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Brain Res. 1996 Feb 19;709(2):319-25.

Dopaminergic sprouting in the rat striatum after partial lesion of the substantia nigra.

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INSERM U289, Hopital de la Salpetriere, Paris, France.


The capacity of the dopaminergic nerve system to reinnervate the denervated adult striatum was analyzed in a model of partial 6-hydroxydopamine-induced unilateral lesion of rat substantia nigra pars compacta. Sprouting of dopaminergic fibers entering the ventrolateral part of the striatum from a narrow zone of the external capsule was detected on the lesioned side 4 and 7 months, but not 10 days, after lesioning. Ultrastructural examination of the zone of sprouting revealed hypertrophic dopaminergic fibers and growth-cone-like structures, confirming the existence of an ongoing process of spontaneous regrowth of dopaminergic fibers. The identification of the factors involved in the regrowth of dopaminergic fibers may help to orientate molecular research into new treatments for Parkinson's disease.

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