The present study was performed to investigate the influence of intrastriatal fetal mesencephalic grafts on dopaminergic mRNA expression in the non-lesioned substantia nigra pars compacta of unilaterally 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats. The expression of dopamine transporter mRNA, synaptic vesicular monoamine transporter mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA was assessed in adjacent cryostat sections using in situ hybridization. Rotational behavior induced by apomorphine and amphetamine as well as hybridization of striatal sections cut at the grafting coordinates were used to prove the functional recovery and the presence of grafted cells, respectively. After grafting, the number of rotations was decreased and hybridization signals overlying cells in the grafted striatum were detected. Mean grain densities overlying labeled neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of grafted rats were compared to those of shamgrafted rats and revealed differential expression of dopamine transporter mRNA, whereas synaptic vesicular monoamine transporter mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA expression showed no difference. The results will be discussed in relation to previous in vitro and in vivo studies suggesting a reduction of functional dopamine transporter molecules in the contralateral striatum.
- Dopamine transporter
- Fetal mesencephalic grafts
- In situ hybridization
- Substantia nigra pars compacta
ASJC Scopus subject areas