be present after the 6-OHDA lesion. The picture of mild motor effects and robust impairment of habit learning and spatial working memory observed in MPTP-lesioned rats models the early phase of Parkinson's disease.

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