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Neuron. 2017 Sep 13;95(6):1306-1318.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.08.038.

Loss of Hyperdirect Pathway Cortico-Subthalamic Inputs Following Degeneration of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
2
Department of Physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Electronic address: m-bevan@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are linked to abnormally correlated and coherent activity in the cortex and subthalamic nucleus (STN). However, in parkinsonian mice we found that cortico-STN transmission strength had diminished by 50%-75% through loss of axo-dendritic and axo-spinous synapses, was incapable of long-term potentiation, and less effectively patterned STN activity. Optogenetic, chemogenetic, genetic, and pharmacological interrogation suggested that downregulation of cortico-STN transmission in PD mice was triggered by increased striato-pallidal transmission, leading to disinhibition of the STN and increased activation of STN NMDA receptors. Knockdown of STN NMDA receptors, which also suppresses proliferation of GABAergic pallido-STN inputs in PD mice, reduced loss of cortico-STN transmission and patterning and improved motor function. Together, the data suggest that loss of dopamine triggers a maladaptive shift in the balance of synaptic excitation and inhibition in the STN, which contributes to parkinsonian activity and motor dysfunction.

KEYWORDS:

NMDA; Parkinson’s disease; basal ganglia; cortex; globus pallidus; glutamate; plasticity; subthalamic nucleus; synapse

PMID:
28910619
PMCID:
PMC5679443
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2017.08.038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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