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Front Neurol. 2018 Aug 28;9:663. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00663. eCollection 2018.

Oscillatory Activity in the Cortex, Motor Thalamus and Nucleus Reticularis Thalami in Acute TTX and Chronic 6-OHDA Dopamine-Depleted Animals.

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Laboratory for Biomedical Neurosciences, Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland, Taverne, Switzerland.
Department of Neurology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland.
Department System Medicine, UOSD Parkinson, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.
Neuroscience Division, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.


The motor thalamus (MTh) and the nucleus reticularis thalami (NRT) have been largely neglected in Parkinson's disease (PD) research, despite their key role as interface between basal ganglia (BG) and cortex (Cx). In the present study, we investigated the oscillatory activity within the Cx, MTh, and NRT, in normal and different dopamine (DA)-deficient states. We performed our experiments in both acute and chronic DA-denervated rats by injecting into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) tetrodotoxin (TTX) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), respectively. Interestingly, almost all the electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency bands changed in acute and/or chronic DA depletion, suggesting alteration of all oscillatory activities and not of a specific band. Overall, δ (2-4 Hz) and θ (4-8 Hz) band decreased in NRT and Cx in acute and chronic state, whilst, α (8-13 Hz) band decreased in acute and chronic states in the MTh and NRT but not in the Cx. The β (13-40 Hz) and γ (60-90 Hz) bands were enhanced in the Cx. In the NRT the β bands decreased, except for high-β (Hβ, 25-30 Hz) that increased in acute state. In the MTh, Lβ and Hβ decreased in acute DA depletion state and γ decreased in both TTX and 6-OHDA-treated animals. These results confirm that abnormal cortical β band are present in the established DA deficiency and it might be considered a hallmark of PD. The abnormal oscillatory activity in frequency interval of other bands, in particular the dampening of low frequencies in thalamic stations, in both states of DA depletion might also underlie PD motor and non-motor symptoms. Our data highlighted the effects of acute depletion of DA and the strict interplay in the oscillatory activity between the MTh and NRT in both acute and chronic stage of DA depletion. Moreover, our findings emphasize early alterations in the NRT, a crucial station for thalamic information processing.


6-hydroxydopamine; Parkinson's disease; motor thalamus; neuronal oscillations; nucleus reticularis thalami; tetrodotoxin

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