Inflammation and neuronal degeneration of the substantia nigra (SN) occur in Parkinson's disease (PD). We studied the effects of intranigral lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection on adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Locomotor activity measurement, neurotransmitter determination and perfusion fixation for immunohistochemistry were done on the 7th day. Bilateral LPS injection increased locomotor activity 2- to 3-fold. In the SN, dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) decreased but the ratios dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC)/DA, homovanillic acid (HVA)/DA and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)/5-HT increased. In the striatum, DA, DOPAC, HVA, 3-methoxytyramine and epinephrine decreased but HVA/DA and 5-HIAA/5HT ratios increased. Unilateral LPS decreased dopamineric neurons ipsilaterally but increased contralaterally. This study provides the first evidence of behavioral hyperactivity, epinephrine suppression and neuronal plasticity in the LPS model of PD.
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