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TitleEvidence for Sprouting of Dopamine and Serotonin Axons in the Pallidum of Parkinsonian Monkeys.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGagnon, Dave, Lara Eid, Dymka Coudé, Carl Whissel, Thérèse Di Paolo, André Parent, and Martin Parent
JournalFront Neuroanat
Date Published2018

This light and electron microscopie immunohistochemical quantitative study aimed at determining the state of the dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) innervations of the internal (GPi) and external (GPe) segments of the pallidum in cynomolgus monkeys () rendered parkinsonian by systemic injections of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). In contrast to the prominent DA denervation of striatum, the GPi in MPTP monkeys was found to be markedly enriched in DA (TH+) axon varicosities. The posterior sensorimotor region of this major output structure of the basal ganglia was about 8 times more intensely innervated in MPTP monkeys (0.71 ± 0.08 × 10 TH+ axon varicosities/mm) than in controls (0.09 ± 0.01 × 10). MPTP intoxication also induced a two-fold increase in the density of 5-HT (SERT+) axon varicosities in both GPe and GPi. This augmentation was particularly pronounced anteriorly in the so-called associative and limbic pallidal territories. The total length of the labeled pallidal axons was also significantly increased in MPTP monkeys compared to controls, but the number of DA and 5-HT axon varicosities per axon length unit remained the same in the two groups, indicating that the DA and 5-HT pallidal hyperinnervations seen in MPTP monkeys result from axon sprouting rather than from the appearance of newly formed axon varicosities on non-growing axons. At the ultrastructural level, pallidal TH+ and SERT+ axons were morphologically similar in MPTP and controls, and their synaptic incidence was very low suggesting a volumic mode of transmission. Altogether, our data reveal a significant sprouting of DA and 5-HT pallidal afferents in parkinsonian monkeys, the functional significance of which remains to be determined. We suggest that the marked DA hyperinnervation of the GPi represents a neuroadaptive change designed to normalize pallidal firing patterns associated with the delayed appearance of motor symptoms, whereas the 5-HT hyperinnervation might be involved in the early expression of non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease.

Alternate JournalFront Neuroanat
PubMed ID29867377
PubMed Central IDPMC5963193