Calcitriol Protection against Dopamine Loss Induced by Intracerebroventricular Administration of 6-Hydroxydopamine
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- Smith, M.P., Fletcher-Turner, A., Yurek, D.M. et al. Neurochem Res (2006) 31: 533. doi:10.1007/s11064-006-9048-4
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Calcitriol has been implicated as an agent that has neuroprotective effects in various animal models of diseases, possibly by upregulating glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). The present study examined the neuroprotective effects of calcitriol in a model of early Parkinson’s disease. Rats were treated daily with calcitriol or saline for 7 days before an intraventricular injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), and then for 1 day or daily for 3½ to 4 weeks after lesioning. Evoked overflow and tissue content of dopamine (DA) were determined 3½ to 4 weeks post lesion. The 8-day calcitriol treatment did not attenuate 6-OHDA-induced decreases in evoked overflow of DA, nor did it protect against 6-OHDA-induced reductions in tissue levels of DA in the striatum or substantia nigra. However, the long-term calcitriol treatment did significantly increase evoked overflow of DA, as well as the amount of DA in the striatum, compared to saline treated animals. GDNF was significantly increased in the substantia nigra, but not in the striatum, of non-lesioned, calcitriol treated rats. These results suggest that long-term treatment with calcitriol can provide partial protection for dopaminergic neurons against the effects of intraventricularly administered 6-OHDA.