Suppression of activation of c-fos protein in the striatum by systemic administration of nitroglycerin in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

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We found sustained activation of the proto-oncogene c-fos in neurons of the medial and dorsal neostriatum and suppression of this activation in NO-synthase (NOS) -containing cells within the islands of Calleja after unilateral lesions of the dopaminergic mesostriatal system induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Systemic administration of nitroglycerin (NTG) resulted in a decreased expression of c-Fos protein in the dorsal part of the denervated neostriatum: respective numbers of Fos-positive neuronal nuclei were 420.71 ± 21.32 in control and 141.38 ± 11.48 after NTG injection (the mean numbers in 50-μm-thick slices). However, other brain structures, NTG evoked sustained expression of c-Fos protein in the groups of NOS-containing neurons and sources of catecholaminergic projections involved In the control of cardiovascular reactions. We hypothesize that systemic administration of an NO donor and a potent vasodilator, NTG, partially normalized an excessively Increased glutamate level in the denervated neostriatum manifested in c-Fos protein expression.

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