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Brain Res. 2000 Feb 7;855(1):162-5.

Relative sparing of calretinin containing neurons in the substantia nigra of 6-OHDA treated rat parkinsonian model.

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Department of Anatomy, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, South Korea.


A certain calcium binding protein (CaBP) has been known to exert a neuroprotective effect in various neurodegenerative diseases. Using the 6-OHDA induced rat Parkinsonian model, we examined if calretinin (CR), one of CaBP family, could play the similar role in the Parkinson's disease because CR is profusely localized in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNPC) of the rat. Employing immunohistochemical analyses, we found that the survival rate of CR neurons was significantly higher than that of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) neurons in the SNPC of the Parkinsonian rat. Furthermore double-labeled fluorescent microscopy revealed that almost all surviving TH neurons were also positive to CR. Our data suggest that CR-positive neurons are less vulnerable to 6-OHDA and CR in the dopaminergic neurons may have a protective function for survival of these neurons in the experimentally induced Parkinsonian rat.

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