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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most common neurosurgical treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). Whereas the globus pallidus interna (GPi) has been less commonly targeted than the subthalamic nucleus (STN), a recent clinical trial suggests that GPi DBS may provide better outcomes for patients with psychiatric comorbidities. Several laboratories have demonstrated that DBS of the STN provides neuroprotection of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) dopamine neurons in preclinical neurotoxin models of PD and increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, whether DBS of the entopeduncular nucleus (EP), the homologous structure to the GPi in the rat, has similar neuroprotective potential in preclinical models has not been investigated. We investigated the impact of EP DBS on forelimb use asymmetry and SNpc degeneration induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and on BDNF levels. EP DBS in male rats received unilateral, intrastriatal 6-OHDA and ACTIVE or INACTIVE stimulation continuously for two weeks. Outcome measures included quantification of contralateral forelimb use, stereological assessment of SNpc neurons and BDNF levels. EP DBS 1) did not ameliorate forelimb impairments induced by 6-OHDA, 2) did not provide neuroprotection for SNpc neurons and 3) did not significantly increase BDNF levels in any of the structures examined. These results are in sharp contrast to the functional improvement, neuroprotection and BDNF-enhancing effects of STN DBS under identical experimental parameters in the rat. The lack of functional response to EP DBS suggests that stimulation of the rat EP may not represent an accurate model of clinical GPi stimulation.


D Luke Fischer, Timothy J Collier, Allyson Cole-Strauss, Susan L Wohlgenant, Jack W Lipton, Kathy Steece-Collier, Fredric P Manfredsson, Christopher J Kemp, Caryl E Sortwell. High-Frequency Stimulation of the Rat Entopeduncular Nucleus Does Not Provide Functional or Morphological Neuroprotection from 6-Hydroxydopamine. PloS one. 2015;10(7):e0133957

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PMID: 26222442

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