Effects of MPTP on Nigrostriatal and Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Systems in Young and Aged Mice
Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder that seldom occurs in patients below the age of sixty. It is characterized by decreased dopamine in the striatum and a loss of pigmented dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (Forno, 1982; Hornykiewicz, 1982). However, in addition to degeneration of this nigrostriatal system, other monoamine systems also degenerate including the dopaminergic ventral tegmental area, the noradrenergic locus coeruleus system, the cholinergic nucleus basalis system, and the cholinergic dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (Alvord et al., 1974; Burns et al., 1984; Greenfield and Bosanquet, 1953; Whitehouse et al., 1983). Furthermore, decreased levels of norepinephrine and serotonin and their metabolites in the cerebrospinal fluid have been reported in patients with Parkinson’s disease (Burns et al., 1983; Hornykiewicz, 1982). Normal aging, in the absence of a neurodegenerative disorder, also has been associated with a decline of dopamine levels in the striatum, although the age related decline is more gradual than the decline seen in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Substantia nigra neurons diminish in number with age, leading to decreased synthesis and levels of dopamine in terminal striatal fields (McGeer et al., 1977). Thus, the Parkinson patient appears to have a rapid neurodegenerative process superimposed on top of this age-related decline in the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system.
KeywordsSubstantia Nigra Ventral Tegmental Area Aged Mouse Dopamine Level MPTP Treatment
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