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Behav Brain Res. 1989 Jul 1;33(3):267-77.

Selective lesion of central dopamine or noradrenaline neuron systems in the neonatal rat: motor behavior and monoamine alterations at adult stage.

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Department of Histology and Neurobiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Different parameters of motor behavior (locomotion, rearing and total activity counts) were studied in the adult rat following neonatal intracisternal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 50 micrograms) treatment combined with noradrenaline (NA) uptake blocker (desipramine) or dopamine (DA) uptake blockers (amfolenic acid or GBR 12909) to obtain selective DA or NA lesions respectively. At 61-65 days of age, selective DA-lesioned animals showed an initial decrease in spontaneous motor behavior at test days 1 and/or 2, while at test days 4 and 5 hyperactivity was observed. However, following amfolenic acid or GBR 12909 pretreatment leading to a selective NA lesion, no difference in spontaneous motor behavior was seen on any of the 5 test days. Determination of regional brain levels of NA and DA confirmed the type of lesion predicted from the various pretreatments with selective uptake blockers. These data suggest that changes in motor behavior in the adult rats, following neonatal 6-OHDA treatment, are specifically related to a DA-denervation, whereas an NA lesion does not seem to influence the spontaneous motor behavior. However, following the selective DA lesion, significant increases of serotonin levels in striatum and cerebellum were observed, while following selective NA lesions an increase of cerebellar NA levels was found concomitant with drastic reductions of NA levels in frontal cortex and spinal cord.

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