Intermittent Hypoxia and Experimental Parkinson’s Disease

  • Maria V. Belikova
  • Evgenia E. KolesnikovaEmail author
  • Tatiana V. Serebrovskaya


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease which is characterized by a progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. A most reliable mechanism causing the apoptosis in dopaminergic structures of the brain during aging and Parkinson’s disease is the activation of oxidative stress. Until now, effective means for the prevention of dopaminergic neurons degeneration and for the retention of damaged neurons functioning is still lacking. A promising way to slacken the pace of degenerative processes during aging and PD could be the adaptation to intermittent hypoxia. Such adaptation strengthens dopamine (DA) synthesis and release at peripheral chemoreceptors in carotid bodies and activates tyrosine hydroxylase – a rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis. In this chapter, we examined three groups of rats: adult, old, and old rats with experimental DA deficiency. It was revealed that there was an asymmetry of dopamine distribution between the right and left striatum of adult rats. Prevalent quantity of dopamine was concentrated in right hemisphere. During aging DA, production decreased in the examined structures mainly in right hemisphere of the striatum, so its distribution asymmetry diminished. In PD animals, this decrease was much more expressed and led to practically total abolishment of quantitative difference between right and left hemispheres. Two-week course of intermittent hypoxia training (IHT, five cycles of 15-min exposures to 12% O2 followed by 15-min room air breathing per day) increased dopamine synthesis in old and experimental PD animals, especially in the right striatum, restored partially the asymmetry of DA distribution between brain hemispheres. IHT also decreased the intensity of lipid peroxidation. Increased plasma antioxidant activity positively correlated with increased DA concentration in the striatum. Therefore, IHT could serve as a good perspective means for the deceleration of aging and prevention/treatment of Parkinson’s disease.


Substantia Nigra Left Hemisphere Carotid Body Intermittent Hypoxia Glomus Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.







Carotid bodies




Experimental DA deficiency


Glial fibrillary acid protein


Hypoxia inducible factor


Intermittent hypoxia training


Monoamine oxidase




Parkinson’s disease


Reactive oxygen species


Substantia nigra


Superoxide dismutase


Tyrosine hydroxylase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria V. Belikova
    • 1
  • Evgenia E. Kolesnikova
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tatiana V. Serebrovskaya
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Department, Kiev Medical University of Ukrainian Association of Folk MedicineAcademy of Medical Sciences of UkraineKievUkraine
  2. 2.Department of Hypoxic StatesBogomoletz Institute of Physiology National Academy of Sciences of UkraineKievUkraine

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