Neurochemical Research

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 1050–1056 | Cite as

Contralateral Retinal Dopamine Decrease and Melatonin Increase in Progression of Hemiparkinsonium Rat

  • Tao Meng
  • Zhi-Hong Zheng
  • Ting-Ting Liu
  • Ling LinEmail author
Original Paper


Both dopamine (DA) and melatonin (MLT) are abundant neuromodulators located in vertebrate retina. The retinal DA deficiency and variations in MLT levels have been linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD). No studies have investigated the ipsilateral and contralateral DA and MLT in retina and their relationships in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) induced hemiparkinsonian rats. We established PD rat model by unilateral injection of 6-OHDA into the right substantia nigra and the right medial forebrain bundle. Eye tissue was collected and the levels of MLT and DA were measured twice daily at 10:00 and 22:00. The concentrations of DA and its metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), as well as MLT were determined by HPLC. The results show that DA levels in the eye contralateral to the side of a unilateral intracerebral 6-OHDA lesion significantly decreased (P < 0.001). Both the ratios of DOPAC/DA and HVA/DA were increased in comparison with the vehicle groups after 3 weeks post-lesion. The concentrations of MLT at 10:00 and 22:00 in both eyes were distinctly increased compared with the vehicle groups (P < 0.05). The change of DA and its metabolites, as well as MLT appeared to correlate well with the rotation behavior of rats. These findings suggest that rats receive a unilateral intracerebral injection of 6-OHDA that mainly causes the contralateral eye destruction of DA-containing neurons. Increased retinal MLT level probably is associated with the progression of PD.


Parkinson’s disease Retina Dopamine Melatonin 



Parkinson’s disease






Nigrostriatal dopamine


Retinohypothalamic tract




Substantia nigra pars compacta


Medial forebrain bundle


Inner nuclear layer


Inner plexiform layer


Phosphate-buffered saline


3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid


Homovanillic acid


High performance liquid chromatography


Analysis of variance



We thank Dr. Fu-Chou Cheng for criticism, discussion and advice on the manuscript, These studies were supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (No. 2010J01175) and Professor Foundation of Fujian Medical University (No. JS10002).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Meng
    • 1
  • Zhi-Hong Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ting-Ting Liu
    • 1
  • Ling Lin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyFujian Medical UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Research Center of NeurobiologyFujian Medical UniversityFuzhouChina

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